Clacton Choral Society was founded in 1888 by Frederick Lewellen.
Its aim is:
To present quality choral music,
conveying our passion and enthusiasm to our audiences
The choir has been a constant part of the tradition of choral singing in Clacton since its establishment,
breaking off only during the Wars.
In recent years, the membership has doubled to 70,
attracting singers from throughout the Tendring area and beyond.
The choir performs three concerts in each season, usually including a traditional Easter programme,
a lighter Summer afternoon concert and a December concert,
that includes ever-popular carols alongside other works.
Performances are accompanied and augmented by local instrumentalists and soloists of a high calibre.
If you’re tempted, our weekly rehearsals take place on Monday evenings at St James’ Church Hall, Clacton CO15 1LE, from 7.30 – 9.30pm (with a refreshment break)
You can come along any week to try us out or listen to a rehearsal, there’s no need to book: and the fee (once you decide to enrol) is only £10.00 per month.
If you’d like to chat first with one of our members, please ring June Fieldsend on 01255 677368, email her [email protected] or you can
You too can become part of our second century of music making!
Still in doubt? Read our Choristers' Comments to see what our members say!
Our ‘Saturday Sings’ are very popular, and a great opportunity for new singers to come along and ‘try us out’ as we explore and learn about the content of the upcoming concert.
We also hold Choral Workshops from time to time, to which we invite
all-comers - though you will need to book your place.
We learn music in the morning and afternoon, before producing
an informal performance in the evening.
MUSICAL DIRECTOR - Peter Dyson
Peter G Dyson is an outstanding English Conductor, described by The Times as a "Baroque specialist" and by the London Evening Standard as "An Internationally respected conductor".
A graduate of the highly acclaimed Advanced Conducting Course at the Royal Academy of Music, Peter studied with Colin Metters, Sir Colin Davis, Sir Simon Rattle, Leonard Slatkin, Sir Roger Norrington, Claus Peter Flor, George Hurst, Jorma Panula and the pedagogue Ilya Musin from St Petersburg Conservatory. Peter was elected as an Associate of the Royal Academy of Music in 2000, an honour reserved for the Conservatoires' most eminent graduates.
Peter founded the Belmont Ensemble of London in 1991 and is their musical director and manager. It is his enterprise and vision that has seen the orchestra perform more than 775 concerts at St Martin-in-the-Fields, more than any other orchestra in the history of the famous church. A recent highlight was a concert given in the presence of HRH Princess Alexandra.
He has conducted the New Queens Hall Orchestra in London, including a live broadcast on BBC Radio 3. He has appeared regularly with the Latvian Philharmonic Orchestra in Riga, the Guatemala National Symphony Orchestra in Guatemala City, the Macedonian Philharmonic Orchestra in Skopje, the Filharmonie Ceske Budjedovice, Filharmonie Hradek Kralove and South Bohemian Chamber Orchestra (Czech Republic).
In 2013, 2015 and 2018 Peter travelled to Australia as Guest Conductor with The Chamber Orchestra at St Paul’s (Cathedral) performing at the Melbourne Recital Centre.
A former choral scholar, he has conducted the BBC Singers in concert for BBC Radio 3, and has worked with the Philharmonia Chorus, the English Chamber Choir, the Tallis Chamber Choir, the Joyful Company of Singers, the New London Singers, St Martin-in-the-Fields Choir and Choral Scholars, St Martin's Voices, the Codina Singers, the Northampton Bach Choir, the Chameleon Arts Chorus, Sevenoaks Philharmonic Choir, Vox Cordis and Barts Chamber Choir.
He has conducted at London's premier venues including St.Martin-in-the-Fields, Royal Festival Hall, Queen Elizabeth Hall, Purcell Room, St.John's Smith Square, St.James's Piccadilly, The Banqueting House, and has broadcast on BBC Radio and TV, ITV, Channel 4 TV, Channel Five TV and Classic FM.
Nic Lawrence began accompanying ballet, modern and tap dance in Clacton when he was fifteen. He read for a music degree at Colchester Institute, graduating with a First, and studied for the LTCL piano teachers' diploma. He began playing for Clacton Choral in 1984. After graduating, Nic studied for a PGCE in secondary music at Goldsmiths College and after various teaching jobs, became Head of Music at what is now Clacton Coastal Academy. He resumed playing for the Choral Society in 1992. Nic also has an MA in music from the Open University.
Clacton Choral is delighted to have been able to rely on him for many years to accompany anything impeccably – and at sight; a wonderful gift. He seems to know instinctively what the conductor wants him to pick out before being asked; and as well as his wonderful skill at the keyboard during rehearsals, he then joins the ranks to sing at their concerts.
‘Energising, challenging, fun!’
‘It’s like a breath of fresh air which lasts all week.’
‘After one practice you’re hooked.’
‘Leading choir for the area.’
‘I joined Clacton Choral as I wanted to sing more challenging music. Rehearsals are a combination of discipline and fun, and always rewarding. Singing with this choir is, for me, pure joy.’
‘The hall at St James’ is a very good venue for rehearsals.’
‘I feel elated after choir every Monday.’
‘I sing for the sheer joy of it. I sing with Clacton Choral for the challenge of it.’
‘If music be the food of love, what better way to spend Monday evenings!’
‘Gilli works us hard every week to produce performances of a superb quality. At the end of a concert you get that
Wow, look what we’ve achieved feeling.’
‘Joining the Choral Society was like joining a warm, friendly musical family who supported me and introduced me to another world.’
‘I enjoy singing with Clacton Choral for the friendship and, as I’ve been singing since I was six,
the Society keeps me doing the thing I love.’
‘I come each Monday to enjoy the variety of music and get great pleasure from the good-humoured company.’
'Fabulous rehearsals with Gilli who guides us through any piece with patience and precision'