Tag Archives: choir

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

Summer concert and a bonus concert!

Tickets for our Summer Concert 23rd June at 3.30pm in St Peter’s are selling fast, could be the combo of a primary school choir (aaah), cake (yum) and some truly excellent numbers on the theme of childhood, including some Disney Dazzlers!

Also on 23rd June at 7pm there’s a bonus concert in St Peter’s, The Guild of Horn Players Quartet which features the top brass of French horn players in the UK. You name it, they can play it on the French horn so not to be missed. Tickets available from the same sources as the Summer Concert, Compact Music, North St Sudbury or the Tourist Information Office.

Autumn concert poster

Here’s the poster for our next concert on 18th November at 7.30pm in St Peter’s, Sudbury. Tickets are available in person and by phone from Sudbury Tourist Information Office, tel 01787 881320,  Compact Music, North Street tel 01787 881160 and our newest ticket outlet,  the Quay Theatre by phone:  01787 374745, in person and online.

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Nearly Summer Concert Time!

Our last concert,  Mendelssohn’s Elijah was a huge success for us – an inspiring evening, spurred on by having a replacement Elijah soloist at the last minute – you would never have known.

Our Summer Concert on Sunday 2nd July at 3.30pm features Songs from the Films. We’ve got support from the super-talented Laura Barnard, and vocal harmonies from The Accidentals and Flat Broke . Songs will span the decades, including this Eighties-tastic Bond theme tune by Sheena Easton:

Sheena Easton

If you fancy something more classical, a follow up to last year’s packed-out French Horn concert is being put on to support us in St Peter’s on Sunday 23rd July. Tickets available shortly.