History of BMS

Blackburn Music Society was formed in 1932, from the various amateur choral societies in the town, with the aim of providing opportunities for people to further their musical education and develop their appreciation of music. Until 1965, the Society had both a choir and an orchestra. In 1993 the Music Society was awarded Blackburn’s Civic Medal for its outstanding service to the Borough.

The Society’s first Musical Director and conductor was Dr Herman Brierly (1935 – 1939). He was followed by Horace Tattersall (1939 – 1977), Dr James Eastham (1977 – 2007), James Davy (2007 – 2013),  Tom Newall (2013 – 2018) and Abi Kitching (2018 – 2021).

Guest conductors have included Sir Charles Groves, Sir Malcolm Sargent, Hugo Rignold, Vernon Handley and Libor Pesek. Famous soloists who have sung with the Society include Kathleen Ferrier, Peter Pears, Richard Lewis, Joan Hammond, Jeffrey Lawton, George Allen, Isobel Baillie, Dame Janet Baker and Amanda Roocroft.

Click here for details of concerts from 2000 – 2018.