Our choir was formed in 1974 by its first conductor, Dr Alwyn Surplice and rehearsed for many years at Twyford Methodist Chapel in The Drove. It has grown from around 30 members to its current size of about 80 and still has two of the founding members within its ranks. Other past conductors have been John Lunt, Alan Mottram and Peter Parfitt. Our present conductor, Derek Beck, took over the baton in 1995.
We are a friendly SATB choir and are proud to be non-auditioned; nevertheless previous choral experience and an ability to read music are both invaluable. We are currently up to our maximum strength and so our membership secretary keeps a waiting list of singers who would like to join us when a vacancy arises. Members live not only in Twyford but also in surrounding areas, including Winchester, Colden Common and Alresford.
Concerts and Performances
We give two main concerts per year:
The first, usually held in February or March, normally alternates on an annual basis between Twyford Parish Hall and an ecclesiastical venue, such as St Mary’s Twyford or St Cross Chapel. We are often able to make a significant donation to one or more local charities from the proceeds of this concert.
Our second concert is given with other local choirs as part of the Winchester and County Music Festival, the venue being either Winchester Cathedral or Romsey Abbey.
With breaks for public holidays (including some half-terms), rehearsals are held in Shawford Parish Hall, Pearson Lane, Shawford between 7.30 and 9.30pm every Tuesday, from early September to mid May. Parking is available at the hall and nearby.
There are also important joint rehearsals with other local choirs for our annual performance in the Winchester and County Music Festival. These rehearsals are held on two Sunday afternoons between 2.00 and 4.30pm in March and April and then on a Wednesday evening in April. Finally, we rehearse with the concert orchestra at 2pm on the Saturday afternoon of the performance. Derek issues a detailed schedule of all rehearsals and performances at the start of the Autumn and Spring terms.
Our present piano accompanist is Peter Tombling.
Our main social events are our Annual Dinner, held in either March or April, and a “bring and share supper”, following the AGM in June. We usually hold a “skittles evening” at The Phoenix Inn, Twyford in October, which includes supper. Such events help members to get to know one another better. We also hold a welcome back drinks occasion in September, particularly to welcome new members.
We continue to consult our membership about arranging further social activities.
One of our main aims is that all members enjoy themselves in the process of making music. Derek, through good humour and patience makes this possible by establishing a relaxed and happy atmosphere. Nevertheless, since we perform to paying audiences, it is vital that all members are as well prepared as possible. To this end, it is important that we find time to rehearse individually, helpful aids being CDs of professional performances and practice tapes/CDs, such as those sold by Choraline or Internet versions offered by Cyberbass (see Links), which are tailored to each SATB part. Individual practice also helps to enhance enjoyment of rehearsals and performances.
Last update: 08 September 2018
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Twyford Singers (Hampshire) is a registered charity, number 1085538