50 Phoenix Facts

1 Before the start of the 50th season The Choir has sung 850 concerts
2 The Choir has over 800 pieces of music in its library of music past and present
3 The Choir has over 400 composers or arrangers in its library of music
4 The Choir has sung in only three of the seven continents (Asia, Europe & North America)
5 The average number of concerts/engagements in a year is seventeen (17)
6 The highest number of concerts/engagements in a year was 24 (Season 23, Season 34, Season 36)
7 The founder musical director, Norman Morris, conducted his last concert, The Choir’s 700th Concert, at the Reading Festival of Choirs in March 2009.
8 The Choir’s first concert was at the Morris Motors Music Festival, Oxford, in October 1969.
9 The Choir’s 100th concert was in St John’s Church, Mortimer, in September 1976
10 The Choir’s 200th concert was in Whitley Hall Methodist Church, in March 1982
11 The Choirs’ 300th concert was in St Mary’s Church, Beverley, in October 1987
12 The Choir’s 400th concert was in St Andrew’s Church, Aldershot, in January 1993
13 The Choir’s 500th concert was in the Oratory School, Woodcote, in March 1998
14 The Choir’s 600th concert was in Holy Trinity Church, Lower Earley, in June 2003
15 The Choir’s 700th concert was the Reading Festival of Choirs, Reading Town Hall, in March 2009
16 The Choir’s 800th concert was the 46th Annual Concert in the Reading Town Hall in May 2015
17 The Choir has had only three official musical directors in its fifty years: Norman Morris, David Crown and Christopher Hann.
18 David Crown, The Choir’s second musical director, conducted 99 concerts in his six years with the choir.
19 David Crown, who will return to conduct items at the 50th Season Gala Concert, will be his 100th concert conducting The Choir.
20 There have been five Choir accompanists: Ian Gorman, Clive Waterman, Joanna Miller-Shepherd, Christopher Enstone, and Mary Daniels.
21 The longest serving choir member (past or present) is Penny Newell-Price who was with The Choir for forty one years.
22 Some members (past or present) have had over thirty years of service with The Choir: Robert Bradford (37 years), Rosemary Morris, Val Coyne and Gill Leishman (33 years), Doreen Blake (32 years), John Leeson, Di Bradford and Robert Jackson (31 years)
23 The average time of service with The Choir for a member is 7.8 years
24 The Choir has had some notable guest artists over the years, including: Richard Stilgoe, Roy Castle, Peter Skellern, Brian Kay, Donald Swann, Nigel Perrin, Bob Chilcott, Lance Percival, and Aled Jones
25 The Choir sang “Come to the Great World” at Bob Chilcott’s (ex-King’s Singer) 50th Birthday Party.  The piece was a piece he wrote for us and dedicated to Gill Leishman’s late husband, Ron (a past Chairman of the Choir).

only 25 more Golden Phoenix Facts to go!