Todmorden Choral Society sprang from the old Todmorden Musical Society which disbanded in 1914 at the beginning of the First World War. After the War, the two sections of the Society (instrumental and vocal) decided to go their own ways and Todmorden Orchestra and Todmorden Choral Society came into being. The two organisations are still separate but cooperate with each other on frequent occasions and are both still flourishing.
Jack Bednall was Todmorden Choral Society’s Conductor/Musical Director for 28 years prior to his death in March 2000 and Mrs Jennifer Mitchell was Accompanist for much of the same period. Since then we have been fortunate in securing the services of Antony Brannick (see below) as our Conductor/Musical Director.
Handel’s Messiah continues to be a popular annual event. In recent years we have performed works as varied as Mendelssohn’s Elijah, Bach’s Magnificat, Faure’s Requiem, Coleridge Taylor's Hiawatha’s Wedding Feast, Brahms’ Requiem and Mozart’s Kyrie.
Standing for the Hallelujah Chorus
We perform concerts at the end of October and the end of April each year. In addition there is an annual performance of the Messiah at the beginning of Advent and an informal Christmas concert during December. There is also a Summer performance during July.
Jane Booth was elected as the Chair of the Choral Society in 2013 and took on the challenge of trying to step into the shoes of Ann Boswell who had taken the lead for the previous seven years. Jane says: I joined the choir soon after we moved into the area having sung with small choirs in the past but I had never sung in such a big choir nor one that took on such exciting pieces of music. I do not have a formal musical background and was quite nervous but found the choir to be so welcoming. It is a real privilege to be a part of the choir. Singing is good for the soul - everyone should have a go!
Jane officially retired in 2010 after 40 years working in social care but still does some paid work. She is also involved as a volunteer with Incredible Edible Todmorden and enjoys the challenge of her own garden up on the tops above the town.
Although brought up in Shropshire, Antony was born in Yorkshire. Music featured from an early age. Antony began piano lessons at the age of 7 achieving distinction in grade 8 at the age of 14. He sang with the church choir as a boy treble. At the age of 16, Antony went to Atlantic College, an international school and sang with the college choir on tours to Europe.
At Cambridge University he read Law and sang with the University choir. In Lincoln, Antony sang with the Minster Consort and Lincoln Chorale. Antony moved to Northampton and there he sang with the Northampton Bach Choir and Chamber Choir Swarbricke Singers.
Returning to his Yorkshire roots in 1995, Antony joined Todmorden Choral Society, and became Music Director in 2000. Recently he has been hosting and performing in a series of informal chamber concerts entitled, ‘Antony and Friends’.
In Antony's 'spare time' he is a solicitor specialising in family law with local firm.