It's official - we are 50 years old!

On Thursday May 17 we celebrated our 50th anniversary with a birthday dinner at The Sun Hotel in Hitchin.

The ballroom and bar were packed with most of the choir plus a few lucky partners, and we were delighted to be joined by former chairmen Keith Dobson and Adrian Lambourne. Current chairman Bob Beasley read out a message of congratulations from Nick Wilks, our musical director for ten years up to 1997 (see below), and Jacqui Bean, the only singer who has been with the choir throughout its 50-year history, cut the fantastic cake.

After dinner and an appropriately-themed quiz, dreamed up by Deborah and Richard Dean, the committee donned various weird and wonderful costumes to entertain us with a series of 'name that tune' scenes - including a pun on  'And He Shall Reign' which was almost as bad as Bob's mouse joke.

Thanks go to event organiser Kathy Sault and everyone involved.

[Picture: John Chamberlain] 

 

Nick's message: "Many congratulations on your 50th Anniversary! I am enormously proud to have had the privilege of working with you, and will never forget the wonderful atmosphere of our rehearsals – always going further than we had anticipated at the start of the rehearsal process, and always being willing to dig beneath the notes to find out what was really going on in the music (even before the notes were quite there!). The results were some performances I will never forget, especially perhaps the Verdi Requiem and Elgar’s The Kingdom. My only regret was that we didn’t quite manage The Apostles together…Still, it is always good to leave something undone: there is always plenty more to do. Here’s to the next 50 years. Very best wishes – Nick"

 

In honour of her 50 years' membership, Jacqui Bean was asked to cut the cake

[Picture: John Chamberlain]

 

 

 

 

 

Invitations were sent out to all past chair-people and accompanists, but other commitments got in the way. Ann and David Heymans replied: "We would have loved to come but unfortunately we are on holiday. Please pass on our love and best wishes to all at the Guild."

Long-time accompanist Peter Jaekel also sent his best wishes, saying: "I spent several very happy years with you all."

 

 

 

The wonderful cake was made by Kirsty at Katie's Bakery in Welwyn. It tasted great, too.

What a pity there wasn't room on top for all 140 members!

[Picture: Grace Gillions]

 

 

Photo round-up

   
The Sun ballroom before we all descended
[Picture: John Chamberlain]
 
Ex-chairman Adrian Lambourne with his wife Pauline and our music director Stephen Bullamore
[Picture: David Tinney]
 
Current chairman Bob Beasley was persuaded to speak for just a little longer than usual
[Picture: David Tinney]
 
   
In the absence of event organiser Kathy Sault, MC Deborah Dean supervised proceedings
[Picture: David Tinney]
 
Our accompanist Colin Spinks making the most of a rare Thursday evening off
[Picture: David Tinney]
 
Another former chairman, Alan Biller, with Diane and Catherine - proving that NHGS really is a family choir
[Picture: David Tinney]
 
   
Karen, Jess and Jenny get ready for the quiz - armed with the new Guild pencils
[Picture: David Tinney]
 
No wonder committee members Chris and Pat look a bit nervous - they were part of the entertainment
[Picture: David Tinney]

 

 
Is publicity officer Celia preparing to share our big event with the world's press?
[Picture: David Tinney]
 
 
 

 
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