The Kempston Musical Society was formed in 1905, and apart from during the two world wars, has continued to perform in and around Bedford to this day. Janet, our musical director, has been conducting our choir for over forty years and continues to keep us on our toes. The Society averages about 60 choir members and whilst we always strive to sound good and sing our best, we also have fun doing it...
Our repertoire is varied, ranging from secular (including excerpts from musicals, spirituals and folksongs), to carols, sacred works and classical choral works.
We also vary the types of music we sing from season to season, and do not simply repeat the 'classical-standards' year after year - mixing old and new, religious with secular.
We usually end our musical season (typically around April), with a large scale choral work - in Spring 2019 we performed Haydn's The Creation and will be singing pieces by Schubert and Karl Jenkins in 2020.
The choir not only provides the perfect opportunity for anyone wishing to join a friendly and accomplished amateur choir, but it also provides opportunities to socialise as well. Every year there's a choir outing and we usually have one or two 'bring & sing' social events throughout the year as well.
Almost all of our concerts support charities, and tens of thousands of pounds have been raised over the years. During our 2018-2019 season the choir helped raise funds for Autism Bedfordshire, Teen Diabetes and Bedford Hospital.
If you are connected with a charity and would be interested in the choir giving a concert for your organisation, please get in touch.
Janet has brought her love of music and choral singing to thousands of people, raising in excess of £250,000 for charity. For over forty years she has inspired people to sing by encouraging them to join choirs - teaching those new to singing how to enjoy the sound of choral music. She has rarely missed a rehearsal or concert in the past 40+ years.
Janet has promoted choral singing nationally via concerts throughout Bedfordshire and in Cirencester, Chesterfield, St. Albans, Bedford, Norfolk and internationally with charity concerts in France, Germany, Australia and in the Vatican City for the Pope.
Derrick is the unsung hero of the choir - he's been playing the piano for the choir for many years and is an accomplished solo pianist in his own right. He has rarely missed a practice either and is there supporting the choir every beat of the way.
The choir has officially been singing for well over a hundred years after its formation in 1905 and became a Registered Charity No. 1117582 in 2007.
There obviously have been a lot of choir members over the years, but there's one choir member who's been singing continuously with the choir for over half a century - Pat Bull. The newspaper-clipping shows Pat cutting her '60 years of singing with the KMS' celebration cake in 2015 - Pat is also seen sitting front row, far left in the archive photo immediately below from circa 1960.
Although the choir was officially founded in 1905 - its beginnings can be traced back even further - here's a newspaper clipping from 1895...
Text transcript of the original newspaper article:
MAY 25, 1895 - Kempston Choral Society
To the Editor. Sir, - It may interest Kempstonians and others to learn that a Choral Society has been established in this large village, by Mr. J. F. Sintzenich of the Manor House. There is now a capital opportunity for those musically inclined, and with good voices, to improve their talents in that direction. Good tenors and basses are especially wanted. Mr. Sintzenich proposes to give a series of outdoor concerts in his charming gardens during the present season, due notice will be given, and it is hoped that the public will respond to the very liberal efforts put forth by that gentleman in his desire to somewhat enliven the dull monotony of present everyday life. Ladies and gentlemen wishing to join the class may obtain information by applying to The Secretary, Church End Schools, Kempston.
Interested in singing? Would you like to join a Bedford Choir? New choir members are always welcome.
Registered Charity No. 1117582