THE winner of a local choir’s bursary to support young musicians received “rapturous applause” for his performances at an annual concert this month.

Cornet whizz Connor Edwards, aged 15 and a member of the AW Parker Drybrook Band, recently won the £1,000 bursary from The Forest Singers, which is awarded annually to promising youngsters to help them further their musical ambitions.

Following the bursary award in March,  he was asked to perform in front of a packed out Coleford Baptist Church at the choir’s annual concert this month.

Forest Singers David Chaloner said of his performance: “Connor played two pieces, receiving rapturous applause for both. 

“The first was ‘The Candle of the Lord’ written by Joy Webb and arranged by Peter Graham and he later performed ‘Grandfathers Clock,’ Aire and Variation written by George Doughty and arranged by Drake Rimmer.”

Conor was accompanied for both pieces by Tracey Gwynne on piano.

“Guest of honour” at the concert was  Mayor of Coleford Councillor Nick Penny, who is “a great supporter” of the bursary and has become a regular presenter of the awards.

Cllr Penny spoke briefly to praise the work of the bursary in supporting local musical talent.

David commented: “The bursary has become a registered charity this year and the hope is that this will increase the funds raised in order to offer more support to local musicians.”

He said of the concert: “Forest Singers had rehearsed hard for the concert and were in fine form performing songs old and new including a brilliant ‘Les Miserables’ medley with several choir members stepping out to perform solo’s. 

“The choir were conducted by Lewis Hutton who joined Forest Singers a little over a year ago and has worked hard since then coaching members and introducing the choir to many new songs.”

Anita Chaloner, Forest Singers founder and musical director, commented: “When you consider that we encourage people to join who may never have never sung before and don’t read music, it’s a credit to their enthusiasm and hard work that we are to perform to such a great standard”. 

She added that the choir “have a lot of fun” and that there is a strong social element to their activities.

Anita is also the choir accompanist and played for the concert.

David continued: “Five Acres Choir were due to perform but unfortunately, due to a mix up in their planning they were unable to be there.

"This was disappointing, but luckily Leo Childs, a year seven student from the school volunteered to step in and perform at the concert.

"He sang ‘The Climb,’ a Miley Cyrus song, and absolutely wowed the audience! What a performance, the applause lasted a long time.

“A Shanty group, formed from a number of choir members and led by Mike Griffiths had the audience waving Pirate flags which were given out at the start, clapping, stomping and singing along.

"It was a brilliant performance and great fun for everybody.”

Anyone wanting information about a fund-raising Forest Singers concert or to join as a choir member can contact us on or speak to Anita on 07565 909492.