Since its formation in 1995, the choir has been fortunate in having been led by a succession of talented Musical Directors, each with their own distinctive style and gifts. Adam Green, who in turn, passed the baton to Angie Cope, succeeded Catherine Silman. We were thrilled when Andrea Wright, who had served the choir so well in the capacity of Concert and Rehearsal Accompanist, accepted the position of Musical Director six years ago. We have since enjoyed a period of continuing development under her inspirational leadership. We wish Andrea well as she concentrates her very able talents in school and look forward to seeing her around the area. We welcome Kate Mercer as our new Musical Director. Kate grew up in Cheshire where she was a pupil at Altrincham Grammar School for Girls and attended the Junior Royal Northern College of Music, studying piano and percussion. She studied Music at the University of Sheffield where she was timpanist of the University Orchestra, sang with the Choir and Chamber Choir and was a frequent performer in lunchtime concerts as soloist and accompanist. After graduation she returned to the Manchester area to take up piano teaching posts at Loreto Grammar School and Chethams. She has been a member of the piano teaching staff at the Junior RNCM for 30 years and feels privileged to have worked with some extraordinarily talented young musicians. She has been a member of the Halle Choir, working on a range of repertoire with Sir Mark Elder and other notable conductors, of which the highlight was performing Beethoven’s ‘Missa solemnis’ at the Albert Hall in London as part of the BBC Proms. Currently the Head of Music at Greenbank Preparatory School in Cheadle Hulme she maintains a busy and active musical life as both teacher and performer.
We were also fortunate in Carol Reid as accompanist to the Choir. Carol is a first- class pianist who forms an excellent and supportive partnership with our musical directors. After studying music at Manchester University, Carol spent many years working as an IT manager in the Pharmaceutical industry, retaining music as a source of pleasure and relaxation. She particularly enjoys playing with and in support of other musicians, and has accompanied a number of choirs, including the Chapel-en-le-Frith Male Voice Choir for several years in the 1990s.
Since taking early retirement, Carol has been able to take on more accompanying assignments, including the local choirs in both Hathersage and Baslow, and is enjoying the challenge of taking on more individual accompanying assignments. She plays regularly at Whaley Bridge Uniting Church.
We seek to offer a wide variety of music and enjoy responding to the challenge of performing new pieces as well as cherishing ‘old favourites’. In addition to its summer and Christmas concerts, the choir has performed Maunder’s Olivet to Calvary, Faure’s Requiem and Poulenc’s Gloria at local venues. Also, music of a more modern nature, Leonard Cohen, Sting and Queen. In March of 2016 we held a ‘Workshop Day’, involving not only members of Hathersage Choir but drawing in singers from as far afield as Nottingham, Sheffield and Chesterfield. Culminating in a performance of Mozart’s Requiem, the day was a great success and was repeated at Easter 2017 when we performed Karl Jenkins’ “Armed Man”. Kate led a Come and Sing Day in February this year when we tackled Haydn's "Creation". Singers again from as far afield as Nottingham, Sheffield and Chesterfield joined members of the choir to produce a performance of song and narration which was well receive by those who came. The day was a great success and we hope to run a further workshop in 2019 We welcome new members and our secretary, Lesley Bentley (Tel 01433 620507) would be pleased to give further information.