Grimsby Philharmonic Society

A leading choral society in NE Lincs, Chorus Master Susan Hollingworth

Grimsby Philharmonic Society

A leading choral society in NE Lincs, Chorus Master Susan Hollingworth

The 'Grimsby Phil'

Based in Grimsby, NE Lincs, we are one of the area's leading choral societies, performing a variety of classical music under the baton of Chorus Master, Susan Hollingworth, who is well known throughout the choral world. The choir has performed with other local choirs, Scunthorpe Choral Society, Grimsby Bach Choir, Market Rasen Choral Society, Gainsborough Choral Society and Louth Choral Society, taking part in Hull's City of Culture Year and Lincolnshire Remembers.  We have worked with guest conductors, such as David Lawrence, Andrew Padmore, Richard Howarth and Jeremy Jackman. We are affiliated to Making Music and in 2012 were chosen to take part in their Adopt A Composer Scheme. 


We generally perform three concerts a year, mainly in the magnificent setting of the Central Hall, Grimsby. This is what they say about us on their website ( 


Grimsby Philharmonic Society, though not always under that name, has been part of the cultural life of the town since its formation in 1852. Since 1882, there have been only six chorus masters and its current conductor is the internationally well-known choral trainer Susan Hollingworth. Under her inspirational leadership, the ‘Phil’ is now tackling exciting works by contemporary composers whilst not forgetting the favourite classics. Over the years, the Phil has treated Grimsby audiences to some of the most famous soloists of the day, such as Peter Pears, Kathleen Ferrier and Isobel Baillie, Thomas Allen and Elisabeth Schumann. The unusual circumstances of the war years allowed local audiences to savour performances by such distinguished artists as Moisevitch, Solomon and Myra Hess. One of the many highlights in the Phil’s history occurred during Hedley Atkin’s 20-year term as chorus master. A concert of an all-Britten programme not only featured Peter Pears but also included the composer amongst the audience. The performance later prompted him to remark that he believed it to be the first concert in the country devoted solely to his music.


Rehearsals take place every Monday at 7.30pm in the Roy Kemp Room, Central Hall, Grimsby and the choir performs 3 concerts a year (usually at the Central Hall). We post regular updates on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.



Rehearsing in the Roy Kemp Hall

Our Chorus Master - Susan Hollingworth

We are immensely proud to have to have Susan Hollingworth as our chorus master. In 2018 she won the Association of British Choral Directors Chair's Award for Choral Leadership. A graduate of the Royal Northern College of Music where she studied voice, Sue divides her time between her work as a Choral Director and Music Educator. In 1990 she was awarded a Churchill fellowship for her work with choirs. In 2010 she was awarded 'Choirmaster of the Year' by the Gramophone Magazine. This is a community music award, given to those who have made the greatest impact in their singing communities. She is Creative Director of the Scunthorpe Cooperative Junior Choir and also Musical Director of the Sine Nomine International Touring Choir. In 2010 BBC Radio 3 invited Sue to lead performances of the Hallelujah Chorus in Glasgow and London with participants who are new to singing and who were encouraged to join a choir. For the BBC she also conducted an afternoon Family Prom at the Royal Albert Hall. She has worked for the National Youth Choirs of Scotland and Great Britain and is a guest conductor for the Leeds Lieder. Sue's Music Education work has included creating Melody Monkey's Marvellous Music Box with Cathy Dew, being an advocate for Sing Up and working for the Voices Foundation. She regularly gives workshops for Making Music, 20,000 Voices and Sing For Pleasure. She has adjudicated for BBC3 Choir Of The Year and Coleraine, Elgin and Don Valley festivals.


In addition to her musical expertise, her sense of humour makes rehearsals  hugely enjoyable, even throughout the toughest of pieces.

Susan Hollingworth

Our Accompanist - Joan Date

Joan graduated from the Royal Manchester College of Music having studied piano, cello and flute, conducting and accompaninent. This was followed by a PGCE from Leeds University, working with James Wild of Sing for Pleasure fame. She then spent 40 years in education, initially as a music teacher, encouraging young people to become involved in music and forming chors and orchestras within the school environment. During this time, Joan also worked with various sections of the Grimsby and Cleethorpes District Youth Orchestra, as a conductor and accompanist.


Joan realised the great impact music can have on learning and development, so took further qualifications to be able to work with young people with learning difficulties.


Though Joan initially joined the choir as a singer, she has been our accompanist since 1997 and has particularly enjoyed working with Susan for the last 15 years.  

Joan Date