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 7.15 – 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 £7.50 per month.
If you’d like to chat first with one of our members, please ring June Fieldsend on 01255 677368 or email her firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
Gilli Dulieu has been Musical Director of Clacton Choral since 2011. She studied at Colchester Institute, graduating with a first-class BA (Hons) in Music, specialising in composition under Alan Bullard. For many years when working in London she sang soprano with the Royal Choral Society, and has always been involved in playing for and singing with local churches.
In Gilli’s own words: ‘I just love conducting. It's not something I’d ever imagined doing, despite having sung in choirs all my life, many of which were conducted by my father. But one thing led to another, and when I heard that Clacton Choral needed a conductor, I jumped at the chance. We are so lucky to have such a great accompanist in Nic, which means we can tackle the classical greats together, while hugely extending our repertoire into many genres.’
Numbers in the choir have grown steadily since Gilli has been at the helm and the choir has a reputation for being very friendly and welcoming as well as performing to a consistently high standard. Members really enjoy the weekly rehearsals - as one recently said: ‘It’s like a breath of fresh air which lasts all week.’
Gilli’s passion for conducting also helped her through serious illness and fuelled her fight for life in 2014. She’s now a proud ‘Ostomate’ and continues to receive support from a specialist team at Addenbrooke’s Hospital, for whose care she is eternally grateful.
So, the choir has grown; their audiences continue to grow, and they’d like to grow some more – so do come along to one of their Monday evening rehearsals; or a Saturday Sing; or a workshop; to try them out – without any audition to face. They look forward to welcoming you.
Nic Lawrence trained as a teacher at Goldsmith’s College, London and is currently Head of Music at Clacton Coastal Academy.
He teaches piano for the Essex Music Services at Tendring Music School.
He has also taught at Comerton Village College, Cambridge and worked as a Staff Accompanist at the Colchester Institute of Music, where he obtained his Music Degree and won both the Canon Jack Award and the WH Swinburne cup in his final year, for piano and ensemble playing.
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'