History of the Choir

Wokingham Madrigal Singers c.1978

Cameo Singers was formed as the Wokingham Madrigal Society in 1951 and celebrated its 60th anniversary in 2011. The choir had quite humble beginnings, according to the following passage by Mr Fred Payne from the 10th anniversary souvenir programme.

"One evening in September 1951 an exciting event happened in Wokingham. Clive Penman, Brian Trowell and your present historian were strolling in Murdoch Road, discussing generally what a local newspaper has since described as "the musical desert enfolding the town of Wokingham". From the general, the conversation turned to the singing of madrigals in particular and suddenly Clive exclaimed "Let’s form a madrigal society" and at that moment the Wokingham Madrigal Society was born."

Choir at Wokingham Baptist Church 2004

Initially the choir concentrated on singing madrigals, rehearsing in members' homes. The Society performed its debut concert on 30th April 1952 in Wokingham Town Hall, entitled "Music for the Eve of May", which was a huge success.

During the intervening years the choir has flourished, changing its name in 1979 to reflect the broader repertoire being undertaken. Faces may have changed but under the direction of Ian May the choir retains the love of music and enthusiasm shared by the very first members.