CHORAL power of a celebratory kind will ring out across the Furness peninsula next weekend as one of the region's finest choirs marks a special event.

Ulverston Choral Society performs Mendelssohn's Elijah at Barrow's St Mary’s of Furness RC Church on Friday, May 17, as part of the revered choral ensemble's 175th birthday celebrations.

Under the baton of music director Jolyon Dodgson, Jonathan Millican sings the part of Elijah with soprano, Tracie Penwarden; mezzo, Anne-Marie Kerr; tenor, Robert Thompson and Martha Alban as The Youth, also in the soloist spotlight.

Organist will be Edward Taylor.

Ulverston Choral Society was founded in 1844. The choir's earliest recorded public concert was held in the upper room of the National School on August 15 conducted by Mr A B Salmon. Records also mention that in 1888 the society joined forces with Barrow and Grange societies for a performance of Elijah.

Due to the Second World War it wasn't possible to celebrate the society's centenary concert in 1944. Instead, it was staged in 1947 at Ulverston's Coronation Hall, conducted by Alfred Thompson. The postponed centenary concert featured Elijah with records referring to 'four good principals and an orchestra containing 18 Halle instrumentalists.'

Through the years, many musical directors have picked up the choir's baton, most recently Heather Paynes, who having shared the joy of music and friendship with the 60-plus strong choir since her first concert as conductor at Christmas 2000, stepped down in 2016. Heather's husband and highly respected musician Brian retired as the choir's accompanist at the same time.

Tickets at the door or on 01229-716321.