• Sat. Jul 20th, 2024

About Us

We evolved from Netherfield Choir, a mixed voice works choir of K Shoemakers Ltd. The Somervell family, owners of the company, founded the choir in 1929 to raise monies for the local hospital.

They had a long association with it, from John the founder through his son Arthur (later Sir), then his twin sons Hubert (in the 1930s) and Ronald (1940s) as conductors.

After World War II, as Netherfield Male Voice Choir, most of their efforts went into competing in the biennial Mary Wakefield festival.

Opening the membership to non-employees in 1969 attracted singers from a much wider area, the name K Shoes Male Voice Choir was adopted and Mary Powney became Musical Director.

The success of Mary’s leadership in conjunction with accompanist Colin Tolson, was reflected at music festivals, in broadcasts on local and national radio and television and on several commercial recordings.

Martin Webster took over in 2001 on Mary’s retirement. He had ten years experience with Welwyn Garden City Male Voice Choir between 1983 and 1993, initially as singer, then accompanist and finally as conductor. While living in Hertfordshire he combined working life (his last post before retiring to Cumbria was as head at Haslewood School, Hoddesdon) with a wide range of conducting or accompanying roles, including school choirs, church organist and choirs and Hertfordshire Gilbert and Sullivan Society.

There was a small, but significant name change in 2011, when ‘Kendal’ was appended to more clearly identify the choir with the town of its origin.

In July 2011 Ian Allan took over as Musical Director who brought with him twenty three years experience with the British Army.

Our Musical Director

Michael Sanderson

Michael Sanderson took up the role of Musical Director with the Choir in May 2022. He has been instrumental in the choirs recovery from the Covid pandemic and its return to public performances.

Michael has performed as a free-lance musician and teacher since graduating in music from Nottingham University in 1986. He sang as a soloist with the touring baroque opera company Opera Restor’d for over ten years, and spent three years singing in the choir of St.George’s Chapel Windsor Castle.

Michael sings and plays with many period instrument chamber groups including Midlands-based Musica Donum Dei. Before moving to Cumbria, for nearly thirty years he was Head of Student Music at Brunel University, and for sixteen years, director of Renaissance Voices a chamber choir based in Berkshire. Folk fiddle playing has also played a big part in Michael’s life.

Since joining the folk band ‘Kinfolk he has recorded on their second album and frequently appeared with them at folk clubs and festivals. Michael now runs Eden Valley Music along with his wife Katharine, teaching and performing from their studio in the Eden Valley.

Michael Sanderson

Our Accompanist

Andy Glanville

The choir is fortunate to have such an accomplished accompanist in Andy Glanville who has been with the choir for many years and is a key member of our musical team. 

Andy has been playing the piano since the age of 6 and since his retirement from Thames Valley Police has taught piano at a number of schools.  

He continues to play as part of a musical trio along with a cellist and violinist. He enjoys playing a wide variety of musical styles particularly jazz.

Andy Glanville