The Scarborough Musical Society was founded in 1912 at the "instigation of several musical enthusiasts"according to the report at the first annual General Meeting by one of the hon. secretaries, Mr E. Withnell. He continues: they "approached Mr A.C.Keeton F.R.C.O. to act as musical director. He consented and the Society was soon an established institution. At the first practice about 70 people were present. There had been 15 practices and an average of 60 percent had attended. The society had reached a membership of 105".

This meeting was held at All Saints' Church schoolroom on the Wednesday evening before the publication of the Scarborough Mercury on April 25 1913. The inaugural concert had been held on January 29th and the committee were gratified at the interest and support given. "After meeting all expenses there remained a substantial credit balance"at the bank". "In Mr Keeton as Musical Director they had one who was young, skilful able and energetic". In his report Mr Keeton proposed thet they should give two concerts, one before Christmas and one afterwards. "At the first concert, about the end of November, he would like to have unaccompanied part songs and several old ballads. Two or three principals could be brought down and they could make a popular concert in that way with as little expense as possible as there would not be an orchestra needed. At the second concert in February or the beginning of March, he would like to give Dvorak's "The Spectre's Bride" with miscellaneous items for the second part of the programme". (Scarborough Mercury April 25 1913)

Mr A.Claude Keeton had come to Scarborough in 1911, then about 25 years old. He was the organist at All Saints' Church in Falsgrave from then, apart from having to serve in the First World War, until about 1919. There are reports in the Scarborough Mercury of concerts at All Saints' with augmented choir and orchestra (e.g. April 1912 a performance of Dvorak's "Stabat Mater"). Mr Keeton remained in Scarborough until 1959, having been organist at St. Martin's Church 1919 - 1939 and then organist and choirmaster at St.Mary's Church until 1959. " (The obituary of A.C.Keeton was in the Scarborough Evening News on Wednesday 24 March 1965.)

The 4th AGM of the Musical Society was held in All Saints' schoolroom and it was reported that there were 106 in the chorus. They had performed "Elijah" which had cost £27-18-9. The £51-8sh raised was shared equally between Scarborough Hospital and All Saints' Church. (Scarborough Mercury April 20 1916)

The 5th AGM of the Musical Society was held at All Saints' School on Friday before April 15 1917. Reports stated that "the chorus was somewhat less in numbers than in previous years, accounted for largely by the absence of male members who have joined the forces. With the latter 18 members were serving. The Musical Director , Mr A.C.Keeton was about to join the Forces" so the future of the Society was unpredictable. There is mention of 4 concerts that season. (Scarborough Mercury April 15 1917)

In 1919 the Society had a lecture recital "The Art of Easy Singing" by Mr Chas Tree. (a long article in Scarborough Mercury on Friday 12 Dec 1919, p.7)

On 19th Dec 1919 they performed "Messiah"

In 1920 the Society are reported as having had a concert of "outstanding, great triumph" with a large audience in All Saints' Church. There had been a silver collection of over £14 for the Organ Fund. They had performed Mendelssohn's Hymn of Praise and Easter Hymn by G.J.Bennett. (Scarborough Mercury April 16 1920)

At the AGM that year it was reported that there were 124 members compared with 100 the previous year. (Scarborough Mercury April 23 1920)

The Musical Society put on a Grand Concert on March 17th 1923 on the day of the Opening of the Queen Street Central Hall. (Scarborough Mercury Jan -Dec 1923)

After Claude Keeton ceased to conduct the Society, there seemed some danger of the choir being disbanded, and NYRCC was asked to assume responsibility for it; it was then run for a while as an evening class at Westwood County Modern School, with Leslie Burtenshaw as conductor. He was succeeded in 1965 by Matthew England. During his tenure, at the AGM on May 8th 1967, the name was changed from the Scarborough Musical Society to the Scarborough Choral Society (as proposed by Matthew England). It was not a popular decision with long-standing members, but the reason given was that 'Musical' Society was an ambiguous title, and did not reflect the fact that it was in fact a choir..

Conductors from 1965

1965-1969 Matthew England

1969-1971 Leslie Burtenshaw

1971-1973 Leslie Burtenshaw and Michael Lester

1973-1974 Michael Lester

1974-1989 Frank Sutcliffe

1989-1993 AlIen Ferns

1993-2003 Hugh Penny

2003-2005 Geoffrey Emerson

2005-2006 Frank James

2006-2008 Michael Lester

2008- Current Evelyn Halford