Choirmaster Denise bids fond farewell

For many years the St Michael’s Hospice Community Choir has entertained audiences – including royalty – at fundraising events throughout Herefordshire.

But the 30-strong group will this month bid a fond farewell to its Choirmaster, Denise Bishop.

Denise is standing down at the same time as retiring from her role in the Fundraising team at St Michael’s, based in Bartestree.

‘I’d like to thank everyone for their support, not only towards me but the Hospice as a whole,’ she said. 

‘I’ve met so people I simply wouldn’t have done had it not been for this role.

‘There’s a real mix in the group. Some are staff members and volunteers, others are patients’ relatives. For relatives, I think it’s a way of staying in touch with a place which means so much to them. I shall miss them all.’ 

The Choir began life in 2009 when it was formed to sing at Hereford Cathedral during celebrations to mark 25 years of St Michael’s.

Denise was a Choir member that day but following a chat with a colleague, she put her name forward to lead the group for the Hospice’s 30th Anniversary in 2014, again at the Cathedral.

‘We were only supposed to be getting back together for the one event, but everyone seemed to enjoy it so I asked them whether they’d be interested in meeting again.’

Since then the choir has enthralled audiences at a variety of Hospice-led events including Midsummer Lights and the Flower Festival at Lyde Arundel last September.

The Choir has also staged its own concerts, notably One Glittering Night, One Starry Night, and Sounds of Summer at Eastnor Castle, and performed to the likes of Princess Alexandra and Monty Don.    

If you would be interested in becoming the Hospice’s new Choirmaster, which is a voluntary role, call Jill Groves at St Michael’s for more information on 01432 852 606.

Caption: Denise Bishop (front row, right) pictured alongside Monty Don and the St Michael’s Hospice Community Choir during the launch of the Transformation and Peace Flower Festival last September.