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Bangor International Choral Festival


Bangor Ladies Choir are based in Bangor Northern Ireland on the coast of County Down by the shores of Belfast Lough.

The Choir was formed back in September of 1976 by Isobel Reid, the founding conductor. In 1990 Isobel retired from conducting and the baton was confidently passed to Musical Director, Joan Houston who led the choir to become one of the finest Ladies Choirs in Northern Ireland. In April 2011 Paul Briggs was appointed as Musical Director of Bangor Ladies Choir and together with Deputy Conductor Christine Crutchley and Accompanist Joanne Cruise the Choir moved into a new era.

In June 2017 Paul Briggs decided to step down as Musical Director with Bangor Ladies Choir in order to concentrate his musical talents and expertise with Ballyclare Male Choir.  The Choir were saddened by Paul’s passing in 2020 and will always be very grateful for Paul’s direction and guidance and how he raised the choir’s performances to new heights.

Taking over as Musical Director in 2017 was Christine Crutchley who had been Deputy Conductor with BLC and she has brought her style and panache to the choir by adding new and contemporary arrangements of popular music and by including new dimensions to choir performances through movement and a range of musical accompaniments - taking choir even further and raising performance standards to new levels, but at the same time keeping the fun in learning. Christine and Joanne, Choir Accompanist, have a wonderful rapport and work in tandem with each other, and when adding in our wonderful Choir Technician, Diane Campbell, we are so fortunate to have a fabulous Music Team!

The Choir membership in 2023 stands at 78 ladies …. and counting … each year we recruit new members. Being part of the choir requires two very important elements - dedication and commitment - and it is evident that, over the years, these have remained at the core of the choir, demonstrating the loyalty of the choir members not only to each other but to keeping the talent of choral singing alive and well! Excellent performances just don't happen, and a lot of hard work and effort is put in at every rehearsal, however, the camaraderie, enjoyed by everyone, is also a very special part of being a Choir Member.

In 2005 the local Council of the borough of North Down conferred the status of Borough Ambassador on Bangor Ladies Choir. This was the first conferment ever to an external Organisation outside of the Council Membership and the Choir were privileged and proud to accept this unique position. In 2015 the Borough of North Down merged with the neighbouring Borough of Ards and in 2022 when City Status was conferred, the Choir were again appointed the first Ambassadors of the new City of Bangor. At the Conferment Ceremony led by Her Royal Highness, The Princess Royal, Princess Anne, the Choir were honoured to perform in her presence. The Choir is extremely privileged to hold the honorary role of City Ambassadors and will always promote the City of Bangor, the Borough of Ards and North Down and indeed Northern Ireland - irrespective of whether our travels take us across the Province or across the world. 

So, in 2023 in a world of technology, BLC now have their social media page and Youtube channel where we can share information and performances with our followers. We have come a long way but by recruiting new members we will future proof BLC for the years to come!

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