Story of a proud musical history

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More than 80 people attended the January meeting of the Mytholmroyd Historical Society when Mr Nigel Castledine gave a talk on the “Halifax Choral Society - the oldest in the world.”

He was supported by Ann Copeland, a fellow member of the Choral Society and was introduced by Evelyn Graham, president of the Historical Society.

Mr Castledine told members that the choral society was founded in 1817 by William Priestley who was born in 1799. He was a member of a local family engaged in the wool trade and travelled to Germany on business, where he developed a love of German choral music.

Mr Castledine said the local choral society was founded as an amateur society and still was. The members, both men and women, first practised in the assembly rooms above a local inn. The society was the oldest in the world with an unbroken performance record, continuing through two world wars and had performed every year since 1817.

He also said the society had performed with many famous orchestras and bands, including the Halle and Black Dyke. To illustrated the talk recordings of the choral society with the famous orchestras and bands were played to members.

Thanks were expressed by Audrey Short.

The next meeting will be on Friday, February 11 at 7.30pm, at Mytholmroyd Methodist Church, when Vicky Swinglehurst will present “Roses red and violets blue”. Members library will open at 7pm. New members are welcome.