THE FOUNDER of a community choral group is set to retire after more than 40 years and will be honoured in a concert. 

Founder and musical director of Wimborne Choral Society (WCS), Christopher Dowie, has announced he will retire from the group after 46 years of dedication in bringing music to the area. 

To honour its founder, the society has agreed to host a concert in June, named A Celebration of Dowie.

Chair of WCS, Marion Brown, said: "I've been in the choir for 24 years and I've been a chairman for 20 so we've worked closely together over that time. He's a great person with a good sense of humour and very kind and patient, most of the time. 

"He's loved in the choir and Chris' principle is that you come in and you learn as you go along. He can mould together a choir that can put on a very good performance."

The performance held in Chris' name is set to happen on June 29 and the society hopes to hold a larger than normal orchestra. 

Writing his own work, the performance will comprise his own compositions, including Song for Saint Cecilia.

Andrew Foot, leader of Wimborne Chamber Orchestra, said: “Chris Dowie is Wimborne Choral Society and has been for over 40 years. He is an organist, conductor and composer and above all a special friend.

"Help us to celebrate this special event in Chris's retirement year and say thank you to him for sharing the joy of music.”

The society has begun to fundraise for the event to make sure the performance is extra-special and hopes to raise £7,000. 

Nearly a quarter of the way there, Marion was keen not to understate the costs of such events. 

She said: "It amazes people how much it costs to put on a concert. For this particular event, we want to buy 28 to 30 platers which can cause upwards of £200. 

"£7,000 sounds like an awful lot of money but whatever happens, we'll put the concert on."

Chris will lead the performance as composer and will perform for the last time with the society in November.