The Torbay Singers was founded in 1967 under conductor Janyce Pringle. The inaugural concert in 1968 included a performance of Schubert's Mass in G, which the choir also performed at its Silver Jubilee Concert in 1993 and again at its 40th anniversary concert in 2008, all at St Matthias Church in Wellswood, Torquay.
Since Janyce Pringle, a succession of equally eminent conductors have led the choir and contributed to building its special character: Anne Kimber, Michael Lane, Nigel Amhurst, Donald Cashmore, Nicholas Marshall, Chris Williams, Bob Barsby and - since 2005 - Tina Guthrie.
Throughout its history the choir has performed major works by Handel, Bach, Mozart, Purcell, Fauré, Britten and Vaughan Williams and has not been afraid to include works by lesser-known composers. On the lighter side, the choir has included folk songs, madrigals and carols in its performances.
The Torbay Singers have twice visited choirs in France and hosted a Danish choir in Torquay with much merriment and singing in two languages! As part of the continuing muslcal links between Exeter and its Breton twin city Rennes, the singers joined the EMG Symphony Orchestra and fellow choirs from Devon and Rennes for a performance of Berlioz's Te Deum in Exeter Cathedral. Language is no barrier for the Torbay Singers; the choir has sung in Latin, German, French, Danish, Hebrew and Old Church Slavonic!
The choir has always sought to support and encourage talented young musicians and regularly engages singers and instrumentalists from leading conservatoires, including the Royal Academy of Music, Royal Northern College of Music, Guildhall School of Music and Drama. The choir is grateful to the Josephine Baker Trust for regular support in engaging young soloists.
The Torbay Singers continues to go from strength to strength, tackling peaks of the repertoire such as Bach's St John Passion, B minor Mass, and Haydn's Creation alongside a rich and entertaining selection of choral music both familiar and unusual.