Grand finale for Kinder Children’s Choirs
Joyce Ellis established the Kinder Children’s Choirs of the High Peak in 1991, so 30 years ago. Over the past three decades it has been a great joy and a privilege for us to witness the wonderful music made by hundreds of children and young people from the High Peak and beyond. Joyce has led, set and achieved the highest of choral standards and delighted us with their performances. It is simply astounding that the Choirs, based in such a small rural area, could achieve international success over a prolonged period.
Amazingly Joyce has never voice tested recruits, taking all comers and nurturing them to collectively achieve musical excellence. The organisation has been run on traditional lines, with self-discipline and teamwork being central to the Choir ethos. It has shaped the lives of many children and young people, members from every social background and ability.
The achievements and experiences over three decades have been very considerable and life enhancing. The Choirs have:
- Won the International Eisteddfod twice, competing against top choirs from all around the world – invariably in the top 4 when not winners!
- Sung for national and local commemorations, concerts or national competitions in outstanding venues like cathedrals such as St Paul’s, Chester, Coventry, Lincoln, Exeter and others, The South Bank, Bridgewater Hall, Liverpool Philharmonic Hall, the Palace of Westminster, The Painted Hall at Chatsworth and so many more in addition to our local venues such as Buxton Opera House, churches and village halls!
- Performed for the BBC, including the Ripieno Chorus in Bach’s St Matthew Passion live on Good Friday, various Songs of Praise programmes, many times Choir of the Day and finalists in BBC Radio3 Choir of the Year, provided soloists and groups for English Touring Opera and Opera North.
- Performed for members of the Royal Family.
- Been privileged to sing with so many world class musicians, including our Vice President Susan Bullock CBE, Yvonne Howard a Life Patron, Sir Willard White and Nicky Spence, Susan Bickley and many more.
- There have been five tours of Germany and Belgium and eight in France, all of which have been truly life enhancing experiences. Many choristers had never travelled out of the UK previously and the cultural and musical experience was huge and exciting.
What an honour for the Choirs to be the only British non-military organisation to participate in the 60th anniversary of D-Day and the Battle of Normandy. They were outstanding ambassadors for the UK as they sang their hearts out in front of large audiences in Normandy including appreciative veterans. They have been impressive ambassadors for the last 30 years.
The list could go on and on!
Sadly, nothing lasts forever!
We are writing to let you know that we (the Trustees, Carol and Joyce) have decided that this will be the last year for the Kinder Children’s Charity. This has not been an easy decision at all but we have had to take into account decreasing membership, diminishing audiences and our limited finances.
Most of all though, it is time for Joyce to reduce her workload and to enjoy her semi-retirement. Over the decades she has been the Choirs’ Founder and leader and its inspiration. The final event for Choirs will be the 30th Anniversary concert at St John’s Church, Buxton on 20th November 2021. This will be a fitting finale and will demonstrate the legacy of Joyce’s work when the Kinder Children’s Choir, will be joined by a large and impressive Kinder Alumni Choir with Yvonne Howard as our soloist.
The Kinder Children’s Choirs of the High Peak will deregister from the Charity Commission as a charity with effect from 30 November 2021. However, the Kinder Chorus (adults) will continue to be led by Joyce and there may be future Kinder Alumni events. These will operate independently led by Joyce and Carol.
However disappointing this news may be, we are very excited that the Children’s Choir will be joining the 30th anniversary concert in November. Thank you for your continuing support and understanding and we hope to see as many of you as possible at the grand finale.
Ann Barnes – Chairman of the KCC Trust Carol Prowse