The MGC Choir has its roots in Portsmouth and was founded in 1948 by the late Stanley Mortimore who conducted the choir for its first 37 years. It began with a group of singers drawn mainly from St. James Church, Milton in Portsmouth, England and has grown to its present membership of 100 drawn from the greater Portsmouth area.
Stanley Mortimore stayed with the choir, apart from a period of 3 years job relocation in Plymouth, until his untimely death in May 1986 and was instrumental in starting its link with the Bolinger Mannergesangverein Choir in Germany. An association which resulted in many trips, in both directions, performing in music festivals.
Brian North was appointed as Musical Director in 1986, and has taken the choir from strength to strength in the last 31 years. Brian retired as Musical Director in December 2017 and Andrew Cleary took up the batton early in 2018. Under the Guidance of Brian North, the choir have performed three concerts annually in Portsmouth Guildhall to several thousand people each year.
The MGC Choir perform a range of music from Part Song to Grand Opera; Oratorio to Songs from West End and Broadway Musicals. In addition to this, they give regular concerts at smaller locations for many charities such as Parkinsons UK and raising many thousands of pounds. Each Easter, they perform a Sacred work such as Vivaldi’s ‘Gloria’, and Brahms ‘Requiem’, Handel’s ‘Messiah’, Karl Jenkins ‘The Armed Man’ and given a Portsmouth Premiere of William Lloyd Webber’s ‘Divine Compassion’.
Over the years this now 100 strong, 4 part, choir has appeared in such places as the Portsmouth Guildhall, Fairfield Hall in Croydon, the Royal Albert Hall in London, and the Festival Hall, also in London. They have had, as guests for their concerts, such stars as Rostal & Schaefer, David Hughes, Roy Castle, and Tom O’Connor, to name but a few. They have also had a very long relationship with the Royal Marines Bands and Orchestras. The choir especially values its relationship with the Royal Marines Association Concert Band, The Hampshire Police Band and the London Show Orchestra.
The choir has had a busy few years recently as, in addition to regular concerts at Portsmouth Guildhall, it has performed at the huge stage on Southsea Common in front of 10,000 people as part of the D-Day commemoration and at a major concert evening in Chichester Cathedral. Recent highlights have been recording the MGC Choir’s contribution for the ‘Heroes Tide’ CD, supporting the D-Day Museum appeal, a joint concert with The Bath Chorus and being joined on stage by ‘BelCanto’, a choir from Germany. This involved meeting up once again with friends from many years ago for a wonderful weekend of friendship and music making. With your help we have raised over £130,000 for local charities over several decades. Thank you to anyone who has supported us at any event and look forward to seeing you in the future. You keep coming and we’ll keep singing!