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  The current Highworth Choral Society, founded in 1978, is not apparently the first under that title. We have been given a programme of "Highworth Choral Society's First Concert", from Friday July 25th 1941.

The concert was held in the "New School Hall" (Warneford wasn't yet built, so presumably what is now Southfields Primary School?) on behalf of the Lord Mayor of Bristol's War Services Fund for the relief of air raid victims. The Choir comprised 16 Sopranos, 8 Contraltos, 3 Tenors and 6 Basses, being almost matched by a President, 18 Vice-Presidents and 8 Patrons. The Musical Director was Mr. C.M. Campbell, B. Mus (Oxon).

The evening started, as concerts would have done in those days, with the National Anthem, and continued with:

  Off To The Cruise Charles Stanford
  Sumer is icumen in Anon.
  I Love Thee Gustav Holst
  Sleep Richard Walthew
  In a Harbour Grene Hubert Parry
Eleanor Warren (Cello)
  Adagio and Allegro John(?) Eccles
  Serenade from "Hassan" Frederick Delius
  The Wag Dorothy Howell
Kenneth Ellis(Bass)
  Three arias from "Maid Marian" Campbell
  The Emigrant Edric Cundell
  O Can Ye Sew Cushions Granville Bantock
  To Daffodils Frederick Cowen
  If Love Should Brush You Richard Walthew
Interval of a mere 10 minutes
  Sing We And Chant It Thomas Morley
  Chillingham Charles Stanford
  Sighing Winds Richard Walthew
  Love and Summer West
Eleanor Warren (Cello)
  Lullaby Cyril Scott
  Two Pieces Herbert Hughes
Kenneth Ellis(Bass)
  "Striking a Humorous Note" (Recitation?)
  Eight Musical Limericks Redman
  As Amoret with Phyllis Sat West
  Country Courting Arnold Williams
  A Cradle Song John Ireland
  John Hielandman John Foulds
  So, probably quite a long concert, with much material that has, inevitably maybe, fallen out of musical fashion. The cellist Eleanor Warren went on to a distinguished career as a cellist and later as a music producer for the BBC, and lived until July 2005.

A note at the bottom of the programme says: "The Society hopes to start its next season in September, when new members will be cordially welcomed".

But did it ever meet again? Or were there even earlier Choral Societies in Highworth? If you can shed any more light on our predecessors, please contact us.

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