Putting the Community into Choir
December 10, 2021

Rydal Penrhos has put the Community back into Choir after a successful relaunch of a popular musical initiative following COVID-19 restrictions.

Formerly an Organ Scholar at Liverpool’s Metropolitan Cathedral and Organist and Master of the Choristers at St Asaph Cathedral, Mr Alan McGuinness was appointed to the Rydal Penrhos Music Department last year and is also tasked with running the relaunch of the school’s Community Choir.

The much-loved Choir was set up in 2013 to bring together the voices of our parents, former pupils, staff, and friends. It rehearses weekly and plans are being formed to organise concerts throughout the year to raise money for local and national causes.

To date, the choir have raised more than £8,000 for charity.

In celebration of this news, Brian Kay, who attended Rydal School from 1953-63, shared his experiences as a respected choirmaster for the latest edition of the digital Rydal Penrhos Society newsletter.

“Those long months of lockdown have created a whole host of problems for us all and for me, as a choral and orchestral conductor, they have been deeply frustrating.

“Not being able to sing in a choir or play in an orchestra – two of life’s most enriching activities – has taken away a particular pleasure that adds so much to our quality and enjoyment of life. It’s only when something like this is taken away from us that we realise how very important it is.

“My own 100-strong choir in my Cotswold home town of Burford is back in business and with 18 months of gossip to catch up on, there’s hardly been time to sing!

“I can only hope that singing and playing at Rydal Penrhos is back with a vengeance. After all, I owe my long life of amateur and professional music-making to my time at Rydal School, where the seeds were sown by the boundless enthusiasm and guidance of Director of Music Percy Heywood.

“It was he who first introduced me to so many great choral works which have formed the backbone of my life’s work and I never stop thanking my lucky stars – and Percy – and Rydal Penrhos – for laying such a positive foundation.

“If you’ve never joined in the singing, give it a go – it’ll change your life. And do come and join us as The Really Big Chorus leaps back into action after the pandemic.”

Brian Kay (Prep School, School House, Trojan, 53–63)

Rehearsals began on Monday 8 November, from 6.30pm until 7.30pm in the Memorial Hall. Tea and coffee are provided, and the Community Choir sing music in a variety of choral styles.

Please email amcguinness@rydalpenrhos.com if you would like to join.


Anyone wishing to enquire about Rydal Penrhos School can do so by calling 01492 530155, email admissions@rydalpenrhos.com or register your interest online here: https://rydalpenrhos.com/admissions/apply-now.