idea of forming a choral society was the brainwave of George Faulkner, organist
at St. Peter’s Church in Wellesbourne, who had recognised how much local
musical talent there was following works performed in the church. A notice was
put out, asking anyone interested in forming a choir, to attend a meeting at
Wellesbourne School in January 1974. Enough enthusiastic singers came forward to
enable the choral society to be a possibility and their first work was The
Crucifixion by John Stainer, performed in St. Peter’s Church that year.
the success of this performance, a formal decision was made to launch the
society, with its constitution stating that its object was “ to give pleasure
and enjoyment to its members and others in the study and performance of music in
all its aspects”. George Faulkner was elected Musical Director and a committee
first president of the society was Roy Smart, a talented musician and composer,
who was very supportive of the society from its inception. Roy composed many
works, some of which were written especially for the society, including an
Easter work, which the society performed in 1977.
have always been on a Tuesday evening and in the early days, were held at
Wellesbourne School. Since then, over the years, the society has also used the
Church Hall, the Methodist School Room, the Village Hall, the Church Rooms, the
Methodist Church and even the first floor Music Room at Pitt House in Chestnut
Square, which belonged to its then president, Judge Lind-Smith.
began at 7.30pm and usually finished at 9.30pm although if they were going
badly, they might even go on until 10pm! Auditions for new members were held
before the rehearsal started in both September and April, with the annual
subscription being 50p.
were performed, and indeed still are, three times a year with content to suit
the season – Christmas, Easter and in the summer, a collection of music on a
lighter theme. One performance would be in Wellesbourne with a second or third
at another venue, often by request. Most of these concerts have been used to
raise money for charities and many thousands of pounds have been donated over
the years. A request was also received from the ‘International Friendship
League’ for the society to participate in a service of Nine Lessons and Carols
to be held at the Guild Chapel in Stratford-upon-Avon. This annual event was to
continue for almost thirty years.
the choir had no uniform but by 1976, they had decided that this should be
rectified. A large quantity of maroon material was purchased and each of the
ladies made their own full–length pinafore dress, underneath which they could
wear a white blouse in the summer or a jumper in the winter. The gentlemen wore
a dark lounge suit or a dinner jacket, a white shirt and a red bow tie to match
the ladies dresses. This uniform continued until the 1991/2 season, when,
because the society no longer had material to make up dresses for new female
members, the ladies made the change to a long black skirt and a white blouse.
number of members of the society has fluctuated over the years. Within the first
two or three years of its formation, the singing members totalled fifty five but
there have generally been between thirty and forty. Supporters of the society
were encouraged to become patrons and by paying an annual fee, were then able to
have concert tickets at a reduced rate. Free life membership could also be
conferred on anyone giving outstanding service to the society.
society has had many of its concerts reported in the local press and from an
early stage, it was decided to keep a scrapbook of these, along with a copy of
the programme. After more than thirty six years, this is now a valuable record
of the history of the society.
1999, after twenty five years as Musical Director, George decided to hang up his
baton. However, the society was fortunate in having a very able deputy, in
Margaret Cox, who was willing to continue with the work that George had started.
Choral Society has been described as “The best thing that happened to
All of the members would agree with that.