A Brief History of the Society
When we began in 1900, Victoria was Queen. We have sung our way through history - rejoiced in 'The Creation', revelled in 'Merrie England' burlesqued with minstrel song and all 'With a Voice of Singing'. It has been our good fortune to engage soloists of national repute in earlier years - and in the fiftees we 'imported' two grand pianos for every concert together with a portable stage which the chorus turned stagehands to setup.
From the beginning the Society has frequently attempted some difficult works with success due in no small part to our conductors, accompanists and patrons. The Towcester schoolmaster, Mr. John R.K. Parr, who is regarded as our founder was a man of vision. The early years were ambitious and vigorous, until the First World War and Mr. Parr's death in 1915 obliged the Society to disband for a few years. The men had gone to war, the ladies 'packed up their troubles' until they regrouped as a ladies choir. Sadly some of the men did not return and the ladies sang through the 1930's until in 1944 the Society welcomed gentleman again.
So for more than a century we have travelled the countryside giving concerts in Churches, Chapels and Village Halls. Traditionally our greatest efforts have been heard in the Town Hall in Towcester, our birthplace. We still bring our keyboard but we have to ask much more than the 1955 sixpence for our programme. Inflation is tolerable - but only in the lungs that we may sing in celebration of the past and look towards the future.
From the archive held by Second Soprano Margaret Hawkins:
The ladies of TCS out on a jolly (although they don’t look all that jolly) to Valentine’s Café in Gold Street, Northampton in 1932. The premises are were occupied by a Vietnamese restaurant, but it has probably changed hands since then. You will see from the caption that we were a ladies’ choir at that time. TCS was formed as an SATB choir in 1900 but became ladies only when the men went off to war in 1914. Clearly, it took them a long time to recruit men again. If we had another war, I don’t think we’d have to do the same as almost all of our men are way past the age of military service so could carry on singing, as long as choir practice didn’t clash with Home Guard or fire watching duties, that is.