Welcome to the Bridgwater Choral Society website.
The Choral Society has been at the heart of cultural life in Bridgwater since it was re-formed in 1949 by conductor Rex Browning, with the aim of providing music of quality from the classical choral repertoire in the town and district. Early performances were in the Arts Centre and Town Hall, later moving to the fine parish church of St Mary’s. The church has recently undergone reordering so audience and singers alike can now enjoy excellent access, lighting and more comfortable individual seating. The Society engages a full professional orchestra and established or promising young soloists for concerts. Recent performances have ranged from familiar works such as Brahms' German Requiem and Bach's Christmas Oratorio to less-visited works by Bliss, Britten and Holst.
The Society has been fortunate to have been led by three outstanding conductors - Rex Browning, William Llewellyn, and now grows from strength to strength under the expert leadership of Iain Cooper. In May 2018 Iain led the choir in the first performance of his own composition, Benedicite, for choir, brass quintet, piano duet and timpani.
The Society was due to celebrate its 70th Anniversary when the Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic caused rehearsals and concerts to cease, subsequently many choir members were unfortunately unable to return to rehearsals and In 2021 a further blow was dealt by the sudden resignation of conductor Iain Cooper.
Harmonia - The Choir's New Lease of Life.
Following the resignation of Iain Cooper the future of the Society looked bleak. However, a dedicated group of singers did not wish to see the choir fold, and resolved to try to keep the choir going in some form under the leadership of Jackie Ayres, a musician of wide experience, including conducting which she studied at the Guildhall in London.
The Autumn Term 2021 culminated in participation in the Civic Carol Service in St Mary's Church, Bridgwater. The conventional 4 part singing of the Choral Society was not possible due to lack of numbers, but a programme of carols and arrangements from across the ages and around the world were extremely well received and made for a most enjoyable event.
As rehearsals resumed in January it was decided to name this new group from within the Choral Society as Harmonia.
Harmonia has become an extremely friendly and supportive group. We were delighted to welcome new members, and some returning Choral Society members, as we restarted rehearsals in September 2022 for a new Season of Christmas music, to be followed by a late Spring Concert. Rehearsals take place at St Mary's Church, Bridgwater on Wednesday evenings.
For further details please contact Hon. Secretary Sue Pow on 01278 662755 or Conductor Jackie Ayres on 01278 652060