HISTORY OF THE CHOIR
The Guernsey Glee Singers is the oldest established choir still in existence in Guernsey.
It was founded by Miss A A Noel in 1927, when she started a choir with a handful of girls who had just left school.
The choir included a male section in 1931 and at that stage had grown to forty voices.
The early years of the choir saw success in a number of UK music competitions.
Three Challenge Shields in the Music Festival at the Winter Gardens in 1931, where the adjudicator said ‘I have seldom heard the English Language more beautifully sung than by these singers from the Channel Islands’
The Marguerite Greggs Challenge Cup and the Lester Jones Challenge cup at the 1936 London Music Festival, after which they were invited to sing at the London Choral Festival.
The choir closed down during the war years, but restarted in February 1946.
The choir gave its first of many radio broadcasts in 1950, and performed a number of major works in the 50s and 60s including Handel’s Village Opera, Bach’s Peasant Cantata, Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas, and concert versions of Carmen, Faust and Merrie England.
The Annual Christmas Concerts started in the mid- 60’s, and it was also at that time that the choir started its love affair with Gilbert and Sullivan, putting on a number of productions over the next 20 years. The Gondoliers, HMS Pinafore, Trial By Jury and The Pirates of Penzance to name but a few. This tradition continued in 1997 with a production of Yeoman of the Guard, as part of the 70 year celebrations, and with the choir joining the New Savoyards of London in a ‘G& S’ concert at St James to celebrate 75 years. The relationship with the ‘New Savoyards’ prospered with the choir providing the chorus to the productions of ‘Pirates’ and ‘Pinafore’ in 2004.
In more recent times the choir has ventured further afield. In 2005 they were invited to take part in the ‘Internationales Adventsingen’ in Vienna – a choir festival that attracted choirs for all over the world. As part of the 80th anniversary in 2007, the choir visited Prague and took part in the cities international choir festival.
The last 10 years has seen the choir return to its roots with regular local concerts, carol singing and performing in Jersey and Sark.