Welcome to our website which we hope will provide you with the information you are seeking and perhaps encourage you join us as a singing member, a friend or sponsor of the Society or supporting our concerts as a member of the audience.
We have a copy of the programme of the Society's first concert which was held at the Lecture Hall in Woodbridge on 6th February 1883, so we go back a long time! Although we are proud of our long history and recognise our reliance on the "classical" choral works, we are keen also to select modern musical works to widen and sometimes challenge our singers and audiences.
We rehearse on Tuesday evenings at Kyson School in Woodbridge in the autumn term [September to December] in preparation for a Christmas concert and in the winter/spring term [January to April] for an Easter concert.
The Society has a first class committee who share in the planning of the future programme, the arrangements for rehearsals and concerts, appointing soloists and fixing orchestras for our concerts, arranging social events and of course budgeting and controlling expenditure.
The choir for our April 2016 concert at Snape Maltings included 80 WCS singers plus a further 50 singers from Phoenix Singers. We experience a healthy turnover in singing members and are always ready to give a warm welcome to new members. The $quot;Gareth Malone factor" seems to have encouraged the growth in the variety of community choirs and we hope that our repertory of choral singing will attract new singers who seek the challenge of more formal works especially the opportunity to sing with professional soloists and large professional orchestras. We do not have auditions for new members and are happy to give guidance and support to potential newcomers.
WCS is a very friendly group, we really enjoy our weekly rehearsals. 2016 is proving a gold star year for us! Our April concert at Snape Maltings, in which were joined by members of the Phoenix Singers, was entitled Music of the Nations; it attracted a large and appreciative audience and was an artistic and financial success.
We have just completed a very exciting and successful tour to Palermo in Sicily; over 40 singers and 20 supporters took part in the tour. Besides enjoying each others company and the many delights of this ancient city, we marvelled at the historic churches and buildings. But the highlight was the experience in singing in four churches, two oratories and the magnificent Monreale Cathedral.
Based on the outstanding success of this tour we are investigating a tour to Porto in Spring 2018. Details will be announced as progress is made. A summer BBQ was held in July at the Woodbridge Cruising Club.
Director of Music. We are very fortunate to have Andrew Leach as our Musical Director. Andrew has been with us for over 19 years and in that time has transformed the choir, the number of singers has increased so that we are now one of the biggest choirs in the area. Furthermore our standards continue to rise and we take on ever more demanding works. Andrew is a gifted musician and conductor and an inspiring teacher; in 2014 he retired as Director of Music for Ipswich School but remains active in assisting school music departments, teaching budding instrumentalists and giving piano recitals.
Andrew has directed us in six concerts at Snape Maltings and is currently planning our next there in April 2017.
Accompanist. Peter Willsher is our very popular pianist who provides the rehearsal accompaniment and often plays the piano, harpsichord or organ at our concerts.
President. Earlier this year we were very pleased to appoint Julian Royle as our President; Julian, a successful business man, retired to Woodbridge with Sarah his wife. Julian's first wife was the renowned opera singer Elizabeth Harwood, who sadly died in 1990; in accordance with her wishes, Julian established the Elizabeth Harwood Memorial Trust to provide scholarships for young singers graduating from the Royal Northern College of Music and aiming for a career in opera. It is planned that the winners of the 2016 competition, Michaela Parry and Aidan Edwards, will sing as soloists with WCS at Snape Maltings on 9th April 2017.
If you do not find answers to your queries or interests in this site then please contact me or any member of the committee for any additional information.
Colin Palmer, Chairman.