Choir singing in Royal Hall - click for larger view
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Diamond Jubilee Celebrations

In the year 2008-2009, Harrogate Choral Society celebrated its Diamond Jubilee. Formed in 1948, the Choir gave its first public performance, Mendelssohn's Oratorio Elijah at the Victoria Park, on the 28th April that same year. Sixty years later, on 3rd May 2008, the Choir gave an outstanding performance of the same work in the newly refurbished Royal Hall, Harrogate under the baton of its Music Director, Andrew Padmore.

The occasion marked the start of an exciting and successful Diamond Jubilee year. A message of good wishes was received from our President, Brian Kay, and we were delighted to welcome, as our special guests, the Mayor and Mayoress of the Borough of Harrogate; Phil Willis, Member of Parliament; Ian Linford, one of our previous Music Directors; and representatives from a number of local organisations.

The concert was the first of a number of musical events that took place in our celebratory year. In June 2008 we sang Verdi's Requiem, jointly with the Yorkshire Philharmonic Choir and the Leeds Met Singers, accompanied by Manchester Camerata, in Leeds Town Hall. This was followed by two events at Christ Church, Harrogate: in September we held an Open Rehearsal to learn Haydn's Paukenmesse, and in October we organised a Young Singers Workshop with an afternoon of choral singing in a fun atmosphere followed by an evening performance.

Diamond Jubilee Dinner Harrogate Choral Society Diamond Jubilee Dinner (28th February 2009).
From left: Brian Kay, Marilynne Davies, Andrew Padmore, Jeffrey Wynn Davies, Beryl Pankhurst, Ian Linford

In November 2008, with Alison Balsom as soloist trumpet player, and accompanied by Manchester Camerata, we performed works by Haydn and Mozart in the Royal Hall. At the same venue, in December 2008, and again accompanied by Manchester Camerata, we sang Handel's Messiah. In that month too, we participated in the Family Christmas Concert at the Harrogate International Centre, with the Harrogate Symphony Orchestra and local primary school children. A strong performance of Jenkin's Requiem and Carter's Benedicite, sung at Ripon Cathedral in March 2009, rounded off the successful musical events of our Diamond Jubilee year.

Other events also marked our special year, including a celebration dinner held at the Majestic Hotel on 28th February 2009. This magnificent occasion was attended by members and dignatories past and present. We were particularly delighted to welcome our President, Brian Kay, as guest of honour, as well as past and present Music Directors, to share in this joyous and momentous event. After dinner we were entertained by various members of the choir as soloists and groups; and photographs were taken to record the occasion. It was the general view that 'a good time was had by all!'. All too soon the carriages were at the door to return us home with long lasting memories of a wonderful evening. Looking forward to the year 2018-2019!