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Choir history

There is an Imogen Holst arrangement of a folk song, copyright 1934, dedicated to "The Westhall Hill Singers", so there must have been a choir in Burford as long ago as that. The more recent choir began around 1960, first of all as a group of three female voices singing folk songs at a garden party. In the 1960s about a dozen members met in each other's living rooms, with John Tayler as conductor.

Between then and the 1980s the choir grew to around twenty or thirty, met in Witney and Burford, and had a number of conductors - Warren Green, Megan Smith, Stephen Banfield, Bob Oreschnik, Joyce Lang.

When Brian Etheridge took over as conductor in 1986, he recruited more people so that the choir could tackle major choral works. Membership grew to 80-plus, and standards rose once more. On his retirement he invited Brian Kay to become his successor and from 1999 the choir set up a new constitution, formed a committee and took on charitable status.

Our constitution reminds us to encourage young singers and to develop members' musical skills. We have enjoyed singing with the Cotswold Children's Choir at recent concerts, and propose to hold choir workshops locally to develop our own skills and to attract new singers.


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