St. Mary's Church, Woodbridge
"We are here for the glory of God; to be the body of Christ, broken and restored to reflect the Gospel in our lives."
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Choral Open day participantsCome and Sing!

St Mary’s Choir Choral Open Day, Saturday 8th October 2016


By 9.45am on the damp, autumnal morning of Saturday, October 8th, a cheerful queue had formed outside the door to St Mary’s Centre to participate in the very first Choral Open Day organised and hosted by St Mary’s Church Choir.

Singers came from the local area, Essex and from as far afield as Nottinghamshire and Yorkshire. A couple from St Albans, holidaying in Suffolk, saw one of our cheerful posters, and decided to join us for the day. Our youngest singer of the day was just ten years old!

There was a sense of eager anticipation to take on the day’s repertoire; popular anthems from Bach to Howard Goodall, and, more challenging still, Vivaldi’s wonderful Gloria. Having to have all this rehearsed by 4pm for an end of day informal concert focused every mind wonderfully well.

Full choir rehearsals and sectional rehearsals occupied the morning, and, at 2pm, an orchestra of friends and professional colleagues joined us to complete the line-up.

Many singers had sung the repertoire before, but never before had this particular group of singers ever sung together. For one brave gentleman in the bass section, it was the very first time he’d ever sung in a choir! All ages and abilities were welcome, the only qualification required was enthusiasm.

Beginning with a roof lifting rendition of ‘Praise My Soul the King of Heaven’, you would have thought that we’d sung together for years however, and our large enthusiastic audience clearly thought so too.

Soloists were drawn from the choir, taking on the testing solos with calm professionalism and testifying to the musical talent we have among us.

A successful day like this doesn’t happen without a huge amount of collective effort and planning of course, and it is a great tribute to the superb, versatile team at St Mary’s that in every respect, music, organisation, publicity and superb catering, we were looked after so very well.

“What are you going to do next year?” was a question I heard from many.

Watch this space!

Andrew Clarke