Stanmore Choral Society was established in 1946 soon after the end of World War II. The aim then, as now, was to provide an opportunity for singers in and around Stanmore to study and perform good music of all kinds. The first concert was a performance of Elgar’s The Music Makers, followed later by Mendelssohn’s Elijah.
After seven years the founding conductor, Francis Lark, handed over the baton to Irene Pyke by which time the choir was dedicated to two major performances a year. Miss Pyke went on to lead the choir for 30 years, extending its repertoire to works dating from the 16th century to modern times.
By the time Richard Bourne took over in 1983 the choir comprised 80 voices and put on concerts with full orchestral accompaniment.
Richard moved away from London after the 1999 autumn concert (Judas Maccabaeus by Handel) when his wife was appointed vicar of a church in Kent. He was succeeded by David Gould, a professional singer with The Cardinall’s Musick, who was well known to the choir.
David introduced the choir to new composers such as William Lloyd Webber (Divine Compassion) and some challenging works such as Festival Te Deum and Rejoice in the Lamb by Britten. There was also a memorable joint concert in Spanish and English with Agora Chorale from Segovia in December 2000.
David left to further his professional singing career in June 2004 and was succeeded by Keith Roberts who started in the autumn with a programme of English music including some challenging works by Elgar, Tavener, Finzi, and Rutter. Keith moved north in the summer of 2005 and Denny Lister was invited to become music director.
Sadly, he fell ill and died late that autumn before he could conduct his first concert. Local conductor Robin Walker from Bushey stepped in at the last moment to conduct Messiah.
Nick Austin became music director in September 2006, conducting Faure’s Requiem in his first concert.
You can find out how to contact the choir by clicking here.
Stanmore Choral Society is affiliated to Making Music.
Stanmore Choral Society is a registered charity (No. 1174548).