About Us

Our Music
Bude Choral Society has a reputation for performing a wide variety of choral works in the local area. In addition to the traditional classical choral repertoire, we explore many different musical styles, lending us a diversity that ensures that we remain engaged with our singers and with our audience. Our aim is to work closely with local charities so that we can benefit the community through our music-making.

We usually perform at least two concerts a year, around Easter and in late Autumn/Christmas, and we are frequently invited to sing with other choirs in the area.

The Choir
We have around 55 members, who come from all walks of life, united by a love of singing. Current members come from as far away as Bideford, Black Torrington, Milton Damerel, Ashwater and Launceston for rehearsals. We are a non-auditioned choir, which means we are open to everyone. Most of us have some experience of singing and can read music but not everyone does – there’s always someone on hand to help.

We rehearse every week from September-April (with breaks usually alongside the school holidays). We meet at Stratton Primary School on Wednesday evenings, from 7:30-9:30pm. Subscriptions are £25 per term, which includes music hire.

Do come and join us! You can just turn up, and you'll be welcomed; alternatively ring the BCS Secretary or make contact via e-mail (see details on the
Contact Us page)

Our Musical Director and Accompanist

John Hobbs has played the piano and sung since early school days in his native Warwickshire. Singing became even more central to his career when he was awarded a Choral Exhibition, at the age of 17, to assist his studies at Christ's College, Cambridge.  

After settling in North Devon in 1964, he began dairy farming whilst concurrently developing a singing career, which has led him to perform an extensive repertoire of oratorio, lieder and songs with many choral and music societies. 

A move into Cornwall, in 1968, saw him pick up the baton for the first time and become the Conductor of Bude Choral Society, a post he has held since, apart from a gap of five years when he moved back over the border into Devon in 1981, when he also became organist of Holy Trinity Church, Weare Giffard, near Bideford. 

His farming career was interrupted by a twenty year term as Director of Music at St Petroc's School, Bude, during which period he joined the Duchy Opera Company in 1987 and  became the Conductor of  the North Devon Choral Society in 1992. He has performed a large number of principal baritone, operatic roles and is currently preparing the role of Germont for Duchy Opera's forthcoming production of Verdi's 'La Traviata', which will be performed at the Princess Pavilion, Falmouth in June and The Minack Theatre, Porthcurno, in July. 

On retiring from his teaching post in 2007, John became the Conductor of the South Devon Choir, based in Torbay, and, every three years or so, members of all three choral societies combine to perform a joint, summer concert of a major choral work, the most recent being of Verdi's 'Requiem' in 2016.

Our accompanist, Sylvia Goldspink, studied piano, viola, accompaniment and composition at the Royal Academy of Music. After gaining graduate, teaching and performing diplomas she took up school teaching and also did concert and continuo work as a harpsichordist. While her children were small, Sylvia toured extensively in the UK and later returned to school work as Head of Music in schools in Kent and in London. 

She moved to Devon in 1980 and set up a large private teaching practice as well as examining for the Associated Board. This work took her, over a period of 21 years, to many UK and Northern Ireland venues, to Eire and the Channel Islands, as well as 7 times to Hong Kong, 5 times to Malaysia, 3 times to Singapore, twice to the USA, to Japan, Korea, Indonesia, Australia, New Zealand, and European destinations of Germany, Cyprus, Denmark and Sweden. Now retired from examining, Sylvia works locally as an accompanist and keyboard player, sings in local choirs and plays viola in several orchestras and quartets.