The Wirral Singers ladies’ choir was formed in 1952 as the Old Girls’ Choir of Wirral County Grammar School for Girls, following their success as a school choir. Over the years, both choirs had a close association with Rydal School in Colwyn Bay, producing many fine concerts at prestigious venues around the area, including Liverpool Anglican Cathedral and the Liverpool Philharmonic Hall, performing such works as Handel’s Messiah, Mendelssohn’s Elijah and Bach’s St Matthew Passion. Over the years many honours have come our way in the competitive field, most notably at the Llangollen International Music Eisteddfod and in the BBC’s “Let the Peoples Sing.”
We have broadcast often on BBC radio and appeared on TV several times and also produced several, what used to be called records, but which today are known as “albums!”. The Christmas Album “Christmas Extravaganza” was recorded in a church in Crosby, Liverpool, together with the Liverpool Brass Ensemble under the direction of Eric Jennings, who was principal trombone with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra for many years. Our connection with the Liverpool Phil included performances under the batons of Sir Charles Groves and Sir Simon Rattle, with whom we sang the upper voice section of the chorus for a performance of Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess, starring Willard White as Porgy, which was produced as part of the Queen’s Silver Jubilee celebrations in 1977.
Sadly, in September 2010, we lost our founder and conductor Doris Parkinson (Parky) just a week before her 98th birthday. Her legacy lives on in the quality of the choir’s singing, which has been commented on many times at various festivals and competitions. Under Parky we learned a wide variety of classical pieces, madrigals and folk songs. In recent years we have added to this repertoire and now include lighter and more modern pieces, which enable us to perform concerts that include something for everyone.
Jackie Robertson succeeded Parky as choir director. She was Parky’s right hand woman for many years and brought us new music, new arrangements and handbells!
From the musical talent within the choir have grown two smaller groups. Mes Amies is a vocal ensemble led by Gill Brady, who like to sing modern songs: Ian Robertson directs a band of handbell ringers called Humdingers. Both these groups add another dimension to our concerts!