History

Once upon a time - an idea was tossed around between a few people at a school reunion. Soon after this - there followed a newspaper article, an appeal to all past members of Lawnswood High School Choir who had trained and sung under the direction of Miss Agnes Clayton during her years as Head of Music at the school, and a date for a proposed reunion. And the consequence was that a large group of past Lawnswood choristers sat one evening in Agnes's home recalling the happenings of schooldays, remembering and singing some of the songs that had been so thoroughly learnt as members of the choir, and planning the possibility of a "one-off" concert to mark the Queen's Silver Jubilee. It did not take long to settle upon the the name: The Lawnswood Singers, but how many could possibly have imagined on that first evening, that this group would still be in existence many years later? If we are honest I suppose those early days for most of us were something of a nostalgia trip. Who could forget the Singers' first ever Christmas Concert, when, with our former Headmistress Miss Holden reading a lesson, our memorable school carol concerts were recalled so vividly. Inevitably with the passing of time there has been a considerable change of membership although a core of the original stalwarts remains. Our continued existence has only been made possibly by the welcome addition of new voices over the years, each one of whom has brought to the choir the same sense of loyalty and friendship that has always been such a hallmark of the Singers. (Perhaps this would be a good moment to apologise to the non- Lawnswood members of our group who have had to sit and listen to so much recollecting of school days over the years!) Agnes's health problems and eventual move to Harrogate and then Windermere led to my holding the fort in order to fulfil the engagements that happily always seem to have come our way. There was never really any date from which I officially took over the 'stick-waving'. I am not sure whether I fell, was pushed or, like the Conservative leadership, simply emerged, but here I am still, and - more surprisingly - so are the Singers! I have always been very conscious of just how onerous and daunting a task it is to follow Agnes, and this I imagine, has something to do with the fact that I constantly hear over my shoulder: "Tone dears, tone!" and: "Remember, Ethelburga`s dears!" It seems that our programmes are able to fill a niche in the musical scene; after all, they are somewhat unique in their presentation with readings always such an integral part. A remark which is most frequently heard following our concerts, and one which, I must admit, gives me the greatest pleasure, is that we always appear to be enjoying our music. Surely that is what our music-making has been about throughout these years - giving pleasure to ourselves and also to others. I regret that we have been unable to keep a record as to just what funds we have helped to raise since our inception for such a wide variety of causes, but the total must run into many thousands of pounds. I know that we all realise what an enormous debt of gratitude we owe Agnes, even those members who do not know her personally. Without her teaching, inspiration and infectious love of choral music, the Lawnswood Singers would not have existed. I feel very fortunate and privileged to be part of such a warm-hearted, loyal, friendly, supportive and fun-loving - dare I say "dippy" - group of people. Long may we reign and may we sing happily ever after! Brenda Hawer
The Lawnswood Singers
© 2017 The Lawnswood Singers
History

History

Once upon a time - an idea was tossed around between a few people at a school reunion. Soon after this - there followed a newspaper article, an appeal to all past members of Lawnswood High School Choir who had trained and sung under the direction of Miss Agnes Clayton during her years as Head of Music at the school, and a date for a proposed reunion. And the consequence was  that a large group of past Lawnswood choristers sat one evening in Agnes's home recalling the happenings of schooldays, remembering and singing some of the songs that had been so thoroughly learnt as members of the choir, and planning the possibility of a "one-off" concert to mark the Queen's Silver Jubilee. It did not take long to settle upon the the name: The Lawnswood Singers, but how many could possibly have imagined on that first evening, that this group would still be in existence many years later? If we are honest I suppose those early days for most of us were something of a nostalgia trip. Who could forget the Singers' first ever Christmas Concert, when, with our former Headmistress Miss Holden reading a lesson, our memorable school carol concerts were recalled so vividly. Inevitably with the passing of time there has been a considerable change of membership although a core of the original stalwarts remains. Our continued existence has only been made possibly by the welcome addition of new voices over the years, each one of whom has brought to the choir the same sense of loyalty and friendship that has always been such a hallmark of the Singers. (Perhaps this would be a good moment to apologise to the non-Lawnswood members of our group who have had to sit and listen to so much recollecting of school days over the years!) Agnes's health problems and eventual move to Harrogate and then Windermere led to my holding the fort in order to fulfil the engagements that happily always seem to have come our way. There was never really any date from which I officially took over the 'stick-waving'. I am not sure whether I fell, was pushed or, like the Conservative leadership, simply emerged, but here I am still, and - more surprisingly - so are the Singers! I have always been very conscious of just how onerous and daunting a task it is to follow Agnes, and this I imagine, has something to do with the fact that I constantly hear over my shoulder: "Tone dears, tone!" and: "Remember, Ethelburga`s dears!" It seems that our programmes are able to fill a niche in the musical scene; after all, they are somewhat unique in their presentation with readings always such an integral part. A remark which is most frequently heard following our concerts, and one which, I must admit, gives me the greatest pleasure, is that we always appear to be enjoying our music. Surely that is what our music-making has been about throughout these years - giving pleasure to ourselves and also to others. I regret that we have been unable to keep a record as to just what funds we have helped to raise since our inception for such a wide variety of causes, but the total must run into many thousands of pounds. I know that we all realise what an enormous debt of gratitude we owe Agnes, even those members who do not know her personally. Without her teaching, inspiration and infectious love of choral music, the Lawnswood Singers would not have existed. I feel very fortunate and privileged to be part of such a warm-hearted, loyal, friendly, supportive and fun-loving - dare I say "dippy" - group of people. Long may we reign and may we sing happily ever after! Brenda Hawer
The Lawnswood Singers
© 2017 The Lawnswood Singers
History