For as long as anyone can remember, Broughton has had a choir of boys and men leading the worship in the ancient Parish Church. Sadly however, there appear to be few records of personnel or of the Services in the Parish prior to appointment of Mr William Redmayne as Choirmaster.
In 1933, under the leadership of Mr Redmayne the Choir became one of the first to be affiliated to the School of English Church Music (now the Royal School of Church Music) and this affiliation has continued to the present day under successive Choirmasters, Gerry Dawson, Alan Trannah, Brian Cryer and John Catterall.
In the early days, the Choristers assembled in the old vestry on the north side of the chancel, but it became increasingly apparent in the 1970s that this room was quite inadequate for a rapidly growing choir, (it had been built to accommodate just twelve boys and eight men!) and in 1976 a new vestry was built with money from the Tyson Trust.
In addition to the building development, the 1970s saw the Choir extending its activities beyond the Parish boundaries. The week-long Choristers’ Course for the boys in the Isle of Man became established, (later it was extended to the men of the Choir); both boys and men became very actively involved in the RSCM Northern Cathedral Singers; and the Choir regularly undertook engagements in a number of Cathedrals in the North of England.
In 1992, the Choir undertook its first Overseas Tour, and sang five Concerts in the Morbihan area of Brittany, and in succeeding years has maintained its links with both this area of France and the Normandy Coast. As Choir numbers continued to increase, it became necessary for the Church to consider appointing a second member of the music staff. Mr Paul Dean (who began his musical career as a Broughton Chorister and who now teaches music in London), had given invaluable service, accompanying the Choir at Services, and he was succeeded by Mr Simon Clarkson, then Assistant Director of Music at Rossall School.
After considerable discussion, the PCC finally agreed to the appointment of a second ‘full-time’ musician, and in 1994, Mr Ian Seddon, a very accomplished musician, was appointed Assistant Organist, a post he held until 2010. The current Assistant Organist is Mr Harry Spencer, one time organ scholar of Chichester Cathedral and who, alongside this role, studies Music at Durham University.
The Choir continues to flourish and at the time of writing with a tour to the Isle of Man alongside with some big services at home, Broughton Choir is very definitely ‘on-song’!