In 1940 at the Climax Rock Drill and Engineering Works, at Pool, between Camborne and Redruth, Cornwall, Jack Curry and Trevor Bray were working on the factory roof and saw the glow of the fires on the horizon in Plymouth caused by the bombing by the Luftwaffe.

To alleviate distress among the blitz victims they formed a small choir to raise funds.

Within a short time the late Edgar Kessell MBE commenced as the Musical Director, and over the years built the small group into the well-respected and well know Choir it was to become.

Upon the retirement of Edgar Kessell after 32 years, in 1972, George Smith successfully directed the Choir for eighteen years until his retirement in 1990, due to ill-health.

Roger Wills, under whose leadership the Choir has continued to grow, directed the Choir from 1990 until 2008 when he retired to follow other musical interests.

Angela Renshaw led the choir from 2008 until 2014, during which time the choir produced two DVDs, found success at the Cornwall County Music Festival and Camborne Music Festival and set up the popular community evenings.

Our current Musical Director is Andrew Thomas, only the fifth MD since 1940.

The Choir originally known as Climax Male Voice Choir added the name Holman to its title during the late 1960’s after the two companies of Holman’s and Climax joined together. Later the word Compair was added to our Choir Badge to reflect the changes in the Company. From 1940 until 1997 the Choir rehearsed in the Canteen at the Climax works, but it became necessary to find alternative accommodation when the Canteen had to be demolished. The choir now rehearses at Kehelland Chapel on Friday nights at 7.30 pm.

The choir is privileged to have as its Honorary Vice Presidents Benjamin Luxon CBE and Alan Opie, internationally known Baritone singers.

The Choir has continued with its policy of charitable work bringing help to many hundreds of charitable organisations and thousands of pounds for their various causes. Over the years, the choir has competed successfully in contests throughout Britain from Llangollen to London. Other achievements include international honours in the B.B.C.’s ‘Let the People Sing’ competition including the cherished Rose Bowl for the most outstanding entry from the British Isles. They have also received awards from the Cornish Gorsedd and have won the Edgar Kessell Gold Cup for the best performance of any choir at the Cornwall Music Festival among their honours. The most recent success was in March 2011 at the Cornwall County Music Festival held at the Truro, when they won the Male Voice Choir Championship.

The Choir has been privileged to appear with many outstanding artists including Wendy Eathorne, John Treleaven, Carlo Curley, and the Bournemouth Sinfonietta, the Band of the Grenadier Guards and Black Dyke Mills Band.

In keeping with their position as one of the premier Choirs in Cornwall and the Westcountry, the Choir has completed successful tours of America and Europe and is continuing this policy both to gain international experience and to further the good name of Cornish singing.

Choir Name

Over the years the Holman-Climax Male Voice Choir has been known or advertised under a number of names.

From inception the choir was know and advertised as the following:

“Climax” Male Voice Choir

“Climax” Orpheus Male Voice Choir

“Climax” Rock Drill and Engineering Works Male Voice Choir.