Twyford Singers honour 50th year with Palm Sunday ConcertBy Caroline Cook
March 30, 2012
When the Twyford Singers hit their first high notes in 1961 one of the most popular pieces they performed was Handel’s masterpiece, the Messiah.
And in honour of their 50th year, the 45-piece choir has revived the acclaimed choral piece for their Palm Sunday concert on Sunday.
“From looking at our records in the first four or five years the concerts they performed were the Messiah followed by the Messiah followed by the Messiah,” says David Brown, concert manager and long-standing member.
“So our Easter performance, which is normally an Easter thing like the crucifixion, is the part two and three of the Messiah. And we’ve got ourselves an orchestra for it too.”
The choir will be performing excerpts from the acclaimed piece, including the Hallelujah chorus, at St Mary’s Church in Twyford on Sunday.
“The rehearsals are all going well,” says David. “We’ve got our final rehearsal this week in the church because we will be using their organ and it’s always a bit different singing with that.
“And we’ve got to work out how we are going to fit the orchestra in as well.”
The Twyford Singers began as the Twyford Choral Society before 1939 but lapsed during the war.
It was brought back in the 1950s but adopted a simpler name in the 1960s when it became the Twyford Singers.
Over the years members have performed hundreds of concerts around Twyford with a Christmas, summer and Easter performance each year.
“Our longest standing member is Ted Wallington and he’s been in the group over 40 years,” says David, who has been in the choir for 20 years.
“He’s 80 now so he must have been at least in his 30s when he joined.
“But the thing is we have got the youngsters as well. One of our new members is doing a solo and it’s quite likely Ted will do one too, so it will be both ends of the spectrum.”
Musical director Helen Styles will be leading the choir and the singers are hoping for a packed-out performance.
“We are hoping the young will keep being interested by things like Gareth Malone singing on television,” says David. “It’s good fun to get together and do some singing. You’re not on your own but you're part of a team.”
With members young and old coming together, the concert will be a celebration of the last 50 years and the next 50 to come.
- The Palm Sunday concert is at St Mary’s Church, Station Road, at 7pm. Tickets £7 for adults, £3 for under 16s. Call (0118) 934 2406.