FIFTY years ago Clive Walkley moved to Lakeland.

Taking up a role as lecturer in music at the former Charlotte Mason College in Ambleside, he joined Kendal Amateur Music Club and met a group of singers who had been members of a ensemble that had disbanded.

Clive was a trained cellist and had attended conducting classes, specialising in choral conducting. And the singers asked him if he would be interested in leading a new group. At first, they met informally at one another’s homes singing madrigals under Clive’s direction. However, the number of singers grew, and they started to appear in concerts at the Kendal music club. Soon after, Pro Nobis was formed: “One of our singers suggested the Latin title ‘Pro Nobis’, meaning our primary aim was to sing for our own enjoyment,” recalls Clive. “Over the years the name has stuck. We are probably the only choir in the UK with that title.”

Fast forward half a century and Clive and his acclaimed choristers are warming up for their glorious 50th anniversary concert at Kendal Parish Church this coming Saturday (June 15, 7.30pm).

Clive and the 30-strong choir have a great love of music from the 16th and 17th centuries and for their celebratory concert have chosen three works covering both centuries. A sizeable work in 40 parts by the 16th century Italian composer Alessandro Striggio opens the programme, followed by Henry Purcell’s Birthday Ode Come Ye Sons of Art and a mass by a 17th century composer from Barcelona, Francisco Valls, the Missa Scala Aretina, the full title of the work.

The choir will be joined by four professional soloists: Evelyn Tubb, the choir’s president, a distinguished soprano with a long career as a consort singer in the famous Consort of Musicke; London-based countertenor Iestyn Morris; plus from London, tenor, Samuel Jenkins; and, completing the team, Carlisle-based bass/baritone, Jonathan Millican, who is often in the choir’s soloist spotlight.

Clive is a highly respected figure within the region’s music circles and is really looking forward to the special celebration. So, what does he think is the choir’s greatest strength? “Perhaps the loyalty of the singers,” adds Clive. “But they are all good musicians and quick learners, and they can sing in tune without an accompaniment.”

Admission to the anniversary concert is by programme on sale at Northern Light Stained Glass, Blackhall Yard, Kendal.