The Bristol Phoenix Choir - The Early Days

On 3 Oct 1962 four friends, all former members of Bristol Youth Choir, met to discuss their hope of forming a new choir. They agreed to ask their former choir leader, Ronald Short, if he was interested in the idea and becoming their conductor and Bristol Phoenix Choir was born.

A few years later, 20 May 1968, the Choir sang at the opening of Harlech Television, then in Bath Road, Brislington, whose Board of Directors included Richard Burton, Elizabeth Taylor, Sir Geraint Evans, Harry Secombe, and Wynford Vaughan Thomas. On this ‘spectacular evening’ Richard Burton read a poem and Elizabeth Taylor flashed her newly acquired 33.19 carat diamond ring.

The Choir were singing the Christmas Concert in St Stephen’s Church on 18 December 1974, on the Centre. About 30 minutes into the programme there were two very loud bangs. The Choir carried on, of course, and learned only later that the Provisional IRA had exploded two bombs outside Dixon's Photographic shop in Park Street. Mercifully no one was killed, but twenty
were injured.

In 1978 the baton passed to Paul Stephens and subsequent Musical Directors have included David Ogden and Leslie Bunt before the baton passed to our current MD Paul Walton.

(Thanks to Choir former members Dorothy Avent and Eileen Redding for early


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