Melodic memories: A decade of musical magic as Kaleidoscope Choir leader retires

After more than a decade of enchanting the High Peak community with her musical prowess, Carol Bowns, the Choir Leader and Musical Director of Kaleidoscope Community Choir, is bidding farewell to a role she has passionately embraced since its inception.

It all began when Carol witnessed the captivating performance of a group called the Local Vocals in Sheffield. Inspired and driven by her deep-rooted love for singing, which she has cherished since childhood, Carol approached Buxton Opera House with a vision to form a local choir. Little did she know that this spark of inspiration would ignite a musical journey that would last for over a decade for her.


Kaleidoscope Community Choir

Carol’s lifelong background in singing has been the cornerstone of her success as the Musical Director for the choir. Her dedication to helping others “find” their singing voice and witnessing the growth of her choir members over time has been the most rewarding aspect of her role. As she says, “If you can walk, you can dance; if you can talk, you can sing.”

Making music accessible for all

Kaleidoscope Community Choir, under Carol’s tutelage, has graced numerous venues in the High Peak region. They have performed at local care homes, schools, the annual Buxton Festival Fringe, a dementia-friendly café, and BIF Friends events. This diverse range of performances reflects Carol’s commitment to making music accessible to all.

Carol hasn’t been alone in this musical journey. Her husband, Ian, plays guitar and sings with the choir and has been a steadfast source of support.

One of the most remarkable aspects of the choir is the strong sense of community among its members, a testament to Carol’s leadership. They have become a close-knit family, supporting each other along the way.

Christmas concerts

As Carol prepares to retire, she leaves behind a rich legacy of music and community spirit. Her final sessions with include two festive events: a Seasonal Singing performance for friends and family at the Pavilion Arts Centre on Tuesday, 12 December at 1pm, and a heartwarming rendition at The Gables Care Home on Manchester Road on Tuesday, 19 December, at 2.30pm.

Earlier in December residents at Haddon Hall Care Home enjoyed a Christmas concert with friends and relatives as the choir sung classic festive carols.


Kaleidoscope Community Choir

While Carol may be stepping down as the Musical Director of the choir, she has no intentions of leaving singing behind. She plans to keep her links with the local singing community as well as continuing to volunteer with Buxton International Festival.

Kaleidoscope Choir  and Platform 3


Kaleidoscope Community Choir is part of Platform 3, a joint learning and engagement initiative formed in 2021 in partnership with Buxton Opera House. This initiative has provided exciting opportunities for young people, schools, and communities to participate in performing arts activities and projects across Buxton, the High Peak, and beyond.

Everyone at Buxton International Festival would like to extend their heartfelt gratitude to Carol for her unwavering dedication and hard work over the last ten years. We wish Carol a joyful and well-deserved retirement, knowing that her musical legacy will continue for many years to come.