30 YEARS OF SINGING
Thirty years ago, a casual staff-room conversation at Wadebridge School between Sandy Hancock, who taught German at the school and Janet Townsend, the Deputy Head of Music, led them to look at the possibility of forming an adult mixed choir. Janet volunteered her services as the Conductor and Verna Jones, then Head of the Music Department, agreed to be the accompanist.
The first rehearsal of the newly formed choir took place on the 14th January 1986 at the School and on the 10th May that year the first concert took place in Egloshayle Church.
Janet resigned in 1989 and was succeeded by Elizabeth Fryer. Elizabeth introduced Summer Singing initially for a small group with a lighter repertoire and established the pattern of the current concerts. Sadly, Elizabeth became seriously ill and had to retire in March 1998.
Our next Director with long tenure was Tony Tournoff who remained with the choir from 2002 till 2010. Since then Nicholas Danks has been the Director and his career is covered elsewhere on this site.
Since 2002 the spring concert has been performed with full orchestra and is our annual flag ship concert. A grant from Cornwall Community Chest enabled us to procure tiered staging in 2007 which is still used at major performances.
To celebrate the 25th anniversary in 2010 the choir performed a Cornish Cantata which had been commissioned by the choir. A long standing supporter of the choir David Briggs, then the organist in Boston USA, composed the work and the libretto was based upon extracts from Sir John Betjeman’s poetry about Cornwall. The Senior Chamber Choir from St Joseph’s school Launceston performed with the choir and the concert was a huge success.
Since 2013 the choir hold an annual day long workshop where we learn a new piece from ‘scratch’. We have enjoyed Mozart Requiem, Handel Israel in Egypt and in 2015 we tackled Verdi Requiem.
St John Passion
Messa Di Gloria
David Briggs: A Cornish Cantata
Samuel Coleridge Taylor: Hiawatha’s Wedding Feast
Rossini: Petite Mess Solennelle
Britten: St Nicolas
Haydn: Mass in D Minor (Nelson)
Brahms: German Requiem
Dvorak: Te Deum