One the choir's long term members, Ann Hawkins, died peacefully
in her sleep at the Cedars Nursing Home in Albrighton on Monday
2nd January 2023, at the grand old age of 102.
Amazingly, Ann joined
the WDCS choir back in 1969 and was a member for over sixty years,
only ceasing to attend weekly rehearsals when she was unable
to do so around the time she celebrated her 100th birthday back
on Thursday 20th October 2020 - more information >>
Details of her funeral
arrangements to follow...
It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of our
choir member and dear friend Sheila Jones.
She had been a member
of Wombourne and District Choral Society since 1979 and played
a very active part in the running and support of the choir, being
a Committee Member and also helping to raise over £6000
by selling her greetings cards at rehearsals to choir members
over a period of many years.
She had suffered
ill health for some time and had spent the last seven weeks in
New Cross Hospital.
Her funeral will
take place on Wednesday 9th November 2022. There will be a service
at the Crematorium at 1.30pm for family and close friends, followed
by a service at 2.45pm in the Methodist Church in Histons Hill,
Codsall. The choir have been asked to sing at the church service.
Concert 2022 was dedicated to the fond memory of Beryl, who sadly
died on 10th February 2022 aged 83. She had been our accompanist
for over 15 years, only relinquishing her role three years ago
when she first became aware it was becoming too much for her.
Members of the Choir were privileged to perform the Agnus
Dei from the Faure Requiem at her committal service on
8th March in Telford.
In a moving address given at her memorial service by a close
friend, David Corden, who is singing with us this evening, she
was described as lovely, elegant, incredibly
talented, generous, unassuming,
attributes which we in the Choir knew and loved so much in her.
Music had been her life, her talents as a pianist being fully
recognised when a teenager, winning her a place at Birmingham
School of Music, now the Conservatoire, where she continued her
piano studies along with singing lessons. As well as playing
the organ in local churches, Beryl developed her beautiful soprano
voice, becoming a member and soloist with the City of Birmingham
Choir. Never neglecting her passion for the piano, she was a
frequent solo performer, whilst teaching piano and singing in
the local area, additionally being appointed an accompanist for
the renowned Charterhouse Summer School of Music. It was during
this period that in 2003 she became rehearsal and concert accompanist
for WDCS, often performing alongside our former Musical Director,
She will long be remembered for her faithful commitment to the
Choir, and most especially for her consummate musicality, her
sheer hard work and the unfailingly charming and unassuming manner
with which she immersed herself in all the choirs affairs.
We are delighted that members of her family are here this evening
to share in this commemoration of her life with us.
NEW EXCITING BEGINNING...
Following the massive effects of COVID-19, we were unable to
perform any of our planned concerts for several months. During
this time Ian Clarke decided that the time had come to retire
as our Musical Director, plus our accompanist, Tony Bridgewater
decided to leave because of other new musical commitments. On
top of this, our present rehearsal venue was no longer available.
However, with the sterling efforts of our Chairman, Henry Ibberson,
Eileen Brown and other members of the committee, these major
problems have all been solved...
We now have a NEW Musical Director, Dr Edward Caine, who will bring with him a NEW accompanist.
now rehearse every Monday evening in term time at Springdale
Methodist Church, Warstones Road, Penn, Wolverhampton WV4 4LF
from 7.30pm to 9.30pm.
to find our rehearsal venue...
is taken by our Musical Director, Edd Caine and the accompanist is (to be announced).
are always welcome...
New singers are always welcome to the choir.
For more information, contact our Membership Secretary, Eileen
Brown at email@example.com or on 01902 892391.
|In 2019, our choir celebrated it's 90th
back in 1929, the WDCS Choir celebrated its 90th anniversary
in 2019... quite an achievement! To celebrate this event, the
choir performed three concerts during that year.
On Saturday 13th April 2019, we performed Verdi Requiem
in conjunction with the City of Wolverhampton Choir at
St John's Church in the Square, Wolverhampton, commencing
Then on Saturday 13th July 2019, we held a special 90th
Anniversary Celebration Gala Concert at the Wolverhampton
Grammar School on 13th July 2019, commencing at 7.00pm.
The Chamber Choir from the School also took part in this event.
To round off the special
year, we performed Handel's Messiah, again at St John's
Church in the Square, Wolverhampton on Saturday 7th December
2019 at 7.30pm.
heard today, the sad news that John Bolus, a long serving Tenor
in our choir has passed away.
Choir members will probably remember the picture which John painted
of Brewood Parish Church. We presented two paintings to our French
friends Chantemoy of the churches in which we had
our joint concerts, when they visited us in 2005.
Apart from his sterling work with the usually small group of
tenors, John has also for many years organised the practice disks
and downloads for the individual parts of the music which we
perform. This has been an enormous help in preparing the choir
for the concerts.
Condolences and very best wishes to Johns family at this
very sad time.
is with sadness that the death on 10th September 2020 of much
loved baritone Adrian Clarke is announced.
He was a joy to work with, full of character and love for his
art, and also a most delightful man with a gleeful sense of humour
and a nose for a good glass of red.
Our thoughts are with his wife, Sarah Pring and his family.
Classic FM Request...
As part on the many celebrations for Ann's special birthday,
our Chairman, Henry, contacted Bill Turnbull, presenter of a
request programme on Classic FM and asked if part of the Verdi
Requiem could be played to celebrate Ann's birthday.
The result can be heard in the following recording >> Click
|Ann Hawkins meets her goal on
Ann Hawkins, a member of WDCS Choir since 1969 reached her 100th
birthday on Thursday 20th October 2020. Robbed of any alternative
means of celebrating Anns wonderful achievement, eight
members of WDCS ( Eileen, MIke Coope, Mike Hayward, Denis Beaumont,
Gil Sadler, Mary Hayward, Jill Mason, Liz and myself ) joined
by three close friends from Pattingham, gathered to form a fully
Covid Compliant Choir in front of Anns house at 10.00h
on the morning of her Birthday.
Our good friend and highly talented musician John Fellows ( many
of you may know him, as he has lead choirs and directed musical
activities in and around Pattingham for many decades! ) was at
the keyboard leading us in his own arrangements of Happy
Birthday and a specially written arrangement of
Congratulations & Jubilations, adapted to reflect many
of Anns lifetime passions and activities.
She knew nothing about this in advance and was clearly overwhelmed
and delighted, ( she was expecting a disappointingly low-key
Birthday due to all the pandemic restrictions ), especially with
the huge bouquet of flowers we presented to her on behalf of
you all, and, of course, since she still enjoys her tipples,
the champagne and single-malt whisky which accompanied it - oh
and a splendid iced fruit cake, made by the Lychgate Pattingham
village cafe owner, the candles on which, configured as the number
100, she almost completely extinguished as we gave her three
She is a truly remarkable lady... We give her our heartiest congratulations
on achieving her Century in such good health and God willing,
may we all be privileged to share still more milestone Birthdays
with her. She asked me to send her warmest thanks and very best
wishes to you all.
|WDCS and village members, all socially distanced,
prepare to sing Happy Birthday to Ann...
|WDCS Chairman, Henry, presents Ann with
a large bouquet of flowers from the choir...
|Ann starts to blow out the 100 candles on
the special Birthday cake. She made it !
|A specially designed card containing the
John Fellows music is given to Ann by Mike...
who wrote the special piece for Ann's birthday and also accompanied
the small choir when they performed it in front of her house.
Anniversary Song... 100 today!' by John Fellows...
A hundreth birthday's something special certainly,
It gives us pleasure to sing this measure,
And pay our tributes with this well-known melody.
The notes are there, - we cannot guarantee their order!
Our song is 'off-the-cuff' we couldn't quite afford the...
WOMBOURNE CHORAL to achieve that near perfection,
But it's the thought that counts, we sing with great affection
CONGRATULATIONS, and CELEBRATIONS,
Dear Ann's a hundred so we mark it tunefully,
So let's get swinging, and let's get singing,
and celebrate with this top hundred melody!
You may have packed away the tennis shorts and racquet,
You may have ditched the car and stored that hiking jacket,
You may have picked last grapes that gave such satisfaction,
We wonder what comes next that'll stir you into action?
CONGRATULATIONS, and CELEBRATIONS,
Dear Ann's a hundred so we mark it tunefully,
So let's get swinging, and let's get singing,
AND CELEBRATE YOUR 100th ANNIVERSARY!
NOW the video
Although still photography is his forte, David Coxsell of In-Depth
Photos in Pattingham agreed to video Ann's celebration event,
for which we thank him. In order to avoid possible music copyright
conflicts, we regret that we have had to remove some of the musical
content of the video. Click here >>
Fairclough is ordained as a Deacon at Lichfield Cathedral on
26th September 2020...
from Liverpool, Valerie now calls Wolverhampton home and is a
member of WDCS singing in the sopranos. She lives with her husband
Stephen, two dogs and a cat. Valerie has two grown up daughters
and three granddaughters. She worked as a teacher, mainly in
Further Education, for many years; this was her vocation for
her adult working life. Valerie first felt a calling to be a
priest as a teenager, but women were not allowed to be priests
back then. So she waited.
During her years of teaching, she learnt what it is to walk alongside
those who dont have an easy life; she learnt to have a
listening ear and empathy. Valerie learnt to respect and love
those who are marginalised and oppressed. This was time not wasted.
A few years before retirement, Valerie felt Gods call again
and became a Reader but it was not enough. God called her on.
Valerie thought she was too old, but remembered Sarah who laughed
when God told her she would be the mother of Gods people.
Valerie finally accepted Gods will for her. Valerie has
learnt that God loves us and can call us into service at any
age. Her advice for those exploring Gods call - do not
be afraid if you are called later in your life; be open to all
possibilities, with prayer.
Valerie will serve
her title in the Central Wolverhampton team with Revd Ray Gaston.
To see the full
service on video, follow the facebook
, jumping the first 13 minutes of test screen...
Hawkins at 99years...
on Monday 21st October 2019, celebrations were afoot to congratulate
Ann Hawkins on reaching her 99th year. Ann joined the choir in
1969 and has been a regular member since then. Chairman, Henry
Ibberson presented Ann with a special birthday card signed by
all the choir members and birthday cakes, shared amongst all
choir members. Happy Birthday, Ann and looking forward to your
next birthday !
of Wombourne Choral Society for many years, Cedric recently passed
away and his funeral was held at St Bart's Church, Penn where
he was a chorister.
The church choir together with members of Wombourne Choral Society
sang during the service of dedication, including John Rutter's
'The Lord bless you and keep you' and two pieces from Faure's
Cedric excelled at detailed wood work and several of the items
he had made were on show in the church. The following images
give an insight as to his amazing talent in the art.
Cutting from the Express & Star
plus Shropshire Star - 17th July 2019
Web page from the Shropshire Star -
5th July 2019
Web page from the Express & Star
- 5th July 2019
to our NEW website...
in February 2019, our new website of is packed with
information about our choir... past, present and future.
Be sure to place it in your 'favourites' list.
The NEW domain is www.wombournechoralsociety.org
of our choir celebrates her 98th birthday...
Many congratulations to choir member,
Ann Hawkins who recently celebrated her 98th birthday.
Ann has been a loyal member of the choir since she joined back
At rehearsal, the whole choir sang 'Happy Birthday' to Ann.
2017 - 50 years of singing...
Congratulations to Annette and Eileen who both celebrated 50
years singing with Wombourne and District Choral Society.
They received flowers from chairman Henry at a recent rehearsal
for the society's November concert, Dvorak's Stabat Mater, in
tribute to their long association with the society and also thanking
them for their contribution as members of the committee.
our concerts can now be ordered on line from our website,
phoning 01902 744447 or buying on the door on the night of the
Mater Concert on 25th November 2017 was dedicated to the memory
of Sonia Nixon who was a member of Wombourne & District Choral
Society for many years.
Her generous legacy to the choir, for which we are most grateful,
confirms her great love of music and how much the choir meant
Sonia Nixon (4.6.1931 - 29.11.2016)
Most of Sonias childhood was spent in India where her father
was a soldier in the British Army (Royal Artillery and later
Royal Indian Artillary) and she always had fascinating stories
to tell about those days and the dangers during the period of
the Partition of India in 1947 which she and her younger sister,
Madge, faced as they left to return home.
On returning to England amonst other things, she worked for Wolverhampton
Council in the Parks Department and later became a legal secretary
in a local solicitors office.
Those were her day jobs, but Sonia was an extremely gifted and
artistic person who painted, embroidered, modelled in clay and
wrote stories - anything requiring flare and imagination.
Above all, she loved music, had singing lessons and was thrilled
when she passed the audition to join the CBSO chorus as one of
the founding members in 1973 which she did for about fifteen
years, mostly under the conductor Louis Frémaux and later
Simon Rattle. She sang in St Johns choir here in Wolverhampton
and also with the Berridge Singers and finally joined the Wombourne
& District Choral Society and her generous gift given in
her will is testament to how much this choir meant to her.
Sonia retired early in order to care for her ageing mother and
they lived in a large Victorian house which was big enough for
them to let rooms to actors working in the Wolverhampton theatre.
Sonia moved to Dorset to be with her sister Madge at the end
of her life, but until then lived happliy with her beloved cats
and her treasured memories. She was always caring and sensitive
and is greatly missed by her many friends.
thanks to Mary Brown, a friend of Sonia and present member of
WDCS for her contribution of these memories of Sonias life.