Who we are
An independent society run by its members, Salford Choral Society was originally founded in 1947 at the instigation of Salford Council officials as the cultural life of the area blossomed after the war. It has grown to become a leading choir in the North West and now comprises some 100 enthusiastic singers from all areas of Greater Manchester. While we may be ‘amateur’ in the sense of being unpaid, our regular use of professional orchestras and young professional singers, and not least the skill of our Music Director and Accompanist and the enthusiasm of the members themselves, means that we are fully professional in the standard and style of our concerts.
The choir takes every opportunity to play an active part in the local community, and has participated in the Salford Charter Festival, Salford’s Creative City Week, the Centenary Celebrations of the Manchester Ship Canal, and the Chapel Street Mayfest. We have taken part in the BBC’s Songs of Praise from Salford in both 2001 and 2012 and were privileged in November 2009 to be invited by the BBC Philharmonic to perform the premiere of their newly commissioned work Wonder: a Scientific Oratorio, composed by Professor Alan Williams of Salford University. 2014 saw an invitation to perform the premiere of Deeper than all Roses written by another Salford professor, Stephen Davismoon, together with musicians from Salford and North Utah Universities, a string section from the RNCM, and Salford University Rock Band! A premiere of a different kind was the first performance in the UK in 2015 of the delightful Requiem in C by Luigi Gatti, lost in the archives of Salzburg Cathedral for some 200 years. Other interesting requests have involved some members singing at the 2012 Tri- Nations Autumn International Rugby Final and participating in sound tests for double glazing for the Channel 4 programme Double Your House!
Sarah Gilford (soprano)
'I just wanted to let you know how much I enjoyed performing with the Salford Choral Society on Saturday evening. The energy and the sound from the choir was really fantastic! I felt so welcomed and supported by everyone which was heart-warming and made my experience all the more special.
I would love to perform with the Salford Choral Society again if an opportunity arises.'
Hanna-Liisa Kirchin (alto)
‘… It was an absolute joy to sing with Salford Choral Society again, particularly in such a special and memorable concert.
I thoroughly enjoyed this brilliant piece of music, and I could tell that you all did too!!'
Social Activities and Fund Raising
Not only do we like to sing – we like cake (and then try to walk it off!). Cake sales to raise funds feature regularly at rehearsals and the more active support occasional sponsored walks. We also meet in the pub after rehearsal once a month for a relaxed chat. The formal part of the AGM is followed by a chance to relax with cheese and wine and an opportunity for individual members to entertain us with their party piece.
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Salford Choral Society has a history of providing a platform for up and coming young singers, giving them early experience of singing in concert venues with a full orchestra and chorus. Janet Baker, Amanda Roocroft, and Simon Keenlyside are among the well-known names that have appeared with us in the past.
In the beginning
In March 1947 Salford Councillor F J Lynch, Deputy Chairman of the Art Galleries, Libraries, Parks and Cemeteries Committee expressed the hope ‘that Peel Park Art Gallery might soon become an outstanding centre of Salford cultural and social life’. The then Curator of Salford Art Gallery immediately issued an open invitation to discuss the possibility of forming a Salford Orchestral, Choral and Music Lovers’ Society, and out of this initiative, both Salford Symphony Orchestra and Salford Choral Society were born. In fact the choir rehearsed at Salford Art Gallery from 1947 until the 1990s and concerts took place in the hall of the then Royal Technical College (now Peel Hall and part of Salford University) from the first concert of the Society in March 1948 until 1960. Subsequently most concerts were held in the Free Trade Hall until that closed in 1996, and the majority now take place at The Royal Northern College of Music, although we still perform some concerts in Peel Hall and other venues around Salford and Manchester.
We marked the first fifty years of the Society with a book covering our history Wednesday Night is Choral Night, copies are available to purchase at £10 - email firstname.lastname@example.org
Salford Choral Society is a Registered Charity No. 510583