The Swindon Choral Society is in full swing at its 2018 Christmas show. (Image: Swindon Choral Society)
Swindon’s oldest choral group are putting on their annual Christmas pageant for the first time in three years.
The Swindon Choral Society, now in its 93rd year of existence, will stage the Christmas concert, titled ‘On Christmas Night’, on Saturday 17 December.
The group’s two previous attempts in 2020 and 2021 unfortunately had to be abandoned due to the Covid 19 pandemic.
The group’s publicity manager, Kath Danswan, 73, welcomed the festive news after being disappointed with cancellations in the past.
“It’s wonderful that we’re singing again. We’re family and the camaraderie that comes from that is so important,” she said.
“Singing with professional soloists and orchestras also gives them much-needed work as freelancers during the pandemic.”
Kath, who has lived in Swindon since 1971 after leaving Canvey Island, has been with the band since 1986 after starting as a guitar and vocal teacher at a local school.
Despite this, she is not the oldest member present, with some people having been involved with the organization since the early 1970s.
2019 was the last year the band celebrated Christmas together and marked the occasion with a visit from a choir from Macon, Georgia, in the United States of America.
“It was great to have them to celebrate our 90th year in business, and we hope to make the trip back in a few years,” Kath said.
The Covid pandemic not only affected the Christmas shows, but had a negative impact on the number of members of the group, with the number of members dropping from 120 to around 90.
“We lost numbers during Covid because we couldn’t meet,” Kath said.
“People have come back, but we are starting to increase the number of new members who joined recently.”
Anyone considering joining the ever-growing group is welcome to do so, as the initiative is open to anyone interested.
“We like to encourage as many people as possible to sing with us. All ages and voices are welcome, with the group already welcoming sopranos, altos, tenors and basses,” Kath said.
“It keeps this kind of music alive in the public eye.”
The December event will take place at Christ Church on Cricklade Street and is scheduled to start at 6pm.
Prices range from £12 for adults and £3 for under 18s, with all proceeds going towards maintaining the group.