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Society keep Kathleen Ferrier's memory alive
4:59pm Thursday 19th April 2012 in Titanic 100th Anniversary
THE Kathleen Ferrier centenary this weekend will have a special poignancy for members of the society created to celebrate the life and work of East Lancashire’s most famous singing star.
The Kathleen Ferrier Society was formed in 1993 to mark the 40th anniversary of the contralto’s death and now has over 220 members all round the world.
One of its prime functions is to arrange the annual bursary weekend in Blackburn in October.
The society has also established an informative website about the former Blackburn Telephone Exchange employee who rose to world prominence after winning a competition in Carlisle in 1937.
Society chairman Sylvia Alexander said: “I may have seen Kathleen Ferrier when I was about 10 or 11 and was taken to a Boxing Day performance of the Messiah at King George’s Hall, but I’m not sure.
“I really didn’t have an interest in her until I was about 18 and developed a deep interest in singing and that interest has remained with me ever since.
“She was a truly remarkable woman who retained her sense of humour, her down-to-earth manner and yet touched so many people through her singing.
“The aim of the society, particularly this year, is to celebrate both the life and legacy of one of the greatest figures that East Lancashire has ever produced.”
Society members have been heavily involved in arranging Sunday’s centenary celebrations at Higher Walton where Kathleen Ferrier was born.
A thanksgiving service will be held at All Saints Church at 10.45 on Sunday morning followed by a free recital in the church at 2.30pm featuring singer Bridget Rudge and pianist Johnathan Ellis For more details about the work of the Kathleen Ferrier Society visit www.kathleenferrier.org.uk.