KCS is a charity that is committed to bringing high quality music to the local community. KCS performs four concerts a year, adding to the cultural richness of the borough, and the rehearsals are open to the public for free. Students are eligible for a substantially reduced subscription to encourage the participation of younger singers. KCS has also engaged with the community in a number of other ways, and some examples are listed below.
Carol Singing at Bentalls for the Shooting Star Hospice – Annual Event
For many years, Bentalls department store has kindly hosted KCS carol singers each December to raise money for the Shooting Star Hospice in Teddington. This has over the years raised thousands of pounds for this charity.
Peace at Last – The Boys Come Home at All Saints Church, Kingston – 7 July 2018
This was a collaborative concert to commemorate the end of World War I, with North Lakeshore Chorus including members of Kingston Choral Society, Ontario. The Canadian choir were on a 16-day tour of WWI sites in Europe and performed a concert with some members of KCS in Kingston. The concert included a selection of period pieces from the choirs and two minutes silence to remember the 66,000 Canadians lost in WW1, followed by “Flowers of the Forest”, played on the bagpipes by a talented young Canadian, Garret Rodgers who played several other classic bagpipe tunes. The concert was attended by Father Martin Hislop, The Representative Deputy Lieutenant for the Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames, and Councillor Olivia Boult, Deputy Mayor of the Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames.
Carol Singing at John Lewis – 6 December 2017
On Wednesday 6 December some 20+ members of KCS sang carols at the John Lewis, Kingston, shoppers’ evening. The singers performed for about an hour and were positioned next to the Christmas tree in the soft furnishing area. In addition to the passing shoppers, a small audience accumulated taking advantage of the sofas in the soft furnishing area! Thanks to Wendy Faulkner for leading and playing the keyboard.
Jo Cox ‘Get Together’ Event at All Saints Church, Kingston – 17 June 2017
Singers from KCS were one of the groups performing at the Jo Cox ‘Get Together’ Event at All Saints Church, Kingston. The performances included many different musical and dance groups from Kingston, including Euphonix Community Choir, the Lovekyn Consort, Paul Medlicott (baritone), Sally Mays (piano) and Simon Desorgher (flute). The KCS Singers performed in the final slot, with Mozart’s Ave Verum, Fauré’s Cantique de Jean Racine with Richard Thompson playing the organ. KCS also performed a Song for Jo Cox, words by John Elsom, music composed by David Sutton-Anderson. Claire Day from KCS was the wonderful soloist, accompanied by Sally Mays (piano) and Simon Desorgher (flute). Everyone then joined in the resounding finale of Jerusalem. It was a very moving event.
A link to the performance of the Song for Jo Cox can be found here.
Musical Workshop at St Matthew’s School, Surbiton – 6 June 2017
Singers from KCS took part in a musical workshop at St Matthew’s Primary School in Surbiton on Tuesday 06 June. KCS were accompanied by Margaret Turner on the piano and the workshop was lead by the inspirational Charles MacDougall, Choral Animateur, who, within moments, transformed the children into animated singers. He taught them about the different voices in the choir and they then participated in a roundel with the choir, singing the alto part. The choir also performed some different style pieces. It was a truly uplifting experience for the members who took part and it introduced the children to a choir of adult voices singing in harmony, which they would most probably not have encountered before.
‘Till the Boys Come Home at All Saints Church, Kingston – 10 July 2015
This was a collaborative concert to commemorate World War I with members of Kingston Choral Society, Ontario, and North Lakeshore Chorus. The Canadian choir members had been on a tour of WWI sites in Europe and held their final concert with KCS in Kingston. The concert included a selection of period pieces from the choirs. In addition, Helen Minors, the incumbent KCS chairman, played the Last Post, which was followed by the Piper’s Lament, played by a talented young Canadian, Garret Rodgers. The concert was attended by Colonel Geoffrey Godbold, The Representative Deputy Lieutenant for the Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames, and Brigadier General Matthew Overton, Defence Advisor, Canadian High Commission, London.
Mayor’s Christmas Concert at Guildhall, Kingston – 19 December 2014
KCS was asked to help with organising and performing in this concert to aid in the launch of the charitable initiatives of the newly-appointed mayor, Ken Smith. As well as advising on the concert planning and logistics, KCS singers performed the Sanctus and In Paradisum from the Fauré Requiem, gave two of the readings, and closed the concert with a number of carols and some audience participation! Vaughan Howells conducted the singers and Leanne Singh-Levett gave able accompaniment on keyboard.
Star and Garter Home Carol Concert, Surbiton – 10 December 2013
The Royal Star and Garter Home in Surbiton accepted an invitation from KCS to have a number of our singers perform carols at their venue for the staff and residents to enjoy for their first Christmas based in Surbiton. The Home is a charity that provides nursing and therapeutic care to the ex-Service community. KCS singers were made very welcome by both staff and residents and the performance was greatly enjoyed by all concerned.