The Choir's History

Mount Kelly Choral Society was founded in 1976 by the Reverend Anthony Curry, who was then Head of Music at Kelly College.

His aspiration was to establish in Tavistock an adult mixed voice choir that could perform major choral works for pleasure, and this intention was more than realized in the scope and increasing ambition of the concerts that were performed during his tenure.
The predominant tone was set by the works of Bach, Mozart, Brahms, Handel and Haydn, whilst the 1984 performance of Belshazzar's Feast must have been very exciting.

Reverend Curry retired from Kelly in the Summer of 1985, yielding the baton to Keith Morgan.
In Keith's hands a greater variety of music began to appear in the programme sheets, with the introduction of at least one first performance of a local composer's work.

However this conductor retired after only three years, during which time our connections with Kelly College became more independent. Financially we were more on our own, and the school's orchestra dwindled and ceased as a part of the Choral Society.

The next four years saw an equal number of conductors take their turn on the podium.
Donald Cashmore, Anthony Kerr-Dineen, Laura Todd and Ian Hardy led the choir through turbulent times to the tunes of Carmina Burana, Duruflé's Requiem, and the Masses of Bach and Mozart. Less traditional tastes were catered for with pieces ranging from Randall Thompson's Peaceable Kingdom to Michael Flanders and Joseph Horovitz's 'Captain Noah and His Floating Zoo'.

It is a testament to the strength of the Society that no season's concert was ever missed during a period of such challenging instability.

From 1992 to 2014 the Society's Musical Director was Andrew Wilson (Kelly College's Head of Music), whose own compositions in addition to classical repertoire, along with his humorous oratorical skills, made him a most popular and respected conductor.

With the merger in 2014 of Kelly College and Mount House School, Maria Collier, Mount Kelly’s Director of Music, became our new Musical Director.

On leaving Mount Kelly School after a very successful year with the Mount Kelly Choral Society, Maria in turn handed over the Musical Directorship of the choir to our present Conductor, Julian Jensen.

Under Julian’s seven years as Director our choir built on Maria’s success. Our repertoire was broadened, and our confidence strengthened as a result.
Julian’s professionalism and engaging personality proved to be a winning combination, and our choir’s membership swelled as a result. Bringing us through the ravages of Brexit and Covid was an extraordinary example of Julian’s leadership, and the choir that emerged in 2023 would have been a poorer one without him.

In 2023 ill health forced Julian to relinquish his role as Musical Director, and the baton has now passed to Dan Robson

Go to the 'Past Concerts' page to see a brief resumé of our concerts.