The Songmiths' Story
In June 1981 the professional soprano Margaret Smith and the well known Jersey pianist June Day formed a singing group that is still going strong.
Now into its 30th decade the group continues to meet regularly on Wednesday evenings, when the emphasis is still on singing for enjoyment while preparing ourselves for concert performances.
Songsmiths' concerts have raised many thousands of pounds for local charities at a variety of venues around the Island from the Opera House and Arts Centre to a selection of Parish Halls. In addition the group has always been in demand for weddings and seasonal entertainments with Christmas carols.
In 1983 the Songsmiths (as seen below) travelled to Alderney where they performed with great success - a trip which the present members of the group repeated in 2012.
In 1987 Margaret Smith returned to England and Barbara Smale took over as leader of the group. June Day continued as accompanist for several years, followed by Norma Campbell, Val Crowe and more recently Terri O'Donoghue and Ben Shaw. Ray Kitchen joined the group as a resident drummer for many years until he retired. His place has since been taken by Callum Gillies and Jack Chown.
Barbara Smale relinquished the position of musical director of the Songsmiths in 2010 and we are fortunate that her role has been taken over by Anne Hembry, who has had a wealth of experience as pianist for several local choirs.
The Songsmiths have also been privileged to have many talented young people perform in their concerts. These have included dancers, solo and group musicians and a drama
group. Maureen Mannion has also made a guest appearance on a number of occasions.