A conductor marked his fourth decade at the helm of Tring Choral Society with a surprise party to celebrate.
Colin Stevens took on the mantle from his father Roland in 1974 after being involved with the choir as a rehearsal pianist in his youth.
Since then, the choir has more than doubled in size and it performs three major concerts every year.
Colin, 66, said: “I’ve had the chance to explore different music of all kinds and forge many friends along the way. We may not always be perfect but we make lovely music together.
“It’s such a huge part of my life that I can’t imagine ever giving it up completely. While I’m fit and well, I’ll carry on, but I don’t think they’ll put up with me for another 40 years!”
To mark the occasion, more than 65 people – including members of the society – past and present – turned out to celebrate with Colin and watch as he conducted pieces by a range of composers, from Bach to Rachmaninov, rung out at the Victoria Hall and excerpts from Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana – one of the first works Colin conducted with the choir.
Choir member Margaret Collier said: “Colin is highly respected, well-loved and charismatic conductor and the fact we had a full hall tells you the sort of standing he has not only in the choir, but in the community at large.”
Colin was presented with a bound orchestral score of Mozart’s Requiem – a performance of which will take place at 7.30pm on April 5 at St Peter and St Paul’s Church on the High Street.
Visit www.tringchoralsociety.org.uk or call 01442 823915 for more information.