Saturday 29th May 2021
Malcolm joined the Royal Leamington Spa Bach Choir in 1988, as fifteenth in a line of distinguished conductors. This was a very successful period in the choir’s history, and the year 1993 was particularly exciting for us. Under Malcolm’s leadership, we performed J S Bach’s
We asked choir members who sang under Malcolm to tell us what they remember about him. Pat Kuenzler reveals how Malcolm was first persuaded to apply for the post… Pat and her friend Margaret Midgley, both altos in the RLSBC at the time, were also members of the Midland Festival Chorus, which Malcolm founded and directed. When Malcolm’s predecessor at the RLSBC announced his intention to move on, Pat and Margaret thought how wonderful it would be if Malcolm were to become our next conductor. During the break in the next MFC rehearsal, they approached Malcolm and begged him to audition for the post, and he said he'd think about it. Pat concludes: “The rest is history… inspiring musical history!”
Malcolm was an immensely popular musical director. Marion Poulton says: “Malcolm always made singing such fun, and so enjoyable”. Anne Perrin agrees: “Having Malcolm as Choral Director was the next best thing after singing under the bâton of David Willcocks when I was a student. His high standards combined with consistent good humour made those seven years hugely enjoyable”. Jan Spalding, who joined the choir around 1992, says she liked Malcolm a lot: “He was a very popular conductor, really good at motivating the choir and would make us laugh. He could get the best out of us and had lots of energy”. Yet although Malcolm’s emphasis was clearly on the enjoyment of music, he also worked the choir hard and had high expectations. Diane Woodward recalls how he wanted the choir to perform Mozart’s
Chris Spooner and Alec Coutts, among the longest serving members of the RLSBC, also recall Malcolm’s time with us as hugely enjoyable; they say the choir was about 120 strong in those days. For them, as for many members of the choir at the time, the trip to Paris (on which the photograph at the top of this article was taken) was a particular highlight. During the trip, Chris learnt to love Fauré’s
Andrew Mead, who was Concert Manager for the choir during Malcolm’s time with us, remembers the concert in Les Invalides as a “one of the most stressful concerts I ever managed”, but he also recalls Malcolm taking members of the choir on a sight-seeing trip round Paris. Another of Andrew’s memories is of a performance of Mahler’s
There is a Malcolm Goldring Appreciation Society page on Facebook (Click Here), where you can read other recollections and tributes from many of the people whose lives Malcolm touched. Here at the RLSBC, we know we were extremely fortunate to have enjoyed his musical leadership for seven very happy years.
Wednesday 5th May 2021
We have been asked to spread the word about this exciting opportunity for experienced singers (a reference and a recording are required with applications), which will be held in Cambridge this autumn.
The same organisation is also planning to hold a week-long Cambridge Choral Academy in 2022, at St Catharine's College. Provisional dates are 30 July to 6 August 2022.
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