The choir has been in existence since May 2015, when it was founded by Gill Riley and the first rehearsals took place in her home. As the choir grew rehearsals were moved to the Palace Rooms on Garden Street and was originally called the Palace Community Choir. The choir continued to grow and after Christmas, for various reasons, it moved into the Memorial Hall on St Alban's Rd and became known as St Anne’s Community Choir. The choir continues to meet every Wednesday at the Memorial Hall in St Alban’s Rd.
The choir was growing and it had bookings: it sang at
several Christmas concerts and charity events.
Unfortunately, however, Gill had a couple of bouts of
ill health which meant that she couldn’t lead the choir for
some periods of time. Luckily they were rescued by Irene
and then David and Pat and latterly by Marilyn, Tony and
Chrissie (all of whom were already committed to their
The choir was very sad when Gill announced that, on her doctor’s orders, she had to stop singing and therefore to resign as the Musical Director. It became clear that a new MD had to be found or the choir would fold.
After a long search Richard Pomfret was finally appointed in September 2016. Richard came to the choir with an impressive record of choral work. He already lead choirs in York, Crosby and South Cumbria and all of them have an excellent reputation. He was so keen to help choirs improve that he travelled many miles to lead them. St Anne's Community Choir was actually the nearest to his home in Todmorden.
Unfortunately in 2019, Richard informed us that he would be moving away to Ireland to be nearer his family.
The anchor was always Chris Tootill who plays her piano with such expertise and talent and then, in emergencies, would turn into the choir leader as well. Unfortunately during 2018 Chris also began to fall ill and is no longer able to play for us.
Kevin Morgan joined us as pianist during 2019 and agreed to take on the position of our new MD after Richard's departure.
Kevin brings to the choir a wealth of experience. He began playing piano at the age of 3 and played the organ for his first Choral Evensong at Salisbury Cathedral. He studied music at Durham, Oxford, Cambridge and London Universities. In 1986 he became organist and choirmaster at Bolton Parish Church. Kevin has also taught at Bolton College and Stoneyhurst College.
The choir is non audition but our philosophy is that what is important is not how good the choir is but how willing the members are to learn and improve. St Anne's Community Choir considers itself lucky to have him as MD and looks forward to working with him, building our repertoire and, of course, improving.