Diana Jenkins - Choir Patron
Tuesday 20th August, 2019 - 4:55pm
Diana Jenkins, still known to the choir, as marvellous pianist, Diana Ford, died on Thursday 8th August 2019. Although Diana last played for us at the Summer Festival concert in 2008 she had been involved since the end of the Second World War! She was just 15 when she played at the Ritz Cinema in a concert when the choir also appeared with their new conductor, RJ Maddern Williams. After being trained by Donald Behenna locally Diana was awarded an open scholarship by the Royal College of Music, aged just 16. Although she made a wonderful musical career for herself she was always 'home' to play for Mousehole's guest soloist at the Summer Festival each August.
The names we hear of from time to time, Owen Brannigan, James Johnston, Benjamin Luxon, Cynthia Glover, Bryn Terfel, Alan Opie, John Treleaven, Valerie Masterson, Dame Felicity Lott, Bonaventura Bottone and his wife Jennifer Dakin, all were accompanied by Diana, as well as so many others in between.
She was also renowned for her wonderful solo work on the piano, as there was usually a spot to showcase her excellence. Diana commenced her long association with Mousehole Male Voice Choir at the Summer Music Festival in 1945 in which the choir were also appearing. This was the first appearance and one which was to last for over 60 years. At one Summer Festival, Diana played an unrehearsed piece of music that went down a storm. At the following year’s Summer Concert she was asked to play it again. Her reply was, “I can’t; It was a piece of music I made up as I was playing last year and never wrote it down and can’t remember it!” Such was her unbelievable talent.
Since she has been unable to play Diana has always had an interest in the choir, keeping in touch through her sister, Elizabeth Stubbins, and niece, Morvah. She was also appointed as a patron of the choir many years ago. Diana also toured America with the choir in 1999, along with popular soprano Catherine Pearce, as they were guest artists for the trip. Diana's funeral took place at Paul Parish Church in her home village on Thursday 15th August when the choir sang ‘We Rise Again’. A considerable number in the choir didn’t know Diana, but grew to know her from the very moving family tribute given by her niece Morvah. Rest In Peace Diana, the Choir's of Angels now have a fantastic accompanist in their midst.