Epsom choir conductor says farewell after 22 years
A choir has sung the praises of its conductor who has performed his last concert with them after 22 years.
Michael Stevenson said farewell to the 35-strong Epsom Chamber Choir (ECC) on Friday, June 30.
The conductor, who trained at the Trinity College of Music in London as a conductor, organist, oboist and singer, played a key role in transforming the choir into one of the best in the county.
Under his charge it performed in public six times a year both in the UK and abroad.
Mr Stevenson said he would miss the choir - which introduced him to his then future wife.
He said: "I feel very privileged to have conducted the Epsom Chamber Choir for over 20 years.
"As this represents almost half my lifetime it will be quite a shock not to see them every week and I shall miss them hugely.
"Nevertheless, I am very happy to be passing on the baton to my successor, Piers Maxim.
"I met my wife, Sue, through the choir and as she will continue to sing with them I will definitely keep in touch.
"I wish them all the very best for the future".
Dick Bacon, choir chairman, said: "Michael has been a wonderful conductor to work with - moulding the choir to achieve a quality of performance that gives great satisfaction to audience and choir alike.
"He always leads rather than drives, and is so obviously on top of the finest of details that it is a pleasure to work hard with him.
"We shall miss him."
Beth Hill, who was already a member when Mr Stevenson was appointed, also paid tribute to Mr Stevenson’s work in establishing ECC as a formidable force within the county’s choirs.
She said: "Michael has taken a good group of singers and turned them into one of the most outstanding choirs in Surrey.
"Wherever we sing, whether it is in Epsom, or in cathedrals and churches in England, France and Belgium, concert-goers marvel at the quality and purity of the sound.
"Michael’s brilliant conducting has enabled us to breathe new life into established favourites as well as to tackle new choral works."
ECC sings music by a range of composers, from Fats Waller and Arvo Part to specially commissioned pieces and classics.
For more information visit www.epsomchamberchoir.org.uk