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40th Anniversary Concert

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From the Swindon Advertiser

A Choir in Highworth celebrated its 40th anniversary in style with a concert in the town’s newly-renovated church.

The Highworth Choral Society performed Mozart’s Requiem with an orchestra of 23 people, 51 choir members and four soloists inside St Michael and All Angels Church, all directed by Jacki Pattenden.

Every guest enjoyed a little cupcake before they took their seats.

Choir chair Amanda Jefferies joined the society in 1982. She said:" This was the best turnout we've ever had and everybody came out of it with a real buzz, it was brilliant. The church was absolutely manic and packed full of people, which was very gratifying to see.
"The church looks stunning, it's really light and airy and the acoustics are much better now.

"Three people have been members of this choir since it began and several have been part of it for 30 years. I think people like us because we're welcoming to singers of all abilities and put on a variety of shows throughout the year.
"It became a fixed group for a while but we've been getting some new younger members which is promising for the future and the next 40 years. Thank you to everyone for making our anniversary concert a big success."

The event marked the first time the church had been used by a community group for a non-religious event, which was made possible by the completion of a £1.2 million pound renovation.

Highworth mayor Julia Bishop said: “It was fabulous, the church was full right to the back wall with the choir and the audience, I can’t believe they got a small orchestra inside, the soloists were incredible, it all sounded brilliant.”

The church’s vicar Rev Geoff Sowden said: “We would never have been able to fit that many people in there before the renovation, the pews would have got in the way. They used the flexible space to its fullest extent.”

The choir rehearses on Monday evenings at 7.30pm in the Methodist Church on Lechlade Road. Anyone can come along to watch and the choir is always eager to be joined by new members, especially tenors and basses. Their next concert is on July 13.

The Fairford Choral Society helped out at the anniversary concert because the two choral societies share a few members, so the Highworth group will return the favour at their next concert on May 11 at St Mary's Church in Fairford.

Swindon Advertiser 22 April 2019

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