Death of Pendle musician who was second longest serving conductor of Colne Orpheus Glee Union men's choir
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Mr Leeming, who died in Pendleside Hospice aged 93, conducted Colne Orpheus Glee Union men’s choir for 25 years until 2012, and the choir attended his funeral at Christ Church to sing two of his favourite pieces, “Sanctus” by Schubert and the Welsh hymn “Gwahoddiad.”
Mr Leeming, of Foulridge, was born in Colne and attended Park School. He left at the age of 14 to work in his grandfather’s joinery business.
Called up at 21 for National Service, he drove tankers for the RAF and, while serving, he married Eileen at Trinity Baptist Church. They celebrated their 71st wedding anniversary last September.
Mr Leeming worked for William Hodgson joiners at Colne and returned to the family business in Skelton Street after his father and brother were taken ill. He ran the business until retiring in 1986.
His interests included Freemasonry, fishing, snooker and cricket, but mainly music, especially sacred and choral music. As a boy, he sang in the choir at St Bartholomew’s, Colne, began to learn the organ at 17, and in time became organist and choirmaster at Christ Church until 2017.
He joined the Orpheus as a second tenor, became deputy accompanist, and took over as conductor from Arthur Hartley in 1986, the choir’s centenary year.
He took at least 50 rehearsals a year, conducted at more than 300 concerts, weddings and funerals, and led the choir on trips to Germany, France, Malta and Ireland.
When he handed over the conductorship to Matthew Leedam in 2012, he had become the choir’s second-longest serving conductor after Luther Greenwood, who famously conducted the Orpheus in the early 20 th century,
Donations in his memory, for Pendleside Hospice and Parkinson’s UK, can be made online or via Helliwell’s Funeral Service, Burnley Road, Colne.