Our Choir

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Welcome to our website. WCS is an active and friendly society and we are delighted to welcome new singers every season, normally by inviting them to join our rehearsal at a Come and Sing event at the start of each term. For more information about singing with us please go to the Members' Area.

Covid -19 has changed everything, but the choir has started this new season 2020-21 with a sense of optimism. Online rehearsals, led by our Musical Director, Andrew Leach, take place on Tuesday evenings. We are rehearsing the Fauré Requiem and Cantique de Jean Racine in preparation for a performance later this year - probably virtual, but possibly physical, if we can find a way of fully complying with all the Covid restrictions.

A small team is monitoring the ever-changing Covid situation and government guidelines, and researching potential options for physical rehearsals or performance. If a physical concert proves impossible, we are considering live streaming and/or making a 'virtual choir' recording. Listen to the 'virtual' Committee singing Go Tell It

We hope that you find this website useful and informative - and we hope to see you, either attending one of our performances, or better still, singing with us at one of our choir rehearsals!

Thomas Yeung
Acting Chairman

Background. As we have a copy of the programme of the Society's first concert, held at the Lecture Hall in Woodbridge on 6th February 1883, we know that we go back a long way! Although we are proud of our history and recognise the value of classical choral works, we are also keen to select modern musical works to widen our scope and sometimes challenge our singers and audiences.

We generally perform two concerts each year, in November/December and in March. Our regular concert venues are St Mary’s Church, Woodbridge and in recent years we have been fortunate to perform at Snape Maltings Concert Hall, with orchestra and professional soloists. Our performance of Britten’s War Requiem in November 2018 at Snape was highly acclaimed, and for those who took part, unforgettable. By contrast, it was followed in the spring by a collection of songs from Rutter, Gershwin, Italian opera and spirituals - also a great success. You can find out more in Past Concerts

Director of Music. We are very fortunate to have Andrew Leach as our Musical Director. Andrew has been with us for years now and has completely 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 as 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.

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. We are very fortunate to have as our President, Julian Royle. 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.