Cumbria Crack

50 Singers Unite in Special Celebration of 50th Anniversary

Clive Walkley conducting Pro Nobis Singers in rehearsal

Singers from across the region will join regular members of the Pro Nobis Singers at Kendal Parish Church on Saturday 15th June to form a 50-strong choir in a celebration of half a century of music-making.

Pro Nobis Singers was founded in 1969 by its conductor, Clive Walkley, when he first moved to Cumbria to take up a post as Lecturer in Music at Charlotte Mason College in Ambleside.

“This will be a special celebration indeed,” says Clive. “It’s incredible to believe it is 50 years since a group of us first began meeting at each other’s homes to sing madrigals.”

From these humble beginnings, the choir has now given nearly 200 performances and been invited to perform at some of the north’s most prestigious classical festivals, including regular concerts for Lake District Summer Music.

In recognition of its contribution to the cultural life of the area it was a finalist in last year’s Cumbria Life Culture Awards.

The choir usually numbers approximately thirty. For this special celebratory concert, other singers from the North West have been invited to join the choir to perform works by Henry Purcell and the 18th century Catalonian composer Francisco Valls.

Soloists in the Valls include renowned soprano Evelyn Tubb, the choir’s President, countertenor Iestyn Morris, tenor Samuel Jenkins and baritone Jonathan Millican.

The 50th anniversary concert also includes a remarkable and rarely-heard 16th century work by Alessandro Striggio, which has the enlarged choir sing in 40 individual parts.

“Clive’s imaginative programmes always makes these concerts so varied and interesting, for us as singers as well as for the audiences,” says Rebecca Swift, a young North Yorkshire-based GP who travels 40 minutes each way every Thursday to rehearse with the choir in Natland. “I am really looking forward to the Striggio – an incredible challenge, but the result will be spine-tingling and a fitting way for us to celebrate!”

Tickets for the concert, which begins at 7.30pm on June 15th, can be bought on the night at Kendal Parish Church. Further details  of the choir and future concerts can be found on their website at www.pronobis‑

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