Collection AR885 - Records of Croydon Philharmonic Society and predecessor bodies

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Records of Croydon Philharmonic Society and predecessor bodies


  • 1909 - 2006 (Creation)

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6 boxes

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Administrative history

Croydon Philharmonic Society was founded in 1914 (initially as Croydon Sacred Harmonic Society) by Alan J. Kirby (1889-1959) who remained its conductor until 1957. In 1937 it was at its peak, with 160 members.

Archival history

Boxes 1 and 6 on accompanying list came from John Gamet, nephew of the late Ethel Kirby (d.2005). The ownership of this material has been transferred to the CPS
The programmes will be transferred to the Local Studies Library.

A leading choir since its foundation on 1914, the Croydon Philharmonic Society is the largest choral society in Croydon. Its founder, Alan Kirby, conducted the Choir until his death in 1959. Under his leadership, it became strongly associated with some of the leading figures in British music. Elgar and Bliss both conducted their own works, and the Choir performed with many other eminent conductors, orchestras and soloists, as it continues to do to this day.

Alan Kirby was succeeded by Myers Foggin and then in 1973 by James Gaddarn, who considerably developed the the Choirs repertoire and versatility, until his retirement in 1999. The Choir was pleased to announce the appointment of David Gibson as its new millennium Music Director.

The Choir performs a wide range of music from the seventeenth century to the present day. It has commissioned and given the first performance of two major works, Heloise and Abelard by Dame Elizabeth Maconchy and Antonin Tucapskys Stabat Mater. The Choirs regular home is the Fairfield Hall, Croydon.
The collection includes some records of the String Players Club which was precursor of Croydon Symphony Orchestra. Until c.1926, concerts were joint between CPS and CSO. From then on, they became independent.)

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Box 1

Minutes of Committee Meetings:

1909 - 1914, 1920 (String Players Club was precursor of Croydon Symphony Orchestra. Until c.1926, concerts were joint between CPS and CSO. From then on, they became independent.)
1921 - 1922
1922 - 1928
1928 - 1934
1951 - 1957
1957 - 1960
1961 - 1964
1964 - 1968
1968 - 1973
1973 - 1976

Minutes of Annual General Meetings

1923 - 1939
1941 - 1962
1962 - 1979

Box 2

Programmes, November 1977 - December 2006

Box 3

Programmes, February 1927 - December 1959
Miscellaneous handbills

Box 4

Programmes, March 1960 - May 1977
Miscellaneous handbills

Box 5

Newsletters, February 1996 - October 2002

Minutes of Committee Meetings:

June 1981 - April 1991
June 1991 - April 1998

Collection of correspondence:

March 1975 - 31 October 1985
October 1985 - 31 December 1987

Publicity file including posters, newsletters and publicity invoices, 1986 - 1989

Box 6

Programme from 1964

Box of miscellaneous items including:

newspaper cuttings
membership paperwork
items related to the Fairfield Halls

Books of news cuttings:

1911 - 1933
1914 - 1963? (loose cuttings in file)
1922 - 1938
1933 - 1945
1946 - 1956


Envelope dated 1991 - 1992
Rolled Photograph
Black and White - concert at Fairfield Halls

Recordings: 5 cassettes; details to follow.

Black Bag

Certificate of fellowship of Alan Kirby from the Trinity College of Music

Certificate of honorary membership of Alan Kirby from the Royal Academy of Music (1947)

Large print of concert at the Fairfield Halls

Framed photograph of a concert

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