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Abingdon & District Musical Society

Our History

Abingdon and District Musical Society gave its first performance on 23 May 1946, in the Corn Exchange, Abingdon. The programme was a mix of choral and orchestral pieces including Stanford’s The Revenge and Quilter’s Non Nobis Domine.  Mary Shott conducted this first concert and stayed with the society until 1954.

Under the guidance of a number of different conductors (Anthony Caesar,  Hugh Sawbridge, Hugo Langrish, David Pettit, Edward Olleson and Antony le Fleming) ADMS grew stronger.  It performed in St Helens Church and in the newly opened (1966) Amey Hall at Abingdon School.  1n 1972 Donwald Burrows took up the baton with ADMS – a partnership that was to last 11 years and include 2 consecutive performances of Berlioz’s Grande Messe des Morts in Dorchester Abbey. He was followed by David Andrew who stayed until 1990.

After just a year under Mark Goddard, Mary Moore took ADMS through to its Golden Jubilee ‘Last Night of the proms’ Concert in 1996.  Neil Farrow took over from Mary in 1997 and led us through to our Diamond Jubilee year with a magnificent performance of Walton’s Belshazzar’s Feast.    Alexander Walker joined us as Musical Director in 2006 and we look forward to many years of music making under his baton.

A record of all the societies concert programs from 1989 to the present (except for the Christmas charity concerts) can be found here. This list was compiled by Mark Peters, Gordon Skidmore and Phil Stopford.