Classics Galore 2019

Concert in aid of  Force, the Exeter Cancer charity.

Concert1The Seventh Classics Galore! concert in aid of FORCE proved another fantastic success with a standing ovation at the end of evening from an audience that had been thoroughly entertained.

Classics Galore has been held every two years since 2007 and the 2019 concert raised a record £22,500. This brings the total raised so far for FORCE to over £100,000.

The musical extravaganza is one of the most popular events on the Exeter musical calendar and involves up to 200 musicians and singers – a full orchestra, two choral societies and a brass band. The programme features a mixture of popular classics and a Proms style finale, led by soprano soloist Penny Daw. “Who would refuse the opportunity to sing Rule Britannia with a full orchestra!” said Penny. “I can vividly remember my first Classics Galore! concert in 2009, the overwhelming feeling of warmth from the audience and the enthusiastic flag waving at the end. Here I am singing in my fourth concert, which is an honour and a privilege.”

Retired policeman Dick Passmore came up with the idea of a concert described as Exeter’s Night at the Proms after receiving such amazing support from Force himself over many years. Sadly Dick died in 2019. After the fifth Classics Galore he said “I am very proud to know that the fifth Classics Galore! concert has been yet another resounding success. As I walked into a hall full of more than 1,000 music lovers, and heard wonderful music and singing, it was impossible not to be humbled, and, I admit, just a little tearful. I started this as a one-off fundraiser for this amazing charity in the hope of raising a few hundred pounds.” Dick’s ambition to reach the magic £100,000. was therefore achieved.

Force chief executive Meriel Fishwick said: “Huge thanks go to all those who have worked so hard to make this evening happen. And our thanks to all those people who come along to support and enjoy the concert, helping to raise much needed funds.”

Musical director Malcolm Matthews from Tipton St John conducted the concert with an orchestra featuring top musicians from across Devon plus singers from Exeter’s St David’s Players and the Ottery St Mary Choral Society and the SW CommsBand from Lympstone under its musical director Chris Spreadbury .

Chairman of the organising committee Peter Payne from the Ottery St Mary Choral Society said: “Classics Galore! is proud to be part of a team that helps FORCE raise the £1million it needs each year to continue serving the community with compassion, kindness and expertise.”

More information and photos can be found at

Leave a Reply