Within the main Orpheus choir are two smaller choirs – the Swan Singers and the Wycombe Orpheus Cygnets (click here for more information about the Cygnets).
The Swan Singers was the brainchild of chorister Eddie Evans, at 93 a highly-regarded stalwart of the Orpheus. More than 20 years ago, he realised that there was a need for a choir which could perform concerts in smaller venues to entertain people during the day time.
The choir, consisting of around 24 singers in the four vocal parts – first tenors, second tenors, first basses and second basses – has now presented more than 300 concerts for a wide range of organisations raging from the WI or Derby & Joan clubs to church gatherings. They take place in community centres, local churches and church halls – even at retirement and nursing homes.
The repertoire is firmly based on the music which the full Orpheus has in its repertoire. The accent at each show is on good singing with a high level of fun, from comic monologues and songs and with some solo performances from members of the choir.
It’s a highly entertaining afternoon of music and fun hugely enjoyed by audience and choir in a relaxed atmosphere. The choir is kept in order (well, some of the time!) by Deputy Musical Director Keith Pulford, currently standing in for regular MD Peter Gibbons who is on sick leave. Musical accompaniment is by the superlative Gwen Woodcock on piano.
The Swans are in huge demand and on average only manage to visit a particular venue every two years or so. Repeat bookings are normal. The choir does not charge a set fee for a performance but asks for a donation to choir funds. This is decided by the venue and reflects what it can afford to pay.
Despite the demand, the Swans is happy to consider new venues. Bookings can be made via the concert secretary Geoff Pimm on 01296 651990, email: firstname.lastname@example.org ). Contact him if you would like to discuss a booking.