Our spring concert for 2023 was Mozart’s Requiem with opera arias from our soloists Kathryn Jenkin, Maria Brown, Phillip Conway-Brown and Mark Saberton.
Our first concert of 2022 was a rarely performed work, Ethel Smyth’s Mass in D, with soloists Eleanor Penfold, Judith Le Breuilly, William Searle and Michael Lafferty, and accompanied by William Baldry on organ and percussion, the Tailleferre Ensemble and Scordatura Collective.
A pre-concert talk was held featuring academics Leah Broad, Hannah Millington and oboist Nicola Hands. The event was also attended by author Gordon L. Thomas promoting his new book, It Began in Florence, and you can read his review of the concert here: Gordon L. Thomas review
(Photography credit: Matthew Clarke CPAGB BPE):
On 16 June 2019 we had our summer concert, billed as ‘Shakespeare meets Jazz’, a lighter selection of songs from Shearing’s ‘Songs and Sonnets and Rutter’s ‘Birthday Madrigals’. These were enhanced by some talented actors reading other Shakespearean selections, and was very well received by our audience.
On 30 March 2019 we had our spring concert including Brahms Requiem and other works. What a night! We ran out of tickets! The baritone soloist had to pull out because of illness but the ever-versatile Tom Appleton stepped in and gave us an amazing performance of Purcell’s “Song of the Cold Genius” as well as the solo parts in the Brahms while conducting. Who said men can’t multi-task!! William Baldry our fantastic accompanist gave a truly virtuoso performance on piano and organ and Lindsay Gowers, soprano, sang beautifully and with such clarity. We even had audience participation in the Britten. A concert to remember.
On 1 December 2018 we were delighted to take part in the BBC Radio Suffolk “Children in Need” Concert at the Apex in Bury St Edmunds. An added pleasure was that Terry Waite, our President, was also taking part.
Our first concert as Tom Appleton as our Musical Director was “Messiah”, on 3 November 2018 at Stowmarket Parish Church. It was a most enjoyable event and very well received!
On 23 June and 7 July 2018 we joined with the Dorian Singers to present two joint concerts in Felixstowe and Stowmarket, performing Captain Noah and His Floating Zoo by Michael Flanders & Joseph Horovitz, and Songs of the Fleet by Charles Villiers Stanford.
On 18 March 2018 the Stowmarket Chorale was joined by children from Rougham, Great Finborough, and South Lee Schools, together with Alexander L’Estrange and his jazz quintet, to sing L’Estrange’s Zimbe! with its songs of Africa, and a performance of John Rutter’s Mass of the Children. The concert was performed to a packed and appreciative Apex in Bury St Edmunds with just four seats remaining in the back row.
December 2017 saw the Chorale perform its traditional concert of Christmas music..
On 17 June 2017 we performed Vivaldi’s Gloria and Karl Jenkins’ Stabat Mater with a small sinfonietta which was very well received.
February 2017 saw an evening with a nautical theme, with Edward Elgar’s Sea Pictures, and performance of Alexander L’Estrange’s Ahoy! with his fabulous jazz quintet, also featuring the choirs of South Lee School, Rougham Primary School & Finborough Primary School.
In November 2016 we contributed light music to the Royal British Legion Festival of Remembrance.
We had a concert of summer music in July 2016 at St Mary’s church, Boxford, including Rutter’s All Things Bright and Beautiful; Mozart’s Ave Verum Corpus; Fauré’s Cantique de Jean Racine; and Rutter’s Down by the Riverside.
In May 2016 we held a hugely successful concert at the Apex in Bury St Edmunds where the Stowmarket Chorale, with the Kingfisher Sinfonietta and soloists, brought an audience of well over 250 a tribute to the Queen including Mozart’s Coronation Mass, Vespers & Clarinet Concerto.
In February 2016 we had another “Come and Sing” Day with the opportunity to come and join us in singing Mozart’s Coronation Mass.
Chorale members and our many guests at the Rutter Requiem Come and Sing day in February 2015.
“A most enjoyable day. Congratulations to all involved with the organisation.”
“I enjoyed singing the Rutter again and meeting old friends! Tempted to rejoin”
“A very enjoyable & constructive instructive day”
“I enjoyed the welcome received, the conductor (friendly, encouraging but wanting the best) & the excellent accompanist”
“A very successful day well organised, and very friendly people”
“I enjoyed the opportunity to sing such a beautiful work & being made to feel welcome”
“I enjoyed learning my way round a score! And listening to an expert explaining technical details”
“Lovely day, thanks for super lunch too”
In December 2014 we had our traditional concert focussing on Advent and Christmas music at the Stowmarket Parish Church, joined by the Skylarks youth choir and a trombone quintet from the Stowmarket Concert Band.
In July 2014 we returned to the John Peel Centre to perform Carmina Burana by Carl Orff, with its recognisable opening hymn, popularised by a well-known TV commercial and rousing choruses.
April 2014 saw the choir give the first Suffolk performance of The Peacemakers by Karl Jenkins in The Apex, Bury St Edmunds, with special guest Terry Waite, CBE, a long-time friend of the composer and contributor to the work, and now our President.
November 2013 brought a sell-out concert of excerpts from Messiah in the John Peel Centre.
In July 2013, In The Mood, Music for a Summer Evening, rounded off our season with a light-hearted, popular selection.
In March 2013, we presented Mendelssohn’s Elijah, a dramatic work with powerful episodes from the Old Testament, climaxing with the prophet’s ascension to heaven in a fiery chariot. The steadily falling snow provided an unwelcome contrast, but our loyal audience braved the elements.
July 2010 Vaughan Williams Sea Symphony and Walton Belshazzar’s Feast, at Snape Maltings
March 2010 Mozart Requiem and Laudate Dominum at St Mary’s, Bury St Edmunds
April 2009 Karl Jenkins Armed Man and Requiem, Snape Maltings
June 2009 Beethoven Missa Solemnis, Bury St Edmunds Cathedral
July 2008 Haydn Nelson Mass and Mozart Requiem, Stowmarket Parish Church
March 2008 Brahms Requiem
December 2007 Bach Christmas Oratorio
Autumn 2007 Haydn Nelson Mass
July 2007 Vivaldi Gloria, Mozart Mass in C minor, Stowmarket Parish Church
March 2007, Verdi Requiem, Bury St Edmunds
June Haydn Creation, Purcell Dido and Aeneas, Stowmarket Parish Church
April 2006 Elgar Dream of Gerontius, Smetana Hall, Prague
March 2006 Elgar Dream of Gerontius, Ely Cathedral and Rochester Cathedral
July 2005 Faure Requiem, Stowmarket Parish Church
July 2005 St Matthew Passion, St Mary’s Church, Reigate
Spring 2005, St Matthew Passion, Bury St Edmunds Cathedral
Autumn 2004 Opera Choruses, Corn Exchange, Ipswich
May 2004 Sea Symphony, Snape Maltings
Summer 2003 Faure Requiem, Vivaldi Gloria, Stowmarket URC
Spring 2003 Messiah, Stowmarket URC
Autumn 2002 Vivaldi Gloria, Palestrina, Rachmaninov, Mozart, Franck, Bruckner, Swaffham
May 2002 Vivaldi Gloria, Palestrina, Rachmaninov, Mozart, Franck, Bruckner, Redgrave Church and Combs Middle School
March 2002 Mendelssohn Elijah, Stowmarket URC
Autumn 2001 Mozart Requiem
Summer 2001 Elgar Dream of Gerontius, Bury St Edmunds Cathedral