Over the years members have shared the stage with superstars of the classical music world.
Now Walsall Choral Society is preparing to mark its 70th anniversary after standing the test of time with flying colours.
And with a healthy membership of around 70 singers, the society – founded in 1944 – is still going strong.
Special concerts have been planned to mark the milestone next year.
Current musical director of six years Toby Barnard said: “Some of our oldest singers are in their 80s, the youngest are in their 30s.
“I think our success comes down to us not holding auditions. We are also quite a sociable group.
“And there is a really relaxed atmosphere although we do take on some pretty difficult pieces. We have high standards but we also really enjoy ourselves.”
The society rehearses every Tuesday between September and May at Blue Coat Academy in Walsall.
In 1945 English tenor Peter Pears performed with the society and Dame Janet Baker, a mezzo-soprano, also appeared years later.
Walsall Choral Society formed in 1944 following a meeting held by then-mayor Councillor David Jones, with the first concert taking place on February 14, 1945.
Peter Morris was the society’s conductor for 30 years. He joined the society in 1977 at the age of 30.
He said: “I joined because I knew a few people that were already members. I was 30-years-old at the time and I thought it was a good thing to do.
“We used to put on two big concerts ourselves and held concerts at the town hall in Walsall.”
Mr Morris said one of his main highlights was taking the choir over to France.
He added: “We performed twice in Mulhouse, which is Walsall’s twinned town over there. Those performances were highlights for me. It was in the 1980s and then again in 2000. I conducted a French and German choir which both performed on stage with us.
“Throughout my 30 years we always had a healthy membership.”
Mr Morris left the society in 2007. He was appointed director of music at St Peter’s Collegiate Church in Wolverhampton in 2003 and is currently in charge of the boys’, girls’ and mens’ choirs, with 100 members in total.
Members of Walsall Choral Society are currently rehearsing for a Christmas carol concert on December 14. It is taking place at the Broadway United Reformed Church off Sutton Road, Walsall.
And they are putting on a big gala concert on May 17 next year based on Haydn’s Creation at St Matthew’s Parish Church in the town centre.
It will feature solo performances and orchestra pieces. Hundreds of people are expected to snap up tickets and attend.
Mr Barnard added: “There is a sense of excitement about our 70th anniversary. We are all looking forward to it. Members have been going back over our previous performances and looking at concert programmes.
“The society has performed with some big names over the years.
“Peter Pears was a big name, not to mention Dame Janet Baker. They performed with us fairly early in their careers, before they were famous. They went on to become international soloists.”
The society puts on three big concerts every year. New members are always welcome and encouraged to simply turn up to rehearsals.