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Congleton Choral Society is a member of Making Music, The National Federation of Music Societies.
Congleton Choral Society is a Registered Charity
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Founded in 1971, this is a friendly and busy mixed choir of some 70 voices. In May 2011 Congleton Choral Society welcomed Christopher Cromar as its new Music Director.
Christopher Cromar was born in Scotland and educated at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama, Chetham's School of Music in Manchester and the Conservatoire Supérieur de Paris.
As a celebrated organist and pianist Christopher has given recitals in Westminster Abbey, St. Paul's Cathedral, Westminster Cathedral, King's College Cambridge, and Notre Dame. He has also performed in Germany, Holland, Greece and the USA. He features on several CD recordings, including 'The Passing of the Year', a disc of music by Jonathan Dove, released on the Naxos label. The disc was described on BBC Radio 3's CD Review as a recording that 'makes you happy to be alive'..
A highly respected chorus master and sought-after vocal coach, Christopher's career has taken him to most of the UK conservatoires including Manchester's RNCM, Trinity Laban, and the City Literary Institute (the largest adult education music department in the UK). He has been Music Director for Education at Clonter Opera where, as chorus-master, he has assisted a number of illustrious conductors in a wide repertoire.
In addition to his roles as Music Director of Congleton Choral Society and Congleton Choral Academy, Christopher works frequently with many of the top vocal ensembles in the country, including the BBC Singers, Manchester Chamber Choir and the RSNO Chorus. He also deputised for Gareth Malone at the Manchester Airport Choir during its life span.
From 2009 to 2011 the choir was conducted by
Nick Concannon Hodges
From 1975 to 2009 the choir was under the direction
of David Johnson.
Andrew Green began his organ studies at Wakefield Cathedral. He studied Music at Newcastle University, working as accompanist, harpsichordist and organist with the Northern Sinfonia, leading and conducting the University Orchestra, and giving violin recitals with Professor Denis Matthews.
After being awarded a First Class degree in 1972, he spent three years lecturing in the university. He taught at the King's School, Macclesfield, for 34 years, being Director of Music for the last 26 of those years. He continued working as accompanist with various adult choirs (including St George's Singers, Poynton and the Stockport Festival Chorus). His main work with choirs, however, was at King's, where the Foundation Choir became the first winners of the BBC Songs of Praise Senior School Choir of the Year in 2003.
He conducted the Sixth Form Chamber Choir in performances of the Fauré Requiem, Vivaldi Gloria, Britten's Saint Nicolas and other works with the Northern Chamber Orchestra. One of his organ scholars at King's, David Baskeyfield, won the St Alban's International Organ Competition in 2011. Andrew has now retired from King's but remains Music Director at Tytherington Family Worship church in Macclesfield.
He enjoys spending a little more time improving his golf, while maintaining frequent connections with King's and continuing to enjoy accompanying choirs.
The late Margaret Williamson, MBE DL
Congleton Choral Society would like to pay tribute here to the late Margaret Williamson, MBE DL, our President, who died at Easter 2015.
Margaret was a constant friend and supporter of the society for many years, both as Vice-President and Honorary Vice-President. We were delighted when, in 2013, she agreed to become our President. She worked tirelessly to raise our profile within the local community and to raise funds for Congleton Children's Choir.
Margaret was a familiar presence at our concerts, often to be seen chatting to choir members during concert intervals, offering words of praise and encouragement. We have benefited greatly in many ways from her energy and enthusiasm. We shall miss her very much, not least for her warm personality, her radiant smile and her infectious sense of humour. We remember her with gratitude and affection.
The Choral Society Year
We present four concerts a year in Spring, Summer, Autumn and at Christmas. The choir enjoys the challenge of learning and performing a varied repertoire under Christopher Cromar's inspiring direction; we are fortunate also to engage professional orchestras, distinguished accompanists and excellent guest soloists to perform with us.
Every two years we host a singing workshop with well-known professional conductors and composers. These are open to the general public and are well-attended and greatly enjoyed.
Congleton Town Hall
The Victorian Gothic architecture of Congleton Town Hall
dominates the skyline. The present building was erected in 1864, at a cost of £8,000, and
to a design of Mr E W Godwin. It was opened to the public on 11th July 1866.
Over the years it has
suffered many 'improvements'. Typical of these was the erection of a false ceiling in the 1960s,
covering up the magnificent hammer-beams in the roof. However, thanks
to the energies of local visionaries, the Town Hall is now restored to
its former glory. Its wonderful features - including a stone minstrels'
gallery - are on view to all.
Congleton Town Council
St Mary's Church, Astbury
'The church of St Mary at Astbury is one of the most
beautiful in the county. Its exterior, dominated by the detached tower and lofty spire,
evokes the admiration of the beholder and this is increased when the
majesty of the interior is surveyed.' So wrote Raymond Richards in his
book 'Old Cheshire Churches. Congleton Choral Society is
privileged to perform in such majestic surroundings.
St Mary's Church Astbury
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