Cumbria Rural Choirs brings together members from:
- Wigton Choral Society, directed by Ian Wright;
- Keswick Choral Society directed by Ian Hare;
- Ullswater Choir, Penrith, directed by Jackie Wright
and other singers from all around Cumbria and neighbouring areas.
Due to the uncertainty in the timescale for recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic, no annual concert is planned for 2021. We are planning to hold a concert in March 2022.
The Trustees are using this break to re-orient the organisation. We will adopt a new name, Cumbria Singers, from Summer 2022, with a first major concert planned for 2023.
We will continue to welcome singers of all ages and levels of experience, from age 8 to over 80, from across Cumbria and beyond. Our ambition is to perform an annual concert where the programme primarily consists of large-scale choral works, led by a professional conductor and accompanied by professional musicians. This will provide participants with the opportunity to enjoy an experience which smaller choirs, with greater financial constraints and smaller numbers, are unlikely to be able to offer. Where circumstances allow, the annual concert will be performed in a high-profile venue in Cumbria with the capacity to accommodate a large choir, orchestra and accompanying singers.
The choir will be led, through a combination of face-to-face rehearsals and e-based tuition (available on-line for practising between rehearsals), by a highly-experienced professional conductor of national or international renown, The role will be that of both Chorus Director and the Conductor of the concert. The person appointed to this role is likely to change each year.
Most rehearsals will take place on Saturdays as full-day workshops, divided into morning and afternoon sessions. At least four of these will take place between September to April/May. Occasionally, evening rehearsals may be necessary, but these will usually only take place just before the concert.
Cumbria Singers will strengthen the links which already exist and increase its communication networks with other choirs, arts venues and cultural groups across the region. This will enable Cumbria Singers to regularly ‘signpost’ its members to other musical events taking place across Cumbria, recruit members and publicise its activities.
As opportunities arise, Cumbria Singers will work collaboratively with other organisations to enable its members to have opportunities to participate in innovative community-based projects co-ordinated by Cumbria Singers or other cultural groups.
We are pleased to announce that Cumbria Singers’ first Chorus Director/ Conductor, for the season September 2022 to May 2023, is to be Andrew Padmore.
Members should note that the AGM for 2021 will include a social afternoon, to take place on Saturday 27th November at a venue yet to be decided. More details will be provided directly to members as soon as possible.
- Chairperson Geoff Bowles 01768 773138 firstname.lastname@example.org
- Vice Chairperson Margaret Riches 01768 894404 email@example.com
- Treasurer Clive Riches 01768 894404 firstname.lastname@example.org
- Bookings Secretary Margaret Ferriby 01697 343351 email@example.com
- Minutes Secretary Ann Bishop 01697 352588 firstname.lastname@example.org
- Grants & Funding Margaret Riches 01768 894404 email@example.com
- Tickets Margaret Riches 01768 894404 firstname.lastname@example.org
- Librarian Jill Stewart email@example.com
- Data Protection Officer Geoff Bowles 01768 773138 firstname.lastname@example.org
- Kim Purvis
- Anna Blackburn
- Eileen Dunning
- David Opperman
- Jean Swinburn
- Lady Cressida Inglewood
- Anna Clark
- Ian Hare
- Eileen Dunning OBE
- Mark Duthie, Director of Music, Carlisle Cathedral
- The Rt. Rev. James Newcombe, Bishop of Carlisle
- Dr. Andrew Padmore, Choral & Orchestral Conductor
- Eileen Dunning
- David and Margaret Ferriby
- Lady Inglewood
- Lord and Lady Judd
- Margaret and John Rigg
- Anna Clark
- Bendles Solicitors LLP
We are grateful for the sponsorship received from the following organisations:
We are very grateful for the generous legacy donation by Evelyn Dover, a member of the Cumbria Rural Choirs for many years, who sadly died in October 2019. Such gifts are invaluable in supporting our ongoing activities.
Born in the Festival of Britain
The first concert of the Cumbria Rural Choirs was given in 1951 at the Pavillion in Keswick, as part of the North Lakeland Festival of Britain celebrations, with a performance that included Act II of Orpheus by Gluck. The orchestra then, and on many future occasions, was the Lemare Orchestra; the first conductor, Cyril Gell.
We have been fortunate to continue to attract well-known conductors and choral specialists. Recent conductors include John Butt, Andrew Padmore, Bob Chilcott, Simon Halsey, Nigel Perrin and Stephen Cleobury. We are also able to engage outstanding musicians, including the British Sinfonietta and Manchester Camerata.