Based in Grimsby N.E. Lincolnshire, The Grimsby Philharmonic Society are one of the area’s leading choral societies. Originally established in 1852, the same year that the Grimsby Dock Tower was built, The Phil have undergone a number of changes of name and conductors. However since January 2003, they have performed a variety of classical choral works under the baton of Chorus Master, Susan Hollingworth, who is well known throughout the choral world.
Over time the choir has performed with a number of internationally famous conductors.
From 1934 until his death in 1977 the choir’s Choral Director was Alec Redshaw, who also conducted the Hull Choral Union from 1959 until 1974. In the early 70s the two choirs joined together for a performance of Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis conducted by Alec in Hull City Hall and for a performance of Walton’s Belshazzar’s Feast, again conducted by Alec, but was performed in Lincoln Cathedral.
Since then, the society have worked with guest conductors such as Sir David Willcocks, his son Jonathan Willcocks, David Lawrence, John Rutter, Andrew Padmore, Andrew Carter, Richard Howarth, Jeremy Jackman and Simon Wright.
During their time with Susan Hollingworth the society have organised various workshops to support the development of current members and encourage new members to join. An “Open Access” choir, these workshops include ‘Find Your Voice’, ‘Come and Sing’ and ‘De-Mystify the Dots’! They are also members of the North East Lincolnshire Hub and where possible work alongside young people to promote the future of musical education in the area.
For one concert most seasons they like to offer a platform to young and promising soloists, having worked with ones from such music establishments as the Royal Northern College of Music, The Royal Academy of Music in London, The Royal Scottish Academy of Music and The Birmingham Conservatoire, in works such as Mendelssohn’s Elijah and Handel’s Messiah.
Affiliated to Making Music and in 2012, their 160th Anniversary year, the society were chosen to take part in their ‘Adopt a Composer’ scheme. The composer was Lauren Redhead and the result was ‘Grimsby Psalter’: the performance was recorded and excerpts were included in a programme on BBC Radio 3.
Using a variety of forms of accompaniment for concerts, The Phil have worked with such orchestras as the Manchester Camerata, York Guildhall Orchestra, Viva Chamber Orchestra and Eastern Sinfonia. On occasions they create their own orchestras e.g. the Grimsby Philharmonic and the Grimsby Baroque Orchestra. These are made up of players from the surrounding areas and include players who are teachers with the Grimsby, Scunthorpe, Hull, Lincoln and Doncaster Music Services. As alternative forms of accompaniment they have used organ with such organists as Andrew Shaw, Tony Pinel and Steven Maxson, as well as the internationally respected piano duettists, Anthony Goldstone and Caroline Clemmow.
Accompanist: Joan Date
Joan is the Phil’s accompanist and also organises concerts, books venues, musicians, soloists etc.
Chorus Master: Susan Hollingworth
The Grimsby Philharmonic Society are immensely proud to have to have Susan Hollingworth as their chorus master.
A graduate of the Royal Northern College of Music where she studied voice, Sue divides her time between her work as a Choral Director and Music Educator.
In 1990 she was awarded a Churchill fellowship for her work with choirs. In 2010 she was awarded ‘Choirmaster of the Year’ by the Gramophone Magazine. This is a community music award, given to those who have made the greatest impact in their singing communities.
She is Creative Director of the Scunthorpe Cooperative Junior Choir and also Musical Director of the Sine Nomine International Touring Choir.
In 2010 BBC Radio 3 invited Sue to lead performances of the Hallelujah Chorus in Glasgow and London with participants who are new to singing and who were encouraged to join a choir. For the BBC she also conducted an afternoon Family Prom at the Royal Albert Hall. She has worked for the National Youth Choirs of Scotland and Great Britain and is a guest conductor for the Leeds Lieder.
Sue’s Music Education work has included creating Melody Monkey’s Marvellous Music Box with Cathy Dew, being an advocate for Sing Up and working for the Voices Foundation. She regularly gives workshops for Making Music, 20,000 Voices and Sing For Pleasure. She has adjudicated for BBC3 Choir Of The Year and Coleraine, Elgin and Don Valley festivals.
Tickets From the Central Hall Box Office
Do you enjoy singing? The Phil is a friendly choir and always welcomes new members. Why not go along and give them a try? Rehearsals take place in the Roy Kemp room at the Central Hall, Duncombe St, Grimsby, on Mondays from 7.30pm to 9.30pm.
Contact: 01472 823484
FRIENDS OF THE PHIL.
The Phil is grateful for the support of their Friends.
Subscription: £15 per person per annum or £25 for 2 people living at the same address.
Friends will receive £3 off the price of a ticket for each concert.