A CONDUCTOR for Bolton Junior Youth Choir is retiring after 17 years — and has invited her former pupils to come and join in at her final concert on Saturday.

Susan Wilding has conducted hundreds of children in her time as musical director, but the recently-turned 60-year-old feels that now is the time to step aside and let someone else take the reins.

The former Bolton School pupil, who worked as a music teacher at St Peter’s Primary School in Farn-worth, helped bring the choir to success in 2005 when it won the National Festival for Youth in Birmingham, which led them to perform at the prestigious Albert Hall in London.

More recently the choir has performed with Halle Youth Choir at Sing for Pleasure, and sang live on Radio 3 for the Benjamin Britten festival.

The grandmother-of-three hopes that ex-pupils will come and support her in her final chapter this Saturday as she conducts her last ever concert at Christ Church in Little Lever.

Mrs Wilder, of Ashdown Drive, Tonge Moor, said: “It does seem like the end of an era but I felt this was the time that I should step aside and let someone younger take over. It is sad knowing that Saturday will be my last concert as choral conductor, but at the same time I will be so happy to see my former pupils if they manage to come.

“I’d say over the years I must have conducted up to 500 children, which is unbelievable really, so I do hope that some of them will be able to join me in my last performance with the choir.

“It has been a tremendous 17 years and I have so many fond memories. I would like to thank everyone who has helped to make my time here so enjoyable.”

Bolton Junior Youth Choir play at Christ Church in Mytham Road, Little Lever, from 6pm.