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Celebrating the choral tradition since 1960

History of the Choir

History of the Choir

The Croydon Bach Society, as it was then called, was the brainchild of Derek Holman, organist at Croydon Parish Church. It was formed for a performance of the St John Passion in March 1960 with Roger Norrington (now Sir Roger) as the young Evangelist.

The choral society, thus established, continued under Derek Holman, before he went to Canada to pursue a musical career, and under Roy Massey, who was to spend much of his later years at Hereford Cathedral and thus involved with choral works at the Three Choirs Festival.

Then the late Michael Fleming led the choir for many years, during which time it left Croydon Parish Church and had more contact with the Royal School of Church Music.

Michael's deputy, Adrian Adams, next took over before the baton passed to Peter Nardone, who became Organist and Director of Music at Worcester Cathedral and Artistic Director of the Three Choirs Festival.

Tim Horton, previously the accompanist, led the choir from 2001 until 2019 and returned in 2021 after a few months' break. Simon Wallfisch stepped in during Tim's absence, until the Covid-19 pandemic halted gatherings and public performances in March 2020. John Hancorn then led us into the new territory of online rehearsals for our 2020-2021 season.

The choir has provided a vehicle for music-making for over sixty years now, through the enthusiasm and dedication of its many singers and voluntary office-holders and the quality of musicianship of its successive music directors.