BLCS are members of
The origins of the choir can be traced to the formation of the Coalville Mining and Technical College Choir in 1953. By 1969, at the appointment of Mrs. Nora Odell as Musical Director, the choir comprised 50 voices. Her influence is considered to be invaluable in terms of establishing a broad repertoire, promoting celebrity concerts and encouraging individuals to take solo parts. In 1976 the choir was reconstituted as Broom Leys Choral Society; self-
Broom Leys Choral Society
Mr Brian Humpherson became Musical Director in 1982 and continued to guide the growth and development of the choir. Under his influence, Broom Leys Choral Society has gained a county wide reputation for its professionalism and musicality. During the 1990s, Brian was the influence behind the Choir’s varied, adventurous and challenging programme of singing projects.
In order to bring choral music to a wider audience, the repertoire was broadened to include arrangements of popular songs that were performed at charity events at The Haymarket Theatre, Leicester and at the (now closed) Stardust Night Club.
To sharpen each singer’s technique, the Society competed in the Sainsbury’s Choir of the Year competition, The Elgar Festival at Worcester Cathedral and at the Coalville Festival of Music.
To work with other musical groups further afield, joint concerts were given at the Church of St. James the Greater, Leicester and with the Leicestershire Schools’ Orchestra at Melton Mowbray.
In order to enhance the quality of musical concerts given in North West Leicestershire, such as Night at the Opera, and Carmina Burana in 1996, and the Verdi Requiem in 2000, (all at the Hermitage Leisure Centre, Whitwick), the choir engages an orchestra and experienced professional soloists when possible. The society also performs with other musical groups such as local Brass Bands, who have been guests at the Christmas Carol Concert for many years now. Other example are concerts such as ‘Brass and Voices’, where the society was joined by the “Burnished Brass” brass quintet to perform a programme of mainly medieval/Tudor music, and also the popular concerts ‘Singin’ ‘n’ Swingin’ with a local jazz group.
Broom Leys Choral Society has continued to develop a wide and varied repertoire with concerts by both traditional and contemporary composers ranging from Brahms and Liszt to Sondheim and Lloyd Webber.
See below for Brian’s biography, and those of his successors as Musical Director.
Andrew Goff is a freelance musician who divides his time between teaching, composing and conducting. He directs the Leicester University Choral Society and the Shepshed Singers (with whom he has had more than 25 years association).
His passion is choral music and he has had his Mass performed in Westminster Abbey. He is a member of Sine Nomine, International touring choir.
Motje is a Singer, Violinist and Community musician. She has a PhD in musicology/music education, and is passionate about Early Music and Contemporary Music.
She is Music Facilitator at Northampton Music and Performing Arts Trust, Research Assistant at De Montfort University (DMU) and Director of Music at St. Margaret's Church, Leicester.
She has also been Choir Animateur in the Choir Outreach Project at Leicester Cathedral and Consultant for Personal Development at Seminarhaus für die Wirtschaft, Leipzig, Germany.
Brian Humpherson M.B.E.,MA,LRAM,LTCL, FRSA – Musical Director 1982 to 2011
Born in Glasgow, Brian qualified as a music teacher in 1967, and began his career in Nottingham. He became an officer of the Nottingham Music Festival and was soon involved in local choirs, including the Nottingham Sinfonietta Chorus and Musica Nova. In 1972 he moved to Leicestershire, becoming Head of Music at Sarson High School, Melton Mowbray. For many years he conducted Wind Orchestras and Ensembles for the Leicestershire School of Music and acted as musical director for Melton Operatic Society.
In 1982 he was appointed musical director to Broom Leys Choral Society of North West Leicestershire, enabling him to fulfil his keen interest in choral singing. He has just celebrated 28 years as conductor of the society, during which time the choir has extended its repertoire to include such works as Mozart’s Requiem, Verdi Requiem, Carmina Burana and Handel’s ‘Messiah’.
Until recently he was Director of Music and Performing Arts at Guthlaxton College, Leicestershire’s only specialist Arts College. Under his leadership and direction, the college achieved national recognition for music and the performing arts and was awarded Arts Mark Gold on successive occasions. The Guthlaxton Concert Band and Big Band frequently appeared in the finals of the National Concert Band Festival and the National Festival of Music for Youth, winning a number of awards. The bands regularly performed abroad, giving concerts in Barcelona, Florence, St Tropez, Prague, Saarbrucken, Salzburg and other European cities. The college also enjoyed an outstanding reputation for its Musical Theatre productions, which included one of the first school productions of ‘Les Miserables’.
Having retired from full time teaching, Brian now engages in a variety of freelance work, as a music examiner for Trinity Guildhall, and moderator for Arts Awards introduced by the Arts Council. He also works as an ITT tutor for trainee music teachers, and as musical director of the newly formed 2nd Wind Concert Band in Leicester. He maintains a keen interest in playing jazz piano, performing with a variety of Midlands based groups. Recently Brian was awarded an MBE in recognition of his services to music education in Leicestershire.
Brian retired as musical director of Broom Leys Choral Society in 2011, at which time Andrew Goff took over the baton. See our ‘farewell to Brian’ page HERE
Charles Paterson was born in Ipswich in 1954, and was singing, playing and writing music from an early age. From Ipswich School he went on to a Choral Exhibition at Christ's College, Cambridge, then taught at Tiffin School, Kingston upon Thames, and at Leicester Grammar School. He was for twenty-
Charles Paterson – Music Director, 2016 -
Anthony Wilson ARCM, ALCM -
Anthony Wilson started formal piano lessons at the age of fifteen. Whilst studying for a degree in Biology at the University of York, he continued his piano studies with Dennis Smalley and Grace Frankell, achieving an ARCM in Pianoforte teaching and ALCM in pianoforte performance. He was subsequently,for many years, a private student of the late Professor Alex Kelly at the Royal Academy of Music. Since returning to his home county of Leicestershire he has worked as accompanist for numerous societies including Coalville Amateur Operatic Society, Christchurch Theatre Group and Loughborough Amateur Operatic society. As well as being Musical Director for BLCS, Anthony works with Charnwood Opera and Operahouse. Whilst opera and choral music are his first love, Anthony enjoys playing chamber music with friends and accompanying solo recitals.
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