Wimborne Choral Society Chris Dowie Retirement Concert

Wimborne Choral Society Chris Dowie Retirement Concert after 46 Harmonious Years

On 29th June we will perform a concert "Celebration of Dowie" with with music by Chris himself. It needs a large orchestra, and so we are Crowd Funding to raise money to achieve this concert. We hope that all who know him will want to contribute.
raised of £7,000 target
by 68 supporters
Event: Wimborne Choral Society C Dowie Retirement Concert, on 29 June 2024
Closes on 13/07/2024
RCN 1072276

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46 Harmonious Years

46 years ago Christopher Dowie founded a choir in Wimborne, to which all were welcome. There was no audition, the only requirement being a love of choral music and a desire to sing. Since then Chris has developed a choir which has grown in confidence and ability. His skill as a musician has become legendary both locally and nationwide as he has performed with world class choirs, orchestras and conductors, playing in the Albert Hall and as organist in most of the country’s great cathedrals.

And yet he is our Chris. Faced with singers who range from highly experienced to those who want to learn he has melded together a choir of which we are all proud. Thanks to him we have experienced musical moments of great joy.

Now Chris is retiring as Musical Director of Wimborne Choral Society. His last concert with us will be in November 2024 but in June 2024 we are planning a ‘Celebration of Dowie’ concert with compositions by Chris himself. It will require a large orchestra and for that reason we are Crowd Funding to achieve this special event. We hope that all who know him, personally or through his music, will want to contribute.


A message from Gavin Carr, Chorus Director of the Bournemouth Symphony Chorus

‘Legendary’ is an appellation that few people ever properly merit, but in the music world and amongst those who know him, Chris Dowie has earned this prefix, and then some! I can think of only a handful of people who have made the kind of difference to the musical life of a region as has Chris. So many of us - young , old, once-young and now a bit older maybe - owe him the most profound debt of gratitude for his endlessly self-less giving of himself, in music, in education, in worship and in creativity. His encyclopaedic knowledge is only matched by his humility, and the warmth and passion of his personality infuses everything he does, and always has done. This celebration of his contribution through Wimborne Choral Society will feature some of his superb music, which has such depth of emotion and such beautiful, fine-wrought skill. The man is a legend, and legends must be celebrated! Bringing his own music alive in the place to which he has devoted his life is a fitting and wonderful thing, and contributing funds here and now to do this for him is in many ways a privilege for us all to be a part of.

A few words from Mark Milhofer, an Internationally famous opera star.

I've known Chris for over 35 years, when my family moved down to Dorset, and he has been inviting me to sing in the Minster with WCS ever since. There have been Bach Passions, the Messiah, Britten's St Nicolas, Finzi's Dies Natalis and of course Chris's own Credo. I am hoping to be involved in this grand send-off to a man who has given so much to the community. He has always been so supportive and generous (even bringing me back bottles of gin from his Highland treks) that I hope we can return that generosity by raising the necessary funds to put on this concert.


Comments from Carolyn Date MBE, Chorus Manager Bournemouth Symphony Chorus.

Chris Dowie is one of the best loved musicians, for his extraordinary musicianship, encouragement, kindness and loyalty. He has been the bedrock of musicmaking in our area since he arrived in Wimborne all those years ago. He is now a Vice President of Bournemouth Symphony Chorus. Having known him since that time, I hope that all his friends and admirers can make this a year to remember, culminating in a wonderful and well-deserved celebration of his music.


Testimonial from Andrew Foot, Leader, Wimborne Chamber Orchestra

Chris Dowie is Wimborne Choral Society and has been for over 40 years. He is an Organist, Conductor and Composer and above all a special friend. Help us to celebrate this special event in Chris's retirement year and say thank you to him for sharing the joy of music.


An endorsement from Sam Hanson. Assistant Choirmaster and Accompanist to Bournemouth Symphony Chorus; Organist and Composer

I have been deeply fortunate to know Chris since I was 12, and to make music with him on countless occasions in the 26 years since then. He has given me and many others such support, encouragement, opportunity and friendship; I will be forever indebted to him.

About the charity

Chris Dowie founded this non audition choir to promote and inspire the love of choral music locally. We use professional and semi-professional soloists and orchestra to produce 3 quality concerts a year. Our celebration concert needs extra funds for a larger orchestra to make this a memorable event.

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