A MUSICIAN who established a successful Ponteland choral group has been honoured for her efforts.
St Mary’s Singers, which was started in the early 1990s by June Reed, now has 45 to 50 regular members who often perform with an orchestra and well-known soloists.
The proceeds from concerts, after expenses have been met, are always donated to charities or St Mary’s Church. Those who have benefited include St Oswald’s Hospice, Macmillan Cancer Support nurses, School for the Deaf, Diabetes Research, Alzheimer’s Research and the British Red Cross.
Mrs Reed, who is the group’s director, was chosen as this year’s recipient of Ponteland Town Council’s Meritorious Service Award. She was given a framed photograph of her and son David.
The former music teacher at Dame Allan’s School in Newcastle volunteered to fill an organist vacancy at a church in County Durham as she was an accomplished pianist and she has been playing the instrument ever since. She took on the same role at St Mary’s Church soon after moving to Ponteland.
She continues to play locally and has been an accompanist for the Newcastle Bach Choir for almost 50 years.
“Music has been my passion all my life and it’s fantastic to receive an award for something I love,” said Mrs Reed.
“We all enjoy making music together in such a beautiful building and as with any well-established group, we’ve become a kind of family and we always have a nice chat after each session.
“It was lovely to get something tangible from the town council, the frame is fantastic.”
Other events include social evenings, with performances of lighter works such as Trial by Jury and Merrie England, and an annual dinner.
Ponteland Mayor Peter Cowey, who presented the photo to her, said: “It is not really possible to state how much has been raised for the church and local charities, but it must run into many thousands of pounds.
“The town council thanks Mrs Reed for all the time and effort that she has given so willingly.”