Stowmarket Chorale aspires to make the joy of great choral music accessible to all in East Anglia, enriching the lives of our singers and community.
Stowmarket Chorale, formed in 1901, is an ambitious choir which rehearses in Stowmarket, on Wednesday evenings between September and July; we usually give three concerts a year. Anyone who wishes to join us should contact our membership secretary by clicking on ‘How to join’ above.
Director of Music:
William Baldry has been with Stowmarket Chorale since 2014, latterly holding the position of Assistant Music Director & Accompanist. We are delighted that this association continues, following his appointment as SC’s Music Director in March 2023. We look forward to celebrating William’s ten-year anniversary with the Chorale at Christmas.
William is also Organist and Assistant Director of Music at St Mary-le-Tower, Ipswich, Assistant Music Director with Ipswich Chamber Choir, Visiting Music Teacher of organ at Ipswich School and a busy freelance accompanist. He has performed live on BBC radio, appeared on BBC 1’s Songs of Praise and toured extensively in the USA and Europe with numerous choirs, performing at venues in Paris, Munich, Salzburg, Prague, New York, Washington, Los Angeles and San Francisco. William has performed on recordings on the Hyperion, Convivium and Acclaim labels as well on St Mary-le-Tower’s latest disc, ‘The Road to Bethlehem’.
William studied music, and held an organ scholarship, at Royal Holloway, University of London working closely with the renowned Choir of Royal Holloway. He has previously held posts at Rochester Cathedral, Tewkesbury Abbey, King’s School, Rochester and Dean Close School, Cheltenham.
Regularly in demand as a continuo player, William has performed on harpsichord and organ for many major choral works and also enjoys a second musical life as an orchestral timpanist and percussionist, performing regularly with Ipswich Symphony Orchestra, Wolsey Orchestra, Suffolk Sinfonia and Trianon Music Group.
Assistant Director of Music:
Richard Cook is currently the Assistant Director of Music at St Edmundsbury Cathedral, where he is the principal accompanist for all the cathedral choirs. From January-October 2020, he held the position of Acting Director of Music at the cathedral during which time he established the Cathedral Girls’ Choir. Prior to this he was Sub-Assistant Organist and Director of the Voluntary Choir at Worcester Cathedral, during which he played an active role in the running of the music department, and accompanied the Cathedral Choirs. This position afforded the opportunity to participate in the Three Choirs Festival each year, and during the 2017 festival, he played the organ for Elgar’s Dream of Gerontius with the Philharmonia Orchestra (in the presence of HRH the Prince of Wales). In 2019, he was a repetiteur for the Three Choirs Festival Chorus.
Richard was educated at St Edward’s Comprehensive School in Romford, Essex, and subsequently received a prestigious scholarship to read music at Birmingham Conservatoire. During this period, he was Organist and Director of Music and All Saints’ Church, Bromsgrove, and latterly Organ Scholar at St Mary’s Collegiate Church, Warwick. Richard has accompanied the National Children’s Choir of Great Britain, and has directed and participated in various singing outreach projects across the country.
We are delighted to have Sir Terry Waite KCMG as our President: he has attended a number of our concerts and we have a long-standing and warm relationship with him, together with our two supportive Vice Presidents, Graham Bishop-Hunt and Dorothy Fisher.
Past presidents have included Imogen Clare Holst CBE and Sir Colin Davis CBE.
BBC News: Sir Terry Waite knighted
We pride ourselves on offering a friendly welcome to new members. If you’d like to come along to a couple of free rehearsals to see if Stowmarket Chorale is the choir for you, consult our How to Join page.