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The choir were delighted to welcome Cathy Sweet, our new M. D. to rehearsals on 26th July 2017, and we look forward to working with her in the future. It is a new era for the choir and the future is bright!
The new year had a great start as Peter was presented with his red jacket by Chairman David Borley, marking the end of Peter’s induction and declaring him ready to join the rest of the lads on stage.
Well done, Peter. A great start to the year.
As he’d been away on holiday the previous week, we’d sadly not been able to honour Ken at the presentation evening the previous week.
This was rectified at the following Monday night rehearsal. President Len Wilson made the presentation and spoke in glowing terms of Ken’s amazing work as our recruitment officer (on occasion attempt to recruit men in the next bed to him in hospital.
We’ll miss you Ken, so we all hope you’ll make use of your prerogative as Life Member to come along to rehearsal whenever you feel like it, and then join us for post-rehearsal refreshment.
At the start of our regular Monday night rehearsal, the choir was pleased to show their appreciation and thanks to 5 long-serving choirmen who had recently needed to retire from the choir for various reasons. To mark our appreciation, they were each awarded the role of Life Member and presented with a shield by Choir President Len Wilson.
These men are: Peter Sharp (1st Tenor), Ralph Beards (1st Tenor) Terry Tobin (2nd Tenor), Ted Mould (Baritone) and John Hirst (Baritone).
Life membership was also awarded to our indefatigable recruitment officer, Ken Wardell. Ken however was away on holiday and would receive his award the following Monday.
In addition, two men still singing with the choir were presented with their badges to denote 25 years service: Michael Garnett (Ist Tenor) and Frank Garth (2nd Tenor).
Their was a huge round of applause, reflecting the affection in which they all held.
At Monday’s rehearsal, the choir gave a resounding welcome back to Eric Parker, who had been missing with health problems since before Christmas. In addition to being a stalwart member of the Bass section and the Choir Committee, for the past six years, Eric has carried out the combined roles of Concert Secretary, Press and Publicity Officer and also administered the sales of concert tickets. A huge job indeed and time for a well earned retirement from these roles, so we took the opportunity to present Eric with a Certificate of Appreciation as a token of our regard for him and all the work he has done.
It had been decided that Eric’s role should not be passed on to one man alone, so in his place we have George Hladowski as Concert Secretary and David Barraclough as Press and Publicity Officer (see the Contacts page for details). Eric will continue to have a role in the sale of tickets to the public, but he will now have the assistance of Charles Sowden.
Sadly, the choir found itself assembling once again this year to sing another farewell to one of its most loyal members, this time at Christ Church, Skipton. Bass Keith Rawlinson, would have been a familiar figure to any regular attenders at our concerts. Keith rarely missed and was invariably on the extreme right of the front row. Keith was also a member of the Ritardandos, a dozen men from the choir who perform at smaller venues. Keith passed away on 13th February after a short illness.
2014 was a truly successful year for the choir. We had a full calendar of successful concerts, membership stayed buoyant and there were two terrific tours.
However the year ended in subdued mood as we saw the passing of three former stalwarts of the choir.
Brian Mould had sung in the Baritone section for over 16 years (and had also been Music Librarian for many years) and although he had a number of health problems towards the end he was still singing at rehearsal two days before he died on Dec 14th. Quiet and diligent, he will be much missed.
We had scarcely recovered from the news about Brian when we heard that Frank Place had passed away on 31 December. Frank had retired as a singing member of the choir in 2012, but was immediately made a Life Member. He continued to support the choir administering the Gift Aid scheme and liaising with the choir’s Patrons.
Just two days later the news came of the death of Gordon Sugden. Gordon had been Brian Mould’s oppo in looking after the library until they both stepped down a few years back. Gordon was very well liked and much respected and it was a huge shock when Gordon was paralysed in a road accident three years ago. His fighting spirit and determination were an inspiration to us all. Sadly his fight finally came to end on 2nd January.
The choir turned out in force to sing at all three funerals. The turnout and passion with which all the men sang gave testament to the depths of feeling and respect we had for all three men.
The end-of-year concert at Bingley All Saints church was as enjoyable as ever. A full and enthusiastic audience, a beautifully dedicated church, community carols, the choir and soloists singing and playing their hearts out – what more could one want!
At the end of the concert, the choir showed their appreciation to Alan for his dedication to and leadership of the choir which during 2014 passed the 20 year mark. Chairman David Borley presented Alan with a Certificate of Appreciation – and also one to Alan’s wife Christine (aka Dorothy). Christine is equally dedicated to the choir and has been a driving force behind the Ladies Support Group which plays a vital part in the continued existence of the choir.
Highly deserved congratulations to both of you!
There’s no tradition like a new one! The first 10 year service badges were presented last year before the Annual Concert and this has now become an annual event.
Receiving their badges this year were four men – Michael Trott, Ted Mould, John Armitage and Peter Kitching. Chairman David Borley (above, centre) made the presentation in President Len Wilson’s absence (get better soon, Len).
We have been preparing for Anne Mott’s departure as our accompanist for some time (see post), but the new era had definitely arrived on Saturday, 30th Aug when Pat Jones took the accompanist’s seat at our concert in Harrogate. This was Pat’s first full concert as our permanent accompanist and a terrific job she did. The photo below shows how the all the members of the choir have taken Pat to their hearts!