Church musical director retires
PUBLISHED: 07:30 05 April 2013
The musical director of St Peters ‘Church, whose ‘temporary’ appointment lasted nearly 20 years, has retired from the role.
Sylvia Pritchard started at the church in autumn 1993, when her husband Tom was preaching at the church, and retired on Easter Sunday.
During her time in Budleigh, Sylvia built up and inspired one of the finest choirs in the area, which has sung in cathedrals up and down the land, and has greatly enhanced the musical tradition at StPeter’s.
Sylvia said: “I have been very happy working with such a loyal choir which has given me a tremendous amount of support.
“It is with some sadness that am leaving StPeter’s, but I am very pleased that my successor, Tim Woodford, an excellent musician, will be able to continue the fine musical tradition.”
Sylvia was born in Exeter and was a pupil of well-known local organist Henry Ley. An organ scholarship then took her to the Royal Academy of Music, where she became a Gold Medallist.
After appointments in Kent and Berkshire, Sylvia returned to Exeter as organist and director of music at StDavid’s Church.
Under her direction the church became widely known for its choir, concerts and recitals, and the St David’s Singers group was formed which gave concerts all over the country. During her time in Exeter, she also directed children from schools throughout the city in a performance of Noyes Fludde in Exeter Cathedral, and there were two performances of Benjamin Britten’s War Requiem, also in the cathedral.