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BCS - The Loder Family
Bath Choral Society

Creation & The Loder Family

Loder Concert

The beginnings of a Choral Society in Bath can be traced to 1819 when, following a concert in the newly opened Freemason’s Hall in York Street, some thought it desirable when ‘during the summer and autumn months when all the other amusements in Bath are suspended’ to give three concerts during October. John David Loder led the orchestra.

In 1830 the Society gave a concert in aid of the new Victoria Park. Little was then heard until 1834 when Mr. Loder placed an advertisement in the Bath Chronicle advertising three concerts ‘solely to create a fund for the purchase of music, to enable them to continue the study and practice of choral compositions.’ At the first concert they performed two verses from Messiah with ‘impressive effect.’ Later the reviewer ‘acknowledged [their] capacity for singing chorus music, under every disadvantage – at hours stolen from repose after the toiling labours of the day – and with scarcely anyone to witness – much less to patronise – their laudable labours.’ No longer are they ‘compelled to send, as hitherto, to Wells, Bristol, Salisbury or Exeter, at an enormous expense ... They have established a strong corps of vocalists, already competent in numbers and science to the execution of any chorus music, however difficult, with a few hours practice.’

Indeed the Society’s reputation in supporting local causes began early for in November that same year they sang at the reopening of Batheaston Church when several members ‘promised to assist on the occasion.’

On Christmas Eve no less than six members of Mr. Loder’s family supported the Society in a selection from Handel, Haydn and other composers at the Assembly Rooms. John David Loder conducted while sons John Fawcett and Ferdinand played first violin and organ respectively. Elizabeth Loder, who stayed on in Bath following the separation from her composer husband, Edward, sang alongside her future sister-in-law, Emily Woodyatt, and uncle Andrew. Elizabeth emigrated to the USA in 1840 to join her cousin-in-law, George from Bathwick, who founded the New York Philharmonic two years later.

The concert included excerpts from Haydn’s The Creation which the Society is presenting in its entirety on Saturday 31 October in the Assembly Rooms. The edition used by Venanzio Rauzzini at its first performance in the Rooms in 1800 was conserved with generous donations by members from the Society some years ago. It is retained at the Royal College of Music in London.


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