Black & White Sudbury Choral Society logo

About Us

We are a very friendly group of about 60 members of varying abilities and ages who share a love of singing.  We give four concerts a year, frequently with soloists and an orchestra.  Up to September 2021 these concerts were usually held in St Peters, Sudbury however while St Peter’s is closed for renovation (expected to re-open sometime in 2023) we will be performing in a variety of local venues.

As well as large choral works, our programmes feature a variety of music, from Bach to the Beatles, and include folk music, madrigals and carols. There are no auditions, but an ability to read music is  an advantage.

Although we take our music seriously, there is also room for fun and friendship.  There are singing days, social and money-making events such as a summer barbecue and an annual quiz.  Rehearsals are now being held in Friars Hall, School Street, Sudbury which is the church hall attached to what was the URC now renamed the Joy Abbot Hall(School Street, Sudbury CO10 2HA). We rehearse on Monday evenings from 7.30pm to 9.30pm.  You are welcome to come to three rehearsals to see how you like it before the subscription is due. Don’t forget to like us on Facebook!

Our Conductor 

John ChillingworthTaking over from David Butcher in June 2020, John is a cellist, organist, pianist, instrumental, theory and composition teacher, orchestral and chamber music coach, conductor and arranger.  He studied cello and organ at the Royal College of Music, and cello with William Pleeth, teacher of Jacqueline Du Pre.  John was cellist of the Guadagnini String Quartet for seven years, performing and broadcasting all over Europe and Canada.  He was an Artist-in-Residence at Southampton University, spent two years at Lancaster University,  and was Assistant Principal Cello of the BBC Northern Symphony Orchestra (BBC Philharmonic).  John was  Principal Cellist at English National Opera for twenty-five years. He has worked as a guest principal cellist with  the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Opera North, Northern Philharmonia, London Mozart Players, London Sinfonietta, BBC Welsh Orchestra and Camerata Ireland.  After leaving the ENO John moved to Essex and is now a freelance cellist, teaching cello, organ and piano and accompanying recitals and exams. He teaches for Essex Music Services at Colchester Royal Grammar School and at St Joseph’s College in Ipswich and at Ipswich High School.  John became a Fellow of the Royal College of Organists at the tender age of nineteen, is a Diploma examiner for the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music, and also works as an adjudicator for music festivals, and coaches at the London music colleges. 

Our Accompanist

sara 20.11.09

Sara Whymark studied music at Exeter University, qualifying as a secondary and junior music teacher at Reading University. She gained an LRAM in piano, an LRSM in clarinet teaching and was Head of Music at Stoke by Nayland Middle School.  Sara has been our accompanist since 1991 and performs regularly both as an accompanist and as a clarinet soloist at local venues. Sara is a member of Sudbury Symphony Orchestra and also works with several local children’s choirs.

Our President

Andrew (Lord Phillips of Sudbury)

PDFs of our policies are included below:

Conflict of Interest

Data Protection (GDPR)

Equal Opportunities

Health and Safety


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