Eileen has held many of the important administrative positions in the Society, together with being the key organiser of the Family Carols events that are the Society’s main charitable fundraising activity. She has also been a member of the Choir’s soprano section since 1973. From 1989-2019 she arranged accommodation for members of the Evangelische Kantorei coming from Heusensamm to sing in the joint concerts.
Prof. Dr. Jürgen Blume
A renowned music teacher and choir master in his home area of Hesse, Germany. Jürgen was one of the key figures in the ’twinning’ of Tonbridge Philharmonic Society and the Evangelische Kantorei Heusenstamm, which resulted in the triennial joint concerts that have taken place in both Kent and Germany since 1989. The TONBRIDGE TE DEUM was composed by Herr Blüme for TPS for the 50th Anniversary of the end of World War II. It was performed in Tonbridge School Chapel by TPS and the Evangelische Kantorei Heusenstamm in May 1995, and was performed in Heusenstamm in June 1995, again by the combined choirs. Following this, Harold Best was in contact with Jürgen, and was given permission to transcribe the ‘Te Deum’ part of this work, as it was considered more suitable for future performances to omit the English and German parts referring to the war. In 2001 a further full performance was given in Offenbach, conducted by Herr Blume, with his wife singing the Soprano role (as she had in Heusenstamm in 1995). It has not been performed since.
Christopher Everett CBE
Headmaster of Tonbridge School (1975-89)
Teacher at Tonbridge School and Conductor of the Society from 1964 to 1972. He is still involved in much music-making in West Kent
Headmaster of City of London and then Tonbridge Schools, and classical scholar.
Still a sterling member of the Bass section, David has been the moving spirit from the British end of the Heusenstamm choral exchange visits.
John joined the choir in 1961 and retired in 2022. Soon after joining, John was active in the administration of the Society, becoming Secretary in 1964, then taking on the role of Choral Chair, which he swapped with Eileen Best to become Membership Secretary in 2005. For many years he was archivist, collecting a substantial number of programmes, members’ cards and Minute books – all the ephemera of a long-standing and well-run organisation. John taught Classics at Tonbridge School, and his formidable knowledge and understanding of Latin meant that he oversaw translations of the words of the Mass that are used in so many major choral works. His versions are precise and understandable, and are still used today in our programmes.
Peter has given much to the Society in so many ways over the years and his appointment as vice-President recognises his outstanding contribution. Peter has been a member of TPS since 1995 and for several years was Chairman. He has also been an important member of the TPS team involved with the Heusenstamm exchanges, along with vice-Presidents Eileen Best and David Packer. He has impressed our hosts considerably by giving the Chair’s speech in German at the receptions.