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Autumn 2022 concert

Our next concert is on Sunday 20th November at 7:30 when we will be performing Ola Gjeilo Sunrise Mass and Karl Jenkins The Armed Man.

We last performed the Sunrise Mass in 2016 and everyone was blown away by it. It is stunningly beautiful and we really enjoyed singing it. Karl Jenkins, a Welsh composer attached to a very fine moustache, is one of the most performed living composers. And we are happy to add to this number.

So you might ask, where will we be performing this – well that is a conundrum our committee is looking to solve. We love performing in the Joy Abbott Hall and if we have to put the orchestra in the gallery then maybe we will. Watch this space!

Our concert on Sunday 19th June

A concert that celebrated 70 years of the reign of Queen Elizabeth II. The first British monarch to reach this historic milestone and the Choral Society really enjoyed this concert – particularly as our last celebration concert in April was cancelled due to COVID. The concert took in Handel’s Coronation Anthems and music throughout the seven decades of the Queen’s reign.

Complete with a small but perfectly formed orchestra this was a lovely concert which everyone that came really enjoyed.

Concert: Faure and Vivaldi, 5th September

Our concert on Sunday 5th September 2021 was the last one in St Peter’s, Sudbury until 2023.

The programme was a surefire winner, Faure’s Requiem and Vivaldi’s Glora, and was the first under our new musical director John Chillingworth.

We had Gill Wilson (soprano), Elaine Henson (mezzo soprano), Mark Saberton (baritone) as soloists, all accompanied by the Kingfisher Ensemble.

Welcome to our new conductor John Chillingworth!

John Chillingworth is formally to become conductor of Sudbury Choral Society in April 2021.  However, in the unusual circumstances of lockdown and the suspension of normal choir activities, he is going to run online rehearsals from June 2020.  “I hope to make singing fun but rewarding for choir members.  I encourage hard work in rehearsals, but always with a light-hearted touch, to bring challenging works to performance standard and I believe the members of choirs involved find the end result is often beyond what they thought they could achieve.  I am already conductor of Lexden Choral Society and have been having online rehearsals with them for over two months.  The online sessions, despite frustrations, have been very popular and members there feel that they have learned more about the music than in normal rehearsals, and also got to know each other better.  I hope the experience will be equally rewarding for Sudbury Choral Society.”

I am a cellist, organist, pianist, instrumental, theory and composition teacher, orchestral and chamber music coach, conductor and arranger.

I studied the cello and organ at the Royal College of Music and later the cello with William Pleeth, teacher of Jacqueline Du Pre.  For seven years I was the cellist of the Guadagnini String Quartet performing and broadcasting all over Europe and Canada.  I was an Artist-in-Residence at Southampton University followed by two years at Lancaster University.  While in the quartet, I was very fortunate to study chamber music with some of the finest musicians in the world.  Following the disbanding of the quartet, I became Assistant Principal Cello of the BBC Northern Symphony Orchestra, which became the BBC Philharmonic during my time in the orchestra.  For twenty-five years I was Principal Cellist at English National Opera.  I have also worked as a guest principal cellist with many other orchestras, including the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Opera North, Northern Philharmonia, London Mozart Players, London Sinfonietta, BBC Welsh Orchestra and Camerata Ireland. 

 Having decided to leave ENO, I moved to Essex and am now pursuing a varied career as a free-lance cellist, a teacher of the cello, organ and piano and as an accompanist for recitals and exams. I teach for Essex Music Services at Colchester Royal Grammar School, privately, and at St Joseph’s College in Ipswich and at Ipswich High School.  I live in a thatched cottage in Suffolk.

I became a Fellow of the Royal College of Organists at the unusually young age of nineteen, am a Diploma examiner for the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music, work as an adjudicator for Music Festivals, coach at the London Music Colleges and teach young professionals, helping them prepare for audtitions or recitals.

I am very much looking forward to becoming conductor of Sudbury Choral Society, am already conductor of Lexden Choral Society, and of the newly formed Essex Youth Choir and Essex Youth Consort, two choirs for students up to the age of nineteen.   My latest project is starting a big band.  I was looking forward to conducting Southend Symphony Orchestra, but sadly, like all other live performances, that has had to be cancelled.

As a composer, I have had a musical written for primary schools performed by a group of primary schools in Felixstowe, an organ piece performed in the Sunday evening series of organ recitals at St John’s College, Cambridge, a piece for massed strings played by the strings of Essex Young People’s Orchestra and Lexden Choral Society have performed a work for Remembrance Day; as an arranger, I have had many arrangements performed by a variety of different groups including the Gents of St John’s.

I am married with a selection of children across the ages, from fifteen to thirty-six, and one granddaughter.  In the small amount of time left to me when I am not involved in musical activities, I enjoy cycling and cooking, especially Mediterranean cooking and baking sour dough bread.”

John Chillingworth

Virtual choir sessions start 15th June!

Our members are being given the option of joining Zoom rehearsals starting 15th June until 24th August. They’ll be run by John Chillingworth who is taking over from David Butcher as our conductor.

John is coming to us from Lexden Choral Society, bringing a wealth of musical experience. We wish David all the best for his future ventures – after many years as our leader he will be much missed!