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Read About Our History..

Since singing is so good a thing.....

At 7.30pm most Mondays we meet at
the Lutterworth Methodist Church
All singers welcome!

The History of Lutterworth Choral Society

Lutterworth and District Choral society traces its history back to the late 19th century, with the formation of the Lutterworth Orchestral and Choral Society.  As our 1996 centenary booklet proclaims, concerts in those days ‘were held in the Town Hall commencing at eight o’clock, carriages at 10’.  The conductor was the Rector of St Mary’s parish church, Rev. M. F. Alderson, and he directed a choir of 38 with a dozen instrumentalists.

There is no record of what happened during the war but during the 1920s the organist at St Mary’s, George Haswell, took over the baton of what had by then become the Lutterworth Musical Society.  The programmes included both secular and sacred music, with enthusiastic reviews and requests for encores. One reviewer noted on 25th January 1924, ‘Complete success attended the annual concert of the Lutterworth Musical Society, held at the Town Hall on Friday evening.  The Society is in its twenty-fifth season, and under the direction of Mr. G. J. Haswell (conductor) and Mr. G. Bond (honorary secretary) is now in a very flourishing condition – demonstrated by the high standard of musical excellence attained by the orchestral and choral sections.  The proceeds were devoted to the District Nurse Fund.’

“Since singing is so good a thing I wish all men would learn to sing.”

a couplet from composer William Byrd

Past Musical Directors

Discover more about the muscial directors of Lutterworth Choral Society

John Buck

1946 – 1951

Harry Hyman

1951 – 1957

Ken Harris

1957 – 1985

Michael Arnison

1985 – 1989

Marlene Sweetko

1989 – 1991

Anne de Graeve

1991 – 2001

Kathryn Cook

2001 – 2003

Robert Foreman

2003 – 2006

Our Current Musical Director - Mr Alan Barraclough

Alan grew up in Welwyn Garden City apart from the war years when his family was evacuated to Derby. After the war he studied the piano with Dorothy Hess and performed in several student recitals in the Wigmore Hall in London. After graduating in Natural Sciences at Liverpool University and a spell in the army in the Far East, Alan started teaching at Hinckley Grammar School in 1958. Then, in 1961, he joined the staff of Lutterworth Grammar School where he stayed for 32 years..

Happy Years...

Under the leadership of John Buck the society started performing popular concerts in St Mary’s church hall, the Methodist Church, and the then-Grammar School (now Lutterworth College). By the time of its tenth anniversary concert in 1956, Ken Harris had joined the Society as a singer, and it was not long before his conducting talents were spotted.

He took over the baton at the first Christmas concert with the Lutterworth Town Band – establishing a tradition that continues to this day. The annual Christmas concerts feature a mixture of carols for the festive season. Ken Harris was the longest-serving conductor to date (1957 to 1985) and subsequently became President of the society.

During his tenure he put on a series of celebrity concerts, including one featuring Owen Brannigan. ‘They were indeed happy years,’ reminisced Ken Harris.

Varied Music..

Conductors in more recent decades have included Michael Arnison, Marlene Sweetko, Anne de Graeve, Kathryn Cook, Robert Foreman and now Alan Barraclough.

The choir continues to perform a varied and extensive repertoire, combining ‘choral staples’ such as Handel’s Messiah and Haydn’s Creation, with songs by Rogers & Hammerstein and Andrew Lloyd Webber. In 2009 the choir joined forces with Market Harborough Choral Society to perform Carmina Burana by Carl Orff.

Under the baton of the present musical director, Alan Barraclough the choir takes pleasure in creating programmes of varied music around a theme, such as the lively ‘Animal Magic’ songs for a picnic-concert at Walton village hall in June 2009.

70 enthusiastic, committed members..

Lutterworth and District Choral Society continues to flourish, with some 70 enthusiastic, committed members. There is a regular flow of new voices, and a willingness to tackle new works. The choir is always looking forwards and will carry on its tradition of bringing choral music to the people of south-west Leicestershire for years to come.

Lutterworth and District Choral Society
Golden Anniversary Concert 27 April 1996

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