Making Memories… Giving Hope

The Ridgeway Chorale Concert in aid of CHICKS


The Ridgeway Chorale, a choir of 20 singers from Hertfordshire, will be giving a concert in St. Eustachius, the parish church of Tavistock, in aid of CHICKS.

They will be singing a number of short items, sacred and secular, old and new, serious and fun. Among these will be pieces by Thomas Morley, George Frederick Handel, Charles Villiers Stanford, Billy Joel, Gordon Sumner (best known as Sting) and that famous ubiquitous composer, Anon! As their guest soloist, the singers are honoured to be joined by trumpeter Marcus Coleridge, a pupil at Mount Kelly School.

The concert will be free, but audience members are invited to contribute to a collection that will be divided between two good causes: firstly CHICKS, and secondly St. Eustachius Church itself, a vibrant organisation within a beautiful old building.

About the Ridgeway Chorale

The Ridgeway Chorale draws its members from Tring, Hertfordshire and the surrounding area. Besides giving concerts, the choir sings at weddings and other services, village entertainment, and annually from the top of Puttenham Church Tower at dawn on 1st May. They have given concerts during the last 19 years in such far-flung parts of the UK as Suffolk, Derbyshire, Powys, Dorset and Jersey, and are delighted to be in Devon this year.

Ridgeway Chorale promo photo

Abroad, the choir has sung in Switzerland and Burgundy. At all these 'away' concerts, and at more local ones near Tring, the choir sings for free, and their accommodation and travel costs are met by individual members of the choir. This way, all the proceeds can go to good causes. Since its formation in late 2001, the choir has raised over £36,000 for various charities.

The Ridgeway Chorale is directed by Richard Grylls, who has a strong connection with Tavistock. His ten times great grandfather William Grylls (c. 1515–1577), in addition to being an attorney and a tin merchant in the town, became one of the ‘Eight Men of Tavistock’ who ran the town for the Duke of Bedford. The duke had acquired vast amounts of land in and around Tavistock after the Dissolution of the Monasteries in the mid 1530s. He virtually owned the town.

In 1551/2, along with William Poynter, William Grylls leased some land from the duke and founded the first grammar school in Tavistock. Research has determined that the school was situated on the edge of the old Abbey Precincts, about 15 metres straight ahead from the south door of St. Eustachius Church, and the school probably continued in the same building until 1837. Richard’s ancestor and his family no doubt worshipped at St. Eustachius, so they may well be listening in and looking on during the concert.