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History of the Hayling Island Choir

In 1984 a group of enthusiasts led by Frank Ford placed an advertisement in the Hayling Islander (the local newspaper) inviting those interested in singing for fun to attend an initial exploratory meeting on 19th Feburary 1984, which took place at the Hayling Island Community Centre. The invitation was simply "Come sing with Joy". Some 48 people attended and such was the enthusiasm that a steering group was formed to set up the choir. The first steering group meeting of the choir was held on 24th February, then on 2nd March the first Annual General Meeting with 51 members in attendance when a provisional committee was formed.  The first formal committee meeting was held on 15th March.  The Musical Director was Brian McGrath and the accompanists were Heather Philips and Joan Haward. The first formal choir meeting was held on 16th March 1984 and the inaugural concert was given by the choir on 7th November 1984 at St John's Church in Rowlands Castle. The programme included such favourites as "All Through the Night", Cwm Rhondda", "Joy to the World" and "Oklahoma", and a recording of the concert confirms the amazing success of the choir in such a short period from its inception. The choir was invited to take over the established Christmas Concert at the Community Centre that had previously been given by the famous Alexandra Choir of London. That 1984 concert was such a success that the Hayling Island Choir has made the concert its own ever since, and the concert is now regarded by many Islanders as the official start of the Christmas Festivities. At the AGM of 1985 the minutes recorded that the choir had grown to 60 members, had purchased music scores and stage equipment, given money to a charitable cause and still had a positive balance in the bank. In addition the choir had organized several social events and sown the seeds for an organization that in 2009 was able to celebrate its 25th anniversay with a celebration dinner at the Hayling Island Golf club, attended by our President and founder, Mr Frank Ford, and his wife, Daphne. Now, 35 years later, the Choir still offers a simple invitation to Islanders ......                                      "Come Sing with Joy!"
A  Friendly Social Community History