A KEY member of Yate Choral Society has been honoured with one of the Queen’s special awards for his commitment to the group.

Geoffrey Wickham, of Yate, has led the society for the last 48 years.

He was awarded the British Empire Medal for services to music in the Queen’s New Year Honour List, making the cut earlier this year.

Geoffrey’s wife Hazel died last year and he has said that he believes he is sharing this award with her after she joined the society at the same time as him.

Hazel’s musical talents saw her play the piano and organ for the group.

He is currently the musical director of the group.

Yate Choral Society chair and Yate town councillor Wully Perks said: “Geoff has spent years bringing joy to so many folk over the years.

“He is certainly worthy of the honour bestowed on him. He is greatly respected in our choir and greatly loved.”

Geoff describes music as his passion and expressed his love for the society that he has been a part of for nearly five decades.

A former teacher, he was the conductor for the Bristol Cathedral School Choral Society, something he still does on occasion.

Hi wife Hazel was the conductor of the Bristol Ladies Choir, and the pianist for Bristol Opera.

Yate Choral Society rehearse on Tuesday evenings from 7.30pm until 9.30pm at St Nicholas’ Family Centre.

The mayor of Yate Karl Tomasin made a surprise visit to the Yate Choral Society’s rehearsal last month to present him with a letter and congratulate him on the honour.

Mr Perks continued: “Mayor Karl Tomasin made surprise appearance to present letter of congratulations to Geoff for a life dedicated to music, this is a worthy honour to a highly respected and greatly loved man.

Yate Choral Society’s next concert is on May 16 at St Mary’s Church in Yate.

You can find more details to their upcoming concerts on their website: yatechoralsociety.co.uk.