In June 2004 Mary Priddle, an experienced chorister, discussed with friends the potential for a mixed-voice choir in the Torrevieja area. Mary had been a regular patron of concerts by the male-voice Torrevieja Barbershop Harmonisers, and had noted their improved performance under the directorship of the newly-appointed Chas Smith. Contact was made with Chas, who responded very favourably towards the prospect of taking on the role of Musical Director for the choir.
Further discussion led to a concensus that the new choir, although ‘serious’ about the quality of its performance, should be a ‘fun’ choir with a wide and international repertoire embracing all types of quality vocal music. Since the outset, several rehearsal venues have been used but today the regular venue is Miguel de Rincón Restaurant, in Los Montesinos
Sue Trick, a brilliant piano accompanist and accomplished musician who had recently retired from her role as Director of a British School of Music, became the accompanist for the choir. This while continuing to teach music at a local school.
Next; Mary and friends brain-stormed for a name for the choir and the name ‘Crescendo’ was the runaway favourite! It fell to Chas to design our dramatic logo depicting a treble clef with a rainbow of notes bursting into ‘a crescendo’ from it. Later this theme was expanded into a rainbow of different coloured scarves worn by the ladies with black dresses, rainbow-hued bow ties worn by the men with white shirts and black trousers, and a concert music-stand banner bearing the logo, made by Emma Allamand, a Choir Alto. The final essential was achieved with the attendance of no fewer than 34 potential choristers of both genders at the inaugural meeting. A committee was formed under the Chairmanship of Mary Priddle and the Crescendo International Choir – subtitled, Coral Internacional Crescendo – was born!
Since then, the Choir, under the Directorship of Chas Smith, continued to grow in numbers, prestige and ability and looked forward to a future bright with promise. As we progressed we saw the Choir grow to over 60 members in 2009 and the committee started to discuss the necessity of limiting new membership, allowing new members only to maintain balance within the choir. March 2009 saw the launch of our new costumes thanks to the generous support of the Medsea group. Our ladies look absolutely wonderful in their shimmering red jackets and the men compliment this with their black shirts and red bow ties.
In June 2011 with much sadness, the members of the chorus bade their farewells to Chas Smith who, from nothing, had built the choir up to such a wonderful crescendo. It took a great deal of soul- searching for him to make his decision not only to retire from Crescendo, but also to plan his return to the UK.
It is with great sadness that news has arrived that our founder member Mary Priddle died on Monday 8th March 2021 suffering a heart attack following a stroke earlierin the year.
Sixto Herrero (Herrero being Spanish for Smith!) came to the choir with great qualifications and much enthusiasm and everyone looked forward to having new material added to the existing repertoire. Accompanying Sixto as trainee conductor was Irene Oliva who was equally enthusiastic as well as being musically well-qualified. When Sixto was forced to resign due to pressures of work, his position was taken over by Irene who rose to the challenge of being the choir’s Musical Director, continuing to build up the choir’s growing repertoire with much of the music expertly arranged by her. She is now supported by the talented Cristian Martinez Esteve a talented accompanist.
Since childhood, Irene showed great artistic skills. Although the music began as a hobby, Irene decided to realize higher music studies to become a music teacher. She has continued her musical training taking several courses on various musical subjects, such as music education and music therapy.
Irene loves to sing. She has sung with different vocal groups. She started to sing in the children's choir at the school where she studied, and afterwards sang in several mixed choirs as a soprano.
She also likes to compose and arrange several musical themes, some of which have been released.
At present, she works as a music teacher and conducts Crescendo International Choir, activities that she does with great enthusiasm.
Since Irene took on the challenge of being the Choir's Musical Director, she has been working hard so that Crescendo can continue to offer good concerts and helping the disadvantaged with the money raised. Also she has tried to build up the choir’s growing repertoire with much of the music arranged by Toni Guillen (the former accompanist) and her.
From a singer mother and a pianist father, he grew up surrounded in a musical environment, and studied Professional (Piano and Voice) and Superior studies (Piano) at the conservatory in both Torrevieja and Murcia, Professional and by Mariachen Berganza and Pilar Valero Abril.
To expand his academic training, he took master's degree from Eugen Indjic (International University of Valencia) and various courses with great masters such as Achilles Delle Vigne, Boyan Vodenitcharov and Roland Pröll in Spain and Belgium.
He developed his musical activity as an accompanying pianist and piano teacher in various conservatories and music schools, and as a soloist, performing various recitals in Spain, Italy and Belgium.
Since 2019 he has been involved in the Crescendo choir project as an accompanying pianist with great joy.