The Torkard Ensemble is a community music organisation, formed in 2010. We believe that making and hearing live music should be accessible to everyone. We also provide opportunities for local groups and charities to hold fund raising events using music, as well as providing a musical background to events and gatherings in the community.
The Ensemble, which has grown from a handful of members in 2010 to around 60 in 2019, is made up of a number groups, the biggest of which are our choir and instrumental group. All our groups rehearse on different evenings in Hucknall town centre. Members are welcome to join as many as they wish.
Membership is open to people from any background, and musical qualifications are not required to join (however, for instrumentalists, a standard of Grade 5 or above is recommended due to the music we play). Some of our choir members don't read music and some are professional musicians - everyone is welcome!
The music that we perform ranges nearly all styles. There are opportunities for smaller groups of singers and instrumentalists too, where we explore different music, often more to our own personal tastes.
As well as our main concerts, you will find us out and about in the community all through the year, as well as presenting lunchtime recitals and facilitating sung evensong in local churches. In the past, we have put on performances in aid of My Sight Notts, Forever Stars, Sharewear, Under One Roof, Hope Lea and local groups such as churches and schools, raising up to £750 per concert. Over our lifetime, we've helped to raise thousands for good causes.
MEET THE TEAM
Sarah - Co-Musical Director (choir). Five words about me - sing. Deadpan. laugh. Mountains. Seaside Desert island disc - at the moment: Westworld soundtrack, Ramin Djawad Favourite sound - rain on a caravan roof when sat inside in the evening.
Matt - Musical Director (instrumental). Five words about me - woodwind, hilarious, not gonna lie. My desert island disc - Evita (2012 New Broadway Cast Recording). My favourite sound - removing the cork from a new bottle of Dalwhinnie Winter’s Gold whisky. Very specific description, but it’s a very specific sound...
Hannah - Treasurer. 5 words - oboist, biochemist, creative, determined, boardgamer Desert island disc - Lord of the Rings - Fellowship of the Ring soundtrack. I hope that it would bring me comfort and courage on the island. It’s got some stunningly beautiful tracks, would remind me of lots of my friends and has something for every emotion. Favourite sound - The sea. Last time I was there I took a recording of the sound of the waves crashing on to some rocks so I can listen to it whenever I want.
Jenny - Secretary. Five words about me - violinist, Teacher, Passionate, Eclectic, Singer Desert island disc - Depeche Mode - Violator Favourite sound - The sound of rain on a window
Carolyn - Chair & Co-Musical Director (choir). Five words to describe me - singer, fluter, crazy lurcher lady. My desert island disc - The Sixteen, Renaissance - Music for inner peace. My favourite sound - a dog's paws on the ground as they run with abandon.
Mel - choir pastoral support & new members, Deputy Treasurer, tenor section leader. Me in 5 words - ginger, clarinettist, rocker, social butterfly. Desert island disc - Jagged Little Pill - Alanis Morisette Or A-Ha - Cast in Steel. Favourite sound: Blackbird song on a hot summer evening
Mary - librarian. Five words about me - flutist, singer, friendly sociable fun-lover. Desert island disc - Beethoven Pastoral Symphony Favourite sound - skylark on the wing
Phil - Evensingers leader. 5 words... Singer, Dog walker, Lifetime learner. Disc... Vaughan Williams Fantasia on a theme by Thomas Tallis. Sound... Little people shouting 'Hello grandad’
Graham - social secretary. Five words: No good at maths. Desert-island disc: Kelvingrove Baby by The Bathers. Just gorgeous. Every song's a gem. Favourite sound: The crowd's roar when Luton Town score.
Howard - social secretary. Five words about me - Graecophile Yorkshire Tiger, Music, Family. Desert island disc: Mahler’s 3rd Symphony by Georg Solti. Favourite sound: Birdsong, especially the Dawn Chorus in my back garden.
Lynda - Safeguarding. Five words: rotund, ancient, bookaholic, interested, daft. Desert island disc: Vaughan-Williams, Fantasia on a Theme of Thomas Tallis. Favourite sound: calm waves crashing on a shingle beach (lived in Hastings for 27 years!)
Colin - Torkard Academy Business Manager & Lunchtime Recitals. Five words about me - singer: regularly communicating with elephants. Desert island disc - Ella Fitgerald singing "Mack the Knife" recorded live on Feb 13th 1960 at the Deutschlandhalle, Berlin. My favourite sound - giggling babies.
Honor - Deputy Treasurer. 5 words about me: linguist, singing, Cornwall, G&S, crazy (is that cheating having G&S as one word?) Desert Island disc: Messiah (first concert I ever attended – at least that I can remember – aged 5 and first date with hubby Favourite sound: a baby’s chuckle
The small print for groups wanting to hire us
The ensemble is available to hire for functions and concerts of charitable organisations and groups in the local area (we are based in Hucknall).
We will agree an appropriate fee with you to reflect the time and expenses related to rehearsing and performing for your event. We are not a profit making organisation, and our aim is to give a high standard of performance whilst helping to raise money for local groups and charities.
We look forward to building long lasting relationships with local organisations.