Macclesfield Oriana Choir celebrate 90 years

Macclesfield’s much-loved Oriana Choir is celebrating its 90th season this year, with a commemorative dinner held in honour of this impressive milestone.

Over sixty people attended the celebration dinner, including the Mayor of Macclesfield, Cllr Janet Jackson MBE, Macclesfield MP, David Rutley, Keith Yearsley, MBE, who recently celebrated sixty-two years as the choir’s conductor, and Andy Donaldson, the group’s much-valued accompanist, who retired last year after fifty years of service.

Keith talked about the distinguished history of the choir, and many cherished experiences from their travels and his time on the podium.

Founded in 1930 by notable local organist, J.L Riley, the choir was originally known as the J.L. Riley Festival Choir. Among the group’s early achievements was winning at the Festival of Britain in 1951. The choir changed its name at the request of the Riley family in 1966 to its present title. Today, the choir remains mixed-voice with four parts (Soprano, Alto, Tenor and Bass), averaging between 65-70 singers, performing mainly, but not exclusively, the great works of sacred music, from Bach through to Mozart, Vaughan Williams, Elgar, and John Rutter.

The choir always welcomes new members, particularly younger ones, who would like to see it continue to flourish, singing some of the world’s greatest music. There are more details on how to join the choir on its website:

Macclesfield Oriana Choir will be holding a special celebratory anniversary concert on Saturday 8th February at Macclesfield Methodist Church. The programme will include music by Bach, Mozart, Faure, Elgar, and Rossini. Tickets are £12 in advance (by calling 01625 424 215) or £14 on the doors.

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