BUNGAY CHORAL SOCIETY
President : John Warnes | Chair: Elizabeth Percival | Vice-Chair: Anthea Johnson
Hon. Treasurer: Tim O'Mullane | Librarian : Robin Farrar | Hon. Secretary : Jenny Wall
Publicity : Jason Collins | Committee Members : Pete Cracknell, Jane Wells, Wendy Walpole & Eddie Winter.
In October, 1888, the Rev. R. Sneyd called a meeting to form “a society for the cultivation of vocal and instrumental music in Bungay. Little could he have dreamed that 128 years later his “ambition” would still be regularly presenting at least two concerts a year, crowned by a magnificent performance on 17th May, 2008, in St. Mary’s Church, Bungay, to celebrate its anniversary.
The Society which currently has around 50 members, meets every Wednesday in the rear function room of Emmanuel Church at 7.15pm. Our objective is "to firstly" enjoy music then to advance, improve, develop and maintain public education in choral music by the study and performance of choral works in the town and district". In 2012 we, the Society gained registered charity status. The Society is affiliated to Making Music, the National Federation of Music Societies.
The Annual subscriptions for 2019/20 is maintained at £84. This is paid at the start of each season or by a monthly standing order. The season starts in September of each year following the AGM. Young members who are still in full-time education are able to enjoy free membership of the society. Since our music is hired through the County Library, we also make a small charge for the loan of music to cover our costs. New members who join at the start of or during season should pay their subscription only after they are certain that they wish to become members; following a period of three weeks.
Our latest Review
BUNGAY CHORAL SOCIETY'S SPRING CONCERT IS A JOY
In the 130 years since the formation of Bungay Choral Society, there have been many performances in many venues, but St. Mary’s Church Bungay now seems to be the preferred option for these ever-popular concerts. Back under the direction of Jason Collins and accompanied superbly by Alison Evans, who stepped into the role at the eleventh hour, the Society obviously enjoyed singing the eclectic selection of music chosen for them to display their varied talents at their Spring Concert.
Starting with “Do Not Be Afraid” by Phillip Stopford, this modern christening song was sung A Coppella by the full choir with Brenda Crockford as the soloist endorsing the sensitive and deeply moving promise to a young child.
The second item, in complete contrast, was the pop classic “Someone Like You” from the musical “Jekyll & Hyde”. Performed by Millie Thetford, who has sung before with the Bungay Choral Society, it was full of youthful questioning and anticipation. The audience were told after the concert, that Millie is in the middle of her GCE exams and this piece, which hopefully will get her an A*, was her examination oral choice.
The concert moved from young innocence to the poignant plea of a betrayed woman, when Brenda Crockford sang the soprano solo in the Easter Hymn from Cavalleria Rusticana by Mascagni. One of opera’s most stirring melodies, Brenda’s sincere rendering of the ever soaring soprano line was complemented by the chorus which represents the peasant community united by hardship and religion.
Following this emotional offering it was a musical contrast to hear happier religious tunes, when John Rutter’s “Feel the Spirit” was performed to the obvious enjoyment of everybody. Taking seven spirituals and arranging them as a pedestal for African-American music, Rutter’s expertise is obvious with these familiar songs being taken into the 21st Century with tastes of Gershwin and other jazz inspired styles. Millie Thetford used her mezzo soprano talents to enhance the simple words behind these old entreaties and the audience were delighted to be included in the final chorus of “When the Saints Go Marching In”.
It is likely that the Choral Society will perform this compilation at the Proms event to take place during the Festival, so there should be another chance to hear again this uplifting work by John Rutter.
Bungay Choral Society again succeeded in producing a concert with universal appeal and they thank all who helped in any way to achieve this result.