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Choral Society celebrates 190 years

Ipswich Choral Society celebrates its 190th Anniversary, making 2014 a very special year. Founded in 1824, the Ipswich Choral Society can claim to be the second oldest choral society in Britain; the oldest being Halifax Choral Society founded in 1817.

The Suffolk Chronicle records that the Ipswich Choral Society was founded 24 January 1824 with about 20 members. The newly formed society met on Tuesdays once a fortnight to rehearse for the first provincial performance of “The Creation” by Haydn. Ipswich Choral Society still rehearse on Tuesdays, although rehearsals are now weekly.

ICS-190th-21-01-14-016-HRaWith their Music Director Stephen Rumsey, the society continues in the tradition of exploring new music and performs a varied and ambitious programme. The world première of a newly commissioned work “Seasons” by renowned composer Stevie Wishart features in the Society’s spring concert “The Music of Time” on 13 April 2014 at Snape Maltings Concert Hall. The wide skies and flatlands of Suffolk inspired the new work, written as a homage to Benjamin Britten, a past President of Ipswich Choral Society (1948-1958).

Joined by their President, international conductor, Cem Mansur, the Society are delighted to also perform Haydn’s “The Seasons”. An orchestra of talented local musicians, led by Jessie Ridley (SYO) will perform Haydn’s “The Clock” symphony and the invited soloists are Julie Roberts, Richard Edgar-Wilson, Matthew Crowe, Frances Burn and Christopher Burn.

Looking further ahead to the autumn, Ipswich Choral Society will be marking another anniversary, the centenary of the start of the First World War at their concert on 16 November at Ipswich School. The concert programme will be made up of songs reflecting on aspects of the Great War, followed by the well-known Requiem Mass by Gabriel Fauré.

As well as celebrating the 190th anniversary, Ipswich Choral Society will be delving into the illustrious history of the choir. Recent discoveries of hand-written scores from 1824 and a photograph of the choir from 1909 has encouraged some members to undertake further research to see what further information may be available. If anyone has any information they would like to share with the choir, please call 01473 738324 or email enquiries@ipswichchoralsociety.org.

Ipswich Choral Society relied on the hard work and dedication of its members when it founded in 1824 and the same is still true today. New members are always welcome and for anyone interested in joining the Society, please contact Laura Albins either by phone 01473 271070 or by email recruitment@ipswichchoralsociety.org.

Further details of future events, the history of the choir and how to join are all available on our website www.ipswichchoralsociety.org

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