Crowborough Choral Society was founded in 1967 by Colin Moore. Following Colin’s retirement after the choir’s 50th anniversary concert, Mark Beesley took up the baton as Musical Director in April 2017. The Society’s accompanist is Michael Aston.
Every year the choir stages two major concerts with professional soloists and orchestras. Soloists have included our Patron Serena Kay, Julian Empett, Mark Dobell, Richard Sidaway and Helen-Jane Howells. The choir has performed more than 200 works spanning the Renaissance, Baroque, Classical, Romantic and 20th century periods and has sung to audiences in six countries and in seven languages. Recently we have also enjoyed several successful joint performances with the Fletching Singers.
In the summer the choir often presents a less formal concert. In recent years these have included a Victorian Musical Evening, Songs from the Musicals, Sounds of the Seventies, and A Night at the Movies. These concerts usually include a themed supper, which is always very popular. At Christmas, the choir generally sings at a number of seasonal services and events and 2016 saw a special Christmas concert with mulled wine and mince pies.
Crowborough Choral Society is twinned with the Rellinger Kantorei from Rellingen (near Hamburg in northern Germany) and this has led to some excellent joint performances in both countries. In April 2017 the Kantorei joined us in Crowborough for our 50th Anniversary performance of the Bach St John Passion. In October 2015, some members of the choir travelled to Rellingen to join them in singing Mozart’s Requiem under the baton of the Kantorei’s Oliver Schmidt. The Kantorei also sang with us at the Assembly Hall Theatre in Tunbridge Wells for our 40th Anniversary Concert to perform Brahms’ German Requiem in 2007 and the following year we enjoyed a repeat performance of this work in Rellingen at the farewell concert for their retiring Director of Music, Wolfgang Zilcher.
As well as singing, we hold a couple of events each year where we get together and do something different, such as quizzes, barn dances, race nights, and musical soirees. These usually involve supper and are always a lot of fun.
We warmly welcome new members to this classical choir so if you are interested in choral singing why not come along to a rehearsal and give us a try? While previous choral experience is valuable, a love of singing and a desire to learn are more important. An ability to read music is not essential, but it does help to have a good ear. We don’t have formal auditions and no one will ask you to sing on your own!
The annual subscription is currently £115 per year, payable after the AGM in the Autumn term. If you’d like to purchase music, this is a small extra cost but most scores are available for hire at a small charge.