Formation of the Choir...
In February 1987 the Torpoint branch of the Townswomen’s Guild faced closure because of decreasing membership. The local members had a choir, so a group of eight women who greatly enjoyed singing and did not want to be disbanded decided to start a choir of their own. In the March 1987 edition of the Torpoint Advertiser, a letter to the editor was printed as shown below:
They chose the name “The Torpoint Ladies Singers” - later changed to Torpoint Lady Singers.
During the late 1980s, there was a lot for the founder members to do. At first, there was no uniform or constitution, and no printed music to build a repertoire. Gradually, as the choir became known and membership increased, a committee was formed and a constitution was written.
The Choir had a succession of musical directors. Retired Royal Marine bandsman, Phil Carrigan, was the first musical director (with Elaine Searle as accompanist), assuming the role at the end of the first year of the choir's existence. He was able to make use of his extensive musical contacts to extend the reputation of the Torpoint Lady Singers throughout Cornwall. Phil was assisted by Fred Harwood, and followed by Sybil Cook and Brian Oates. They all did their best to arrange for the Choir to sing at bigger venues, nearly always to the benefit of a range of charities. The present MD, Sylvia Fraser, took over in 1996.
This is an early photograph from early 1989 of the Torpoint Lady Singers, with their MD, Phil Carrigan in the centre.
This is photo of the 1996 Singathon taken outside the Band Hut, which was the original location of the event.