The day you receive this email attachment will be the sixth anniversary of the start of my tenure of the Musical Director position with HMVC. I had planned to say some or all of the following at my last rehearsal on 12th May 2020 but Coronavirus restrictions have put paid to that. Today seems like as good a day as any.

At the outset, I had no idea what to expect but, within a very few weeks, I was certain that we could achieve that indefinable but universally-well-known sound of a really good MVC. I also knew that I had to create a good working relationship with the pianist. Avril was, of course, very helpful and very committed to her position and she worked hard on rehearsing the piano parts at home. True to say that, in those first few months, the choir grew on me.

There have been many memorable moments during my six years at the helm but I would like to remind you of just a few (in no particular order). The lunchtime recital at Ripon Cathedral. The 50th Anniversary concert at the Royal Hall.  Awaydays. Sing Out. All the other performances have a place in the overflowing box of memorable moments; most of them for the right reasons and, just occasionally, for the wrong reasons.

I wanted to create a much more varied repertoire than had been the case before I took over and I think we have achieved that. As a choir, HMVC is now capable of performing to a much higher standard than was the case before 2014. The numbers of members in all sections are higher and we have been extremely fortunate to have both Davids to accompany us for the last few years. They have both displayed a fully professional attitude in both rehearsals and performances. It has been a great pleasure to work with them.

I am sure that you will find a good MD to take over from me in the next few months. Your Chairman and his committee are working very hard to make this happen. Do give them all the support you can.

I am hoping to remain connected to HMVC by being available to write any arrangements you might require in the next few years.

Thanks to you all for so much. It has been an unforgettable experience.

Best wishes,


March 2020.