Musical Memories - Penny Morgan

  • Posted on: 6 May 2022
  • By: huw

Although primarily an instrumentalist, singing has always been a part of my life. One of my earlier recollections is as a nervous 11 year old preparing to sing the opening verse of Once in Royal David’s City for the annual school carol concert in St Johns Church, Digswell, Hertfordshire.

Remembering St Mary's - Neil Heywood

  • Posted on: 9 March 2022
  • By: huw

It will be sixty years ago this September that I went up to London, aged just 18, to become a student at London University. Fresh from the sixth form and a bit adrift in this huge city, I looked for something to do, and as a keen singer at school and in the Hull Bach Choir, I found the University Madrigal Society at a freshers’ evening and went to a couple of meetings.

Growing up in Kenya - John Crosher

  • Posted on: 9 March 2022
  • By: huw

Nearly all my schooling from age 6 to 19 was spent in Kenya, which in those colonial days, and looking back, was a wonderful time. My primary boarding school was near Thomson's Falls (now called Nyahururu and is a tourist attraction) which is in the Laikipia district, close to the edge of the Great Rift Valley. It was partially surrounded by tropical forest, so at break time we went into it and saw colobus monkeys swinging through the trees, and other wildlife.

A dual life - Ian Boughton

  • Posted on: 9 March 2022
  • By: huw

Having just joined the Royston Choral Society to get my vocals back in training, I feel I have come full circle in my musical activities. I was a late developer, only taking a real interest in the passion for singing in my mid 20’s when I began formal lessons with the late Malcolm Singer. I’ve always been interested in stage-work and belonged to two amateur dramatic societies but, despite my heritage of being the youngest grandson of English composer Rutland Boughton (1878-1960) I had no ambition on the music profession and instead joined the Civil Service.

My musical life - Steve Richards

  • Posted on: 9 March 2022
  • By: huw

Thanks to a proactive teaching culture, I was introduced to music at Tannery Drift School in in Royston in 1964 where many pupils took up the recorder. For me, this soon progressed to clarinet and piano. The award of a ‘junior exhibition’ led to free lessons and placements with various Hertfordshire ensembles, including the County Youth Orchestra.

A Musical Life - Debbie Davies

  • Posted on: 8 January 2022
  • By: huw

My earliest musical memories include listening to Family Favourites on the radio and records that my parents played to my brother and me, which included The Nutcracker, Peter and the Wolf and The Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra. My parents both played the piano and sang, and my brother and I inherited the musical gene – he is a very talented composer in the English early 20th Century style. I may be slightly biased, but a few years ago he won a national composing competition and one of the prizes was a tutorial with Judith Weir, Master of the Queen’s Music.

Unsung Heroes

  • Posted on: 8 January 2022
  • By: huw

When congratulated on their success, you often hear individual sporting winners saying ‘it was a team effort’. The success of our first Royston Choral Society for two years - in Standon on 11th December - was very much down to the combined effort of many people; a large number working behind the scenes.

Conductor Andrew O’Brien, sketched by Sue Sanders

Singing Notes - Ann Hoptroff

  • Posted on: 8 January 2022
  • By: huw

Ann Hoptroff is an alto singer with Royston Choral Society and was a soloist at our recent concert in Standon. Below she shares her musical influences.

My love of singing started as a child. Being one of 11 children, our home was always full of music - from pop to classical. I sang in the church choir on a Sunday at Mass in the morning and benediction in the afternoon.

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