The Choir excelled them selves at The Wansbeck Music Festival Morpeth on

Friday 18th March

The choir were awarded 90 marks for their performance. This mark of 90 according to the Federation marking system is classed as OUTSTANDING……… An exceptional performance both technically and artistically.













Four members of the choir receiving their 25 year service awards.

The certificates were presented by the choir’s President Dr. Gordon Adam seen here in the middle of the photograph.

From the left to the right, John Kerr, Ken Dixon, Dr. Gordon Adam, John Mallan and Ian McCredie














Joan Higham

Very recently it came to our notice that Joan Higham (or Joan Mearis as she may be remembered ) celebrated her 90th birthday on Christmas Day 2015. Joan was in fact the accompanist to the choir for many years and accompanied them when they won the Festival of Britain competition in London in 1951 (yes, 65 years ago!) She is one of only three surviving members from that occasion. One is Stuart Balfour, now living in Canada, and the other is Alan Williams, a fine tenor, and former Vice President and Chairman. I am pleased to say that Joan is still actively playing piano, and we were delighted that she accepted an invitation to our AGM this year where she was presented with a bouquet and awarded an honorary Life Membership. A wonderful lady. Belated birthday greetings Joan and many of them. Joan is pictured below with Alan Williams, who also attended the AGM and was happy to share his many memories of the choir and their competitions including the winning performance in 1951

Joan and Alan  Untitled


Joan seen here receiving her award in becoming the First Lady Honorary Life Member of the choir.

In 1947 Joan was a well qualified pianist with her LRAM and was appointed accompanist to the choir, and remind so for the next 14years. During this time she played for many famous singers such as Ingrid Hageman, Owen Brannigan, Duncan Robertson and the famous Polish Bass Marion Nowacowski. She also played for at least 20 choir soloists over the years.

Joan was brought up in a musical family, here father was himself involved with the Felling as was her husband Bill. Bill and Joan were married in 1954. The choir thought he was very lucky that not only had he got himself a beautiful wife but a great accompanist.

Joan still continues to have a active life but now away from piano playing and conducting. But I hear she still practice on the piano daily





Joan receiving her certificate and bouquet of flowers from the President and Bill Maddison.









New Member

Bob Johnson been welcomed into the choir by the chairman Stuart Dearlove.




New Members

Father and Son

Dean and Joseph




Being welcomed into the choir by the Chairman




Andre Szpak been welcomed into the choir by the chairman Stuart Dearlove

Ken Hughes been welcomed into the choir by the chairman Stuart Dearlove