Padbury pianist Ray Mitchell is stepping down after 17 years of tickling the ivories for the Lenborough Singers.
The 70 year-old musician will play his swansong at the group’s sold-out performance on December 10.
Having supported the vocalists since the millennium year, Ray reflects on how the group has grown.
He said: “I got involved with the Lenborough Singers when I was the church organist at Padbury Church. At the time they rehearsed there and the vicar asked if I could play so I did and it all started from there.
“The group are a great bunch, very friendly indeed. I think since I started 17 years ago the main difference has been that the choir has doubled in number.”
With two shows planned at St Bernardine’s Church in Buckingham on Sunday December 10, Ray, who lives in Padbury and is the organist at the Parish Church, is looking forward to a very personal performance.
He added: “We also sing a bigger variety of music now - sometimes we do pop songs, sometimes songs from the shows and sometimes choral work. We have definitely increased our repertoire.”
“The choir very kindly let me choose the music for my last concert and among the pieces I’ve chosen are works by Benjamin Britten and Franz Schubert.
“I have chosen some carols but not the traditional ones - so we’ll be doing the Sussex Carol and Jesus Christ the apple tree. I will miss playing for the group but I felt it was the right time to let someone else take over.
Singer Sarah Wakeman said: “Ray is going to be so greatly missed by us all. He is such an accomplished musician and it has been a real joy working so closely with him for all of these years.”