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Stretton Choral Society

History of the Society

It is known that a choir has been in existence in Church Stretton since before the second world war but the Society in its present form was founded in 1977.

The Inaugural Meeting of the Society took place in September 1977, when Bill Gatter became the first Musical Director.  Full records of the first ten years of the Society's activities have not been preserved; but it is believed that concert versions of a number of Gilbert and Sullivan operas formed part of the repertoire.

During the 1980s and the early part of the 1990s the Society's concerts were given in a variety of venues, including St Laurence's Church (Church Stretton) and the Church Stretton School; on several occasions the programme was performed on two consecutive days, the second time in Church Stretton and on the previous day at Clun, Kington or Bishops Castle.  Since 1993, however, the Society has concentrated on a single performance of each programme, always in Church Stretton.  At Christmas 2006, however, a large group of members also performed a carol concert at the Church Stretton Parish Centre to an appreciative audience of visitors from local care homes etc.  This was repeated for some following Christmas seasons.  More recently choir members have helped swell the number of singers are Shifnal Chorale for a performance of The Armed Man.

President:  Tom Acton (198? - present)

Chairmen:  Tom Acton 19?? - 91
                    David Goodall, 1991 - 94
                    Philip Lane Clark, 1994 - 2007
                    Miriam Lekerman, 2007 - 09
                    Chris Kolvin, 2009 - 15
                    Bill Ross, 2015 - present

Musical Directors:  William Gatter ("Bill"), 1977 - 87 (died 1997)
                                 Derwent Turnbull, 1987 - 91
                                 Michael Gillions, 1991 - 96
                                 Arthur Brook, 1996 - 98 (died 1998)
                                 Richard Silk, 1998 - 99 (Guest Director)
                                 David Hart, 1999 - 2011
                                 Paul Kelly, 2011 - present

Rehearsal Accompanists:  Eva Henderson, 197? - 8?
                                              Derwent Turnbull, 1987 - 91 (conductor / accompanist)
                                              Kathy Stancliff, 1991 - 95
                                              Margaret Griffiths, 1995 - 98
                                              David Goodall, 1999 - 2007
                                              David Hart, 2007 - 11 (conductor / accompanist)
                                              David Fisher, 2011 - 15
                                              Nikkö-Michaël Grégoire, 2015 - present     

May 2005 Concert May 2005 Concert