More About Us
This small group of dedicated young singers quickly became renowned across the North of England for the high standard of their performances. As their fame spread, so did the locations of their concerts. In 1956 the choir found themselves on their first, of what would become many, trips abroad. They had been invited to attend the twinning ceremony of Doncaster with St. Germain-en-Laye in France. This exciting experience whetted the choir’s appetite and European tours became an important part of the choir’s development, visiting the Czech Republic, Ireland, France, Spain, Sweden, Holland, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Hungary and the Jersey in the Channel Islands. Some of these countries on more than one occasion. The most exciting of its tours was in 1994 when it was invited to sing in South Carolina, U.S.A.
Although in more recent years the choir have not embarked upon foreign tours they have had many successful tours in the UK, which included performances at the London South Bank Centre and Covent Garden's St. Pauls Church as well as amazing performances in Edinburgh Cathedral, both the Liverpool Anglican and Metropolitan Cathedrals and more recently in Manchester Cathedral.
Change Of Direction
The choir remained under the musical direction of John Barker until his death in 1982. At this point it was his wife who took up the baton as conductor. She initially led the group from the piano until Kenneth Jackson was appointed accompanist in 1985.
Both Mrs. Barker and Mr. Jackson remained with the choir until their retirement in 1999.
Over the following years the choir continued to flourish under the Directorships of Urszula Weber, Angela Teasdale and more recently Stephen Burnage, who unfortunately left the group at the end of 2015. Taking up the role of MD is a talented Lincolnshire Musician, Daniel Fields, - who has already brought his own brand of musicianship to the group and is proving extremely popular both with our audience and the choir members.
Simon Corner, who had been our deputy accompanist until 1999 also became our lead accompanist. A role he was to retain until the Christmas of 2014, when sadly due to family commitments, he made the decision to step down (although he does still deputise as MD and accompanist to the choir when required, so we have entirely lost him). Although Simon was a hard act to follow we have been very fortunate in obtaining the musical expertise of a local pianist - Joanne Bostandji, who is proving to be yet another major asset to the group.
Doncaster Wheatsheaf Singers at Manchester Cathedral October 2015