Chesterfield Co-operative Choral Society celebrated 80 years in 2017!

A brief history from 1937 to the present day...

The chesterfield choir was founded on the 6th January 1937 as the Chesterfield Labour Choir. By 1940 they had changed their name to the Chesterfield Mixed Voice Choir and accepted an offer from the Chesterfield Co-operative Education Department Committee to become one of its guilds and became the Chesterfield Co-operative Mixed Voice Choir, a name that remained for over 40 years.

In 1950, the choir’s founder conductor retired and was replaced by Edwin Priestnall, who also conducted Chesterfield Male Voice Choir. This seems to have fostered a good working relationship between the groups, increasing the number of men in the choir and encouraging the performance of joint concerts. This period of success on the concert and competition platform was brought to a sudden sad end in 1966 when Edwin died unexpectedly.

The choir in Alfreton, 7th April 1956

Deputy Musical Director Humphrey Carrington acted as caretaker until the appointment of Bob Davenport in 1967. In 1969, the choir performed at the 75th anniversary celebrations of the Chesterfield Co-operative Society. Twenty-five years later the choir would perform at the Crooked Spire for the Co-operative’s centenary service.

1982 saw the retirement of Bob Davenport and the start of a period of rapid changes of conductor until 1990 when Andrew Marples was appointed as accompanist with Mrs J McCourt as Musical Director. Eventually, Andrew took over the baton and a period of performances of works with small orchestra was continued from his predecessor. The choir performed some of these works, including Faure's Requiem, and Handel’s Messiah, as part of the 80th anniversary year in 2017.

The choir moved from their rehearsal venue at the Old Co-op rooms on Elder Way to Whittington Methodist Church in the 1990s, supported financially by the Midland’s Co-operative Group.

Andrew retired in 2010 after twenty years’ service and was succeeded by Jon Weller and then in 2011, by the choir’s current Musical Director, Adam Green.

Musical Directors of Chesterfield Co-operative Choral Society

Musical Director - Adam Green

Adam graduated from the University of Sheffield with a degree in Music and English and went on to gain his postgraduate degree in Education from the University of Nottingham. 

His musical experience has encompassed choral, brass and orchestral conducting; commissions for original compositions and arrangements; working in the education sector and as a private teacher. 

He is looking forward to leading the Chesterfield Co-op Choir through their 82nd season.

Musical Directors from 1937 to the present...

1937 - 1950             Mr P. Raynes

1950 - 1966             Mr Edwin Priestnall (MBE)

1966 - 1967             Mr W. Humphrey Carrington

1967 - 1982             Mr R.M. (Bob) Davenport

(exact dates during the period 1982-89 are unknown)

1982 - 1989             Mr P. Smith

                                Mr s B. Horn

                                Mr W. Madin

                                Mr W. Humphrey Carrington

                                Mr A. Bradley

1990 - 1996             Mrs J. McCourt

1996 - 1997             Mr Edgar Kennedy

1997 - 2010             Mr Andrew Marples

2010 - 2011             Mr Jon Weller

2011 - present        Mr Adam Green

Are you a past member who knows anything more about our history?

Can you add any information or do you have old programmes or posters?

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