The choir was first formed in 1972 and is now in its forty eighth year. In 2017 the choir changed its name to be “Torbay Police & Community Choir”
The Founding Father was Police Superintendent Kelland and four colleagues, who after several months of planning and meetings, held the first concert consisting of just five songs on 7th November 1973 in Teignmouth.
In its early days, the role of Chairman fell to Charles Parsons, then a serving Superintendent in Torquay. Sadly Charles passed away recently. Although long retired from police service, Charles remained an active member of the choir. In 2013, Charles decided that it was time to stop singing, Charles always supported the choir up to the end and it with heartfelt thanks he will always be remembered.
It was well known in years gone by that police officers serving under Charles were first questioned on their singing ability. It was thus, with gentle persuasion of course, that many were recruited to the choir. It is unclear what happened to those who refused to take part, but it is probable they moved on to other police stations!
During its development, it was decided to broaden the scope of members and so it is that today, less than 50% of the members have a police or police support staff background. This mix from all walks of life has served to give strength in depth to the choir and assisted in the promotion of understanding of the police service generally.
Two other founder members were Chris Brokenshire and Paul Sooben, both having earned their long service certificates on completion of 40 years in the choir but now retired.
In its history, the choir has had only five Musical Directors, and currently enjoy the professional skills of Hannah Spooner
The choir has had eight Accompanists in its lifetime. After two long spells with the choir, Carol Massey has recently returned and has quickly settled in at both rehearsals and performances.
During its forty eight years of performance, there have naturally been highs and lows for the choir. At one time numbers fell to 16 choristers. However, the energy and good nature of the choir, and some of its proudly held attributes, soon meant that numbers increased and there are now some thirty six members.
Concerts too have seen many memorable highlights, and the choir have performed at the Royal Albert Hall in London, and also Cardiff Arms Park, as well as undertaking various tours to Germany and Holland.
As it has always done, the ethos of the choir is to perform for charities and worthwhile causes. Pursuing this policy has seen large sums of money being raised for such charities and causes.
None of this of course would be possible without a strong committee, backed up by a skilled and hard-working Ladies Committee. As with most organisations, the background workers rarely receive acclaim, but they are very much appreciated by the choir and all those who enjoy its average of 9 concerts per year.