Chesterfield Co-operative Choral Society was founded in 1937
and continues to go from strength to strength!
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.
Accompanist - George Parsons
George Parsons is the accompanist for the Chesterfield Co-operative Choral Society. George was a boy chorister at King’s College, Cambridge, where he also began organ lessons. As a sixth-former he was Junior Organ Scholar at Wells Cathedral and, after further study at the Conservatorium van Amsterdam, he read music at The Queen’s College, Oxford, where he was also an organ scholar. Since graduating in 2003, George has worked in music ministry for churches in London and Sheffield, and in 2016 completed a PhD in Musicology, analysing the overlap between music and Christian theology in the orchestral Triduum triptych by Sir James MacMillan. In addition to working as a freelance teacher, accompanist, and recitalist (work which has taken him around Europe, to Africa and to the USA), George works as the Worship Pastor at St Catherine’s Church in Wakefield.
Recent work as an academic and writer has seen George contribute the programme notes for David Goode’s 2020 recording of the complete Bach organ works for Signum Classics, and act as the co-editor of James MacMillan Studies for Cambridge University Press (2020). Based in Chesterfield, George also serves as the accompanist for the local Rose Choir and has recently been appointed as the Music Director of the Sheffield-based Escafeld Chorale. He is a Fellow of the Royal College of Organists.
A brief history of the choir 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 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
Andrew Marples with the choir c.2010
Adam Green conducting the choir at
Chesterfield Library in 2017
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Can you add any information or do you have old programmes or posters?
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