Tring conductor celebrates 50 years as music director at popular classical choir

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A conductor at a choir based in Tring is celebrating the impressive achievement of reaching his 50th anniversary as the group’s music director.

Colin Stevens has spent the last 50 years as the musical director of Tring Choral Society.

He began working with the choir in 1974 when he took over the baton from his father at the age of 27, after completing his formal musical training at Trinity College London, where he studied organ.

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It is estimated that during his 50 years, Colin has directed approximately 150 concerts, conducted 1,500 rehearsals, and meticulously organised countless orchestral parts and top professional soloists.

Colin StevensColin Stevens
Colin Stevens

He has balanced his time with the choir alongside his work and family life, raising four children with his wife, Jane.

Colin said: "It has been a real privilege for me to have been conducting Tring Choral Society for the last 50 years. I have had the great pleasure of working with an excellent choir, orchestra, and professional soloists on a broad range of repertoire including most of the established choral masterpieces and a number of newly commissioned works. I am particularly grateful for the loyalty and commitment shown by so many singers and the help and support freely given to me along the way.”

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To celebrate this significant anniversary, Tring Choral Society will be performing 'Choral Classics,' a selection of Colin’s favourite pieces, at Tring Church on Saturday 6 July at 7:30pm.

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Colin in actionColin in action
Colin in action

Rob Johnston, co-director and choral manager of the BBC Singers, added: “It’s staggering to think that one person would have the dedication, stamina and total commitment of running one choir for 50 years! To have done so with such energy, passion, and joviality is testament to Colin’s ability to inspire generations of singers over so many decades.”

Tring Choral Society dates back to the late 19th century and has roughly 80 members at present. Typically the choir looks to run three concerts a year. Chairman Rob Allnutt said: “At rehearsals, Colin’s ability to mix good humour with precision, discipline and encouragement brings much love and respect from the choir. No matter how demanding the work, we always feel in very safe hands.”