Salisbury Musical Society’s profile and musicianship has been particularly enhanced by the support of some key individuals in recent years.
Roy Bexon was appointed President of the Salisbury Musical Society at it’s AGM on 2nd October 2018. He is the Society’s third President and the appointment was made in recognition of Roy’s services to the choir. Roy trained as a physicist and moved to the Salisbury area in 1971 to work at Porton Down, joining the choir as a second tenor in 1973. Two years later he became Hon Treasurer for “a short while”. In the event he remained in post for 43 years until his retirement from that office at the AGM in 2017. He continues to be a singing member of the choir and is still a second tenor. In his time as treasurer, Roy gained a deep knowledge and understanding of the choir and it’s operation and finances. He was also involved in the preparation of the choir’s new Constitution and Rules. In conjunction with Stephen Lycett he designed, wrote, introduced and maintained the choir’s first website. For Roy, particular highlights of his time as treasurer were the four performances of Verdi: Requiem with the Philharmonische Chor Berlin, a concert of Monteverdi: Vespers of 1610 that included the Philip Jones Brass Ensemble, and every performance of Elgar’s Dream of Gerontius. He has enjoyed the wide variety of the SMS repertoire and the privilege of singing in Salisbury Cathedral with what he regards as an outstanding choir. Roy is also a Trustee of the Ralph Vaughan Williams Society.
Our most recent Past President was the late Sir David Willcocks. Sir David conducted the Salisbury Musical Society during his time as Organist at Salisbury Cathedral from 1947-50. He was only the second President the Society has had, the first being Sir Adrian Boult, a friend of our founder Walter Allcock. Sir Adrian died in 1983 and was succeeded by Sir David, who was a great supporter of the choir. Despite his busy schedule he still found time to come to our special events and in 2000 conducted one of the four performances of the Verdi Requiem that we sang with the Philharmonische Chor Berlin in Berlin and in St Paul’s and Salisbury Cathedrals.
We have had two distinguished Vice-Presidents:
Major General (ret’d) Patrick Brooking was a member of the Choir for many years. He was the senior military officer in Berlin in the late 1980s and sang with the Philharmonische Chor Berlin. He was the link between the PCB and Salisbury Musical Society and it is his inspiration (and fundraising) that have ensured that we established and maintained our relationship with the PCB. In recognition of his services to the Choir Patrick was made a Vice-President in 1999. Patrick died in early 2014.
Revd Jeremy Davies was a Vice-President during his tenure as the Canon Precentor at Salisbury Cathedral and for many years he was a tenor in the Salisbury Musical Society. He provided a valuable link between our Choir and the Cathedral in matters musical and was often to be seen at the front of the Choir on concert evenings, introducing the performers and giving the traditional opening prayer.