Wessex Male Choir director hangs up his baton after musical send-off
ROB Elliott, the director of the Wessex Male Choir, has said his final farewell after founding the choir more than 12 years ago.
His final performance was at the Christmas concert at Holy Rood Church on Friday.
The last 12 years have seen the choir sing at Twickenham and Wembley, and they have won some of the highest honours.
More than 400 people gathered at the church to give Rob a send off.
“It was quite emotional for the family,” said Rob. “They were all shedding tears by the end.
“The choir saw them and were obviously moved, some found it very hard to sing.
“I was absolutely fine until we came to the final carol of the evening. The whole audience joined in, and I looked over to my eldest daughter, but had to look away because I was starting to well up.”
It was no ordinary performance, and the choir had a few surprises in store for Rob.
“At the end they had a special send-off for me, and gave me a Trophy Of Trophies trophy,” he said.
“Etched onto it were all the prizes the choir has won over the last 12 years.
“There was also a photo album which had been packaged and bound specially.
“On top of that, there was a lovely letter from the choir’s patron Aled Jones wishing me well for the future.”
The choir has an impressive history, and Rob said he had loved very minute.
“We have had 20 awards altogether, and I am proud of every one of them,” he said.
“The first one was in 2003 from the Cheltenham festival. The last one was the same trophy 10 years later, and there have been a few in between.
“I would say my proudest achievement was winning the International Eisteddfod in 2011, when the choir became international champions.
“The choir is now in very good hands. Katrine Reimers will be taking my place, and she has worked mostly worth children’s choirs. She is a round peg in a round hole.”
Rob will now take some well earned time off.
“I am still going to continue piano teaching, which is keeping me busy,” he said.
“I am proud, and it has been a massive team effort. People have looked to me for guidance, but you can’t be a choir by yourself. I have been very lucky to lead an extraordinary group of talented singers and musicians over the last 12 years.
Ken Bull, the chairman of the Wessex Male Choir, said: “The choir’s thoughts are all with Rob and what he gave them over 12 glorious years.”
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