CONDUCTING one choir for 50 years would usually be an outstanding achievement for anyone.

But not content with one or even two choirs, KVU Singers’ Frank Smith, was at one point musical director of three choirs at the same time!

Born into a musical family, Frank took over as conductor of Nelson Arion Male Voice Choir in 1967 and Keighley Vocal Union (now known as KVU Singers) in 1982, upon the retirement of his late father, Jack Smith, from both choirs.

The third choir, the Colne Linden Singers, Frank also conducted for 25 years, between 1976 and 2001.

This June, after half a century associated with Nelson Arion, Frank retired as their musical director. A farewell concert in June saw Nelson Arion and KVU Singers join together in a celebration of Frank’s leadership.

Under his direction Nelson Arion won many awards, including BBC Choir of the Year and was a five times winner at the Llangollen International Eisteddfod.

A KVU Singers spokesman said: “Frank has now conducted KVU Singers for 35 years and shows no sign of hanging up his baton.

“Formed originally in 1906 with the aim of entering competitions and after winning many trophies at music festivals and performing on television, the choir now gives concerts locally, singing anything from Purcell to Karl Jenkins.

“Frank’s musical life has run in parallel with his working life in the law, where he was based for many years in Colne.

“Other pastimes include gardening at his home just outside Skipton and walking, usually along long distance paths at home and abroad, and often for charity.”

As part of this special year for Frank, KVU Singers are promoting a concert with the world renowned King’s Singers.

This will take place in King’s Hall, Ilkley, on September 24 and details can be found online at