A Cumbrian choir celebrated its 50th anniversary with a special concert last weekend. 

The Carnegie Singers, Workington, were formed back in 1974 and have performed regularly in the community since then. 

The mixed choir, who rehearse every Wednesday evening at the Carnegie Theatre Studio, were treated to a standing ovation by the crowd after their anniversary performance at St Michael's Church on Saturday April 20.

Choir member Margaret Ward said: "We had a standing ovation which was important for us. We had quite a low after Covid because we hadn't sung for a long time. We lost a third of our members then, so we have had a really big recruitment campaign since then.

"We've been trying to convince new members to come along on the basis that singing is good for you both physically and mentally. We've recruited enough members to make the choir viable, which is what we were worried about after the pandemic. But it's not only viable, it's thriving."

News and Star: The choir received a standing ovationThe choir received a standing ovation (Image: Mark Regan Photography)

Plans for the 50th anniversary celebration have been in place for some time, and involved Victoria Junior School, with young instrumentalist bursary award winner Mia Kubasiewicz also performing.

Margaret added: "It's written into our constitution that we bring young people on, it's really important to us. We set up the award to encourage younger musicians and give them a chance to play on a bigger stage than school concerts. Mia played solos and with the string group who accompanied us all evening."

News and Star: Children from Victoria School also performedChildren from Victoria School also performed (Image: Mark Regan Photography)

Carnegie Singers were led by musical director Steven Hunter and performed a new piece called 50, which was written specially for the occasion by local musician Alex Clarke. 

Around 150 people showed up to join the celebration at St Michael's, which also involved member Carol Telford, who has been with the group since its inception.

Margaret said: "It was very well received, we had a warm audience. They were very welcoming and that makes such a difference. When they are smiling and you can tell they are enjoying it. We released 50 gold balloons from the balcony at the end. It was a lovely spectacle."