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The history of the choir

The Cornwall County Junior Choir was established in January 2001, as part of a major new initiative to boost singing in Cornish Primary Schools. It has been awarded a grant from the National Foundation for Youth Music as part of the foundation’s Singing Challenge programme. The choir stems from a partnership between Truro Cathedral and the Cornwall Music Service Department and comprises approximately 50 children from all over Cornwall.

The Choir was founded by two conductors, Mr Christopher Gray, the assistant organist at Truro Cathedral and Mr. Nigel Hayward who is Musical Director of The Hellens Singers, (a recently established girl’s choir in Hereford). Mr Gray is handing over the reins to Angela Renshaw, who is very experienced and has a great reputation in Cornwall for her work with young singers. The differing approach to music and teaching employed by this talented pair ensure that the youngsters are offered the best possible opportunity to develop their singing skills.

There are two concerts given by the choir in each academic term, one is a joint concert in conjunction with local primary schools from throughout Cornwall, which always takes place in the Cathedral. The type and location of venue for each term’s main Concert is varied as much as possible.

Our first ‘solo’ concert took place in St Germans shortly before Christmas 2001 and it was a great success. Since then we have performed with Truromance at the Cathedral, St Mary’s Church in Penzance, two Christmas concerts at Truro Methodist Church, exciting spring concerts at The Tate St Ives in 2003 and 2007, a summer concert in Carnglaze Slate Caverns at St Neot and Christmas concerts at St Petroc’s Church.
In 2004 the choir took part in the Cornish Voices concert held in the Hall for Cornwall, performed at St Michaels Church Newquay at Easter with the Cornish Youth Wind Orchestra and sung at Boconnoc in July. In summer 2005 the Choir performed at Gwennap Pit was a fantastic experience - the rain held off and the sun put in a brief appearance! We are hoping that the weather will again be kind for next summer’s concert at the Pit.

2006 was an exciting year. On 18th March we performed at Exeter Cathedral, this was a joint concert with Mr Hayward’s other choir The Hellens singers from Hereford, this was a huge success. Cornwall Junior choir also performed with Gloucester Junior Choir on Sunday 4th June at the Cathedral, and held a concert at the All Saints Church in Marazion in July. At Christmas we returned for the third time to Kenwyn Church for our Christmas concert as we will do this year on Saturday December 8th.

2007 started off spectacularly, with the Junior Choir celebrating its sixth Birthday with a concert in February, at the Eden Project. This coincided with the ‘Time of giving’ festivities, so ice skating was also on the agenda! The sun shone on us again as we relaxed on the beach prior to our Easter concert at Tate St Ives. Our summer concert was held at Helston Methodist Church in aid of Christian Aid, and was very well received. Everyone enjoyed their trip to Scilly last term, and hosting youngster from Scilly on their return trip was also a great success. Once again we were at Kenwyn for the Christmas concert, which is always a lovely evening, followed by mince pies and mulled wine. singing at Lappa valley to round off the season.

2008 was another busy year, starting with a Concert at Threemilestone Methodist Chirch, and followed by our great out of county expedition to Gloucester Cathedral. Our summer concert saw a planned return to Gwennap Pit, but sadly the weather let us down; Lanner Chapel was a splendid last minute alternative venue. The autumn term saw another concert in support of Christian Aid, this time held at Falmouth Methodist Church, followed a couple of weeks later by a joint concert with Cornwall Youth Choir. December saw us back at Kenwyn for a full house.

2009 has been exciting, with a concert at Saltash Guildhall, a joint concert with Devon Junior Choir at the Cathedral and a concert at the Maritime museum.
September 2009 sadly saw the departure of one of our founder directors (Nigel Hayward), but Angela Renshaw will take us forward to a new chapter of the Choir. We hope you might like to join us on our adventures!

2010 started off well with a performance as part of a variety show at Truro College and a return trip to the National Maritime Museum. By now Angus Webster, a member of the choir, had stepped in as accompanist, both for rehearsals and Concerts In July we travelled by coach to Exeter to perform a joint concert in Exeter Cathedral with Devon County Junior Choir which was a great success.
As the Autumn term began, we were faced with new challenges as Government funding finished, so we began a new chapter. We introduced a termly fee, to enable us to continue the invaluable work of the choir and helped supplement this with a couple of fundraising cake stalls.
We held a joint concert with Cornwall Youth Choir at St Johns Church in Truro in support of Christian aid at which Angus made a short debut conducting for the choir! In December we returned to our favourite Christmas Concert venue of Kenwyn Church, luring in the audience with the promise of mulled wine and mince pies.

2011 Our first concert this spring was held to mark the end of the ‘Sing up’ project, and the Cathedral was packed with School Choirs as well as the Junior Choir. In April, we were invited to take part in a ‘Last Night of the Proms’ type Concert to raise money for ‘Penhaligons Friends’ (a charity that supports bereaved families and Children). It was held in Truro Methodist Church and everyone had a great time. June was a very special month, because we took part in a huge Concert in Truro Cathedral. Howard Goodall had been commissioned to write a piece of music for the 4 Choirs affiliated to the Cathedral, with each choir having their own part, It sounded magnificent and Mr Goodall was there to hear it. In the Autumn, we had two Concerts, on a joint concert in the Cathedral with The Youth Choir, and the other a schools concert with several school choirs as well as the Junior and Youth Choirs sang. Kenwyn welcomed us back in December for our Carol Concert, but we changed the time this year to 4pm which suited everyone.

2012 Spring brought another schools concert, a chance to showcase the Junior Choir to local schools. In April a chance for the older singer to sing with St Marys Singers and local secondary school youngsters.


at tate st ives

at eden

on the beach at st ives

our birthday cake!

at eden

at eden


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