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.
Emma was elected as Chair of the Choral Society in 2020, following in the formidable footsteps of Ann Boswell and Jane Booth. As an undergraduate student she sang with Cambridge University Choral Society and Magdalene College chapel choir; as a postgraduate student in London, she enjoyed several years with St Paul's Cathedral Chorus. After that life intervened, and she had a long break from singing until she moved to Todmorden and joined the Choral Society in 2010. Since then she has also sung and acted in a number of productions at the Hippodrome as a member of TAODS, and is a regular member of the small group Woven Voices.
In her day job she is a lecturer in Classics at the University of Leeds, but she finds singing essential for her well-being, and is inspired by the sense of tradition evoked by participating in the annual Messiah in Todmorden's magnificent Town Hall.
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.
President: Ann Boswell
Chair: Emma Stafford
Honorary Secretary: Eleanor James
Concert Secretaries: Barbara Miskin and Marie Charnley
Ticket Secretary: Sally Deith
Librarian: Ken Stafford
Soprano: Susan Mitchell
Alto: Sheila Towler
Tenor: Patrick Smith
Bass: Bob Hannam
Safeguarding Lead: Jane Booth
The safeguarding policy for the society can be found here.