About the Choir

Rehearsals are on Wednesday evenings and currently with covid restrictions from 19:00 to 21:00 at….

Alnwick and District Choral Society was founded in 1933, although records of a Choral Society can be traced to the middle of the 19th Century.

During World War II the Society was suspended although Jackie Burn kept a choir going in Alnmouth until the Choral Society was restarted in 1947.

Since then, regular concerts have been performed in local Churches, halls and the Playhouse, as well as more informal events in places such as Cragside, Hulne Park and Brinkburn Priory.

Musical Director: Peter Brown

Peter Brown was brought up in Somerset and was involved in music from a very early age, singing in choirs and playing piano and organ.

At the age of sixteen he was appointed as assistant organist at his large parish church. He won an organ scholarship to University College, Oxford and had responsibility for the chapel choir as well as singing and recording with Oxford Pro Musica.

He read history and taught the subject for many years. Peter has composed seven musicals, which have been performed by his youth groups, and many other pieces for his various choirs.

At present, as well as being Musical Director of the Choral Society, Peter is Director of Alnwick Playhouse Community Choir and of Rock Festival Choir.

He is also Music Director of The Playhouse Youth Theatre and still finds time to teach and to lead children’s music and drama workshops.

Peter is a regular Musical Director for Alnwick Stage Musical Society productions.

Deputy Conductor:
Veronica Gilbert

Organist: Linden Innes-Hopkins

Linden studied organ and piano at the Royal College of Music in London. She was awarded the prestigious Fellow of the Royal College of Organists diploma in 1977 by which time she was already working as a teacher, accompanist and church organist. These three strands were to form the mainstay of her professional life, first in London and subsequently in Guildford and St Albans. Linden has been accompanist for several choirs including the St Albans Bach Choir and has held the post of Director of Music in a number of parish churches, most recently St Mary’s Welwyn. In addition to this work, she has run a successful piano teaching practice from her home studio and engaged in regular concert and recital work, highlights being recitals at St Albans Cathedral and St Paul’s Cathedral. Linden has three daughters, one a musician, one a patisserie chef and one an executive for the Port of London Authority. Although she ‘retired’ in 2021 and moved from St Albans to Alnwick, Linden continues to be engaged in music albeit less intensively: she plays for services regularly at St Michael’s and gave an organ recital there in January 2024 which was well received. She is delighted to have been asked to take up the role of concert organist for the Alnwick and District Choral Society. Beyond the world of music, Linden is a keen walker and has joined the U3A ‘long’ walking group which has given her much pleasure with regular forays into the Cheviots as well as exploring sections of the superb Northumberland coast.

Pianist: Margaret Watchorn

Margaret Watchorn grew up in north Northumberland and was awarded a County Music Scholarship to study piano with Brenda McDermott and Denis Matthews before reading music at York University, where singing became her first study.

After a career as a primary teacher and headteacher, Margaret now pursues a varied musical path, mainly with her husband Andy, with whom she performs traditional music throughout the UK and beyond. Equally at home playing traditional fiddle or classical piano, she researches the music of rural Northumberland and has had two pieces for string quartet premiered by members of Royal Northern Sinfonia as part of the ‘Fiddles on Fire’ festival.

She sings with Rock Festival Choir as well as running a monthly group devoted to early vocal music, and enjoys the challenge of mastering the Swedish nyckelharpa.

Some Early Images

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Where it all began

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 Copyright 2024 – ADCS.