Nantwich Choral Society Celebrates 50 Golden Years of Music

Nantwich Choral Society is planning a full programme of events as it embarks on a milestone anniversary year.

MILESTONE: Nantwich Choral Society chairman Graham Harbage and vice-chairman Adrian Percy (centre) with music director John Naylor, secretary Anne Harwood and treasurer Frances Durkin in St Mary’s Church, Nantwich

It is 50 years since the Society formed as a local authority evening class and down the decades its concerts have been a highlight on the town’s social calendar.

Singers, drawn from across South Cheshire, Staffordshire and Shropshire have been thrilled with the response to their come-back performances since the pandemic.

They have drawn capacity audiences to St Mary’s Church in Nantwich over the past few months and several new singers have joined the 80-strong choir.

President John Lea, chairman of Mornflake breakfast foods company in Crewe, said: “The Society was founded in September 1972 and remains one of the largest and most successful amateur choirs in the area.

“Half a century on, the Society continues to put Nantwich on the map for musical excellence.

“This golden anniversary year will be another shining the spotlight on the tremendous friendship and joy singing brings to people from all walks of life.”

Celebrations began with a September Singing Day at St Mary’s in Acton which drew many enthusiasts from across Cheshire and beyond.

It was staged as a tribute to the Queen and there was a minute’s silence before a full day of coaching and singing, ending in a performance of John Rutter’s Requiem.

On November 12 the choir will be back at St Mary’s in Nantwich for an autumn performance of Brahm’s Requiem.

December 17 sees their popular family Carol Concert at the church where voices will combine for Vaughan Williams’ Fantasia on Christmas Carols.

Next year there is a ‘Come and Sing Day’ in February, concert at the Civic Hall in March and a June trip to Macon in France where they will perform with a local choral society.

The French friends will return to Nantwich later in the month to perform the same concert at St Mary’s.

Society secretary Anne Harwood said: “We have enjoyed many highlights during 2022.

“Our concert for Ukraine raised a fantastic £6000 and we’ve welcomed hundreds to our spring and summer concerts. Anyone who would like to join us, men and women of all ages, are welcome.”

The Society has performed in many landmarks including Chester Cathedral, Liverpool Anglican, Romsey Abbey, St Vincente Cathedral in France and Ludenshield in Germany.

With its superb acoustics, St Mary’s Nantwich – often dubbed the Cathedral of South Cheshire – remains the Society’s spiritual home and favourite singing venue.

For information on joining the choir and concerts visit www.nantwichchoral.org.uk