Christmas Starts Here!
For so many local residents each year, it is Clacton Choral’s Christmas Concert that launches their festive season. This year’s theme is ‘Joyful English Music with Harp & Organ’; the centrepiece being Britten’s ‘A Ceremony of Carols’ (with harpist Lynne Creasey) which is flanked by Elgar’s ‘Te Deum’ and ‘Benedictus’ and followed by two of Gustav Holst’s compositions - ‘Four Old English Carols’ and his lovely medley ‘Christmas Day’. There are some lively and popular unaccompanied Spirituals from the Choir, and favourite Christmas Carols for everyone to sing. Lynne will also be performing some beautiful solo pieces on the harp.
The acoustics of St James’ Church are wonderful; the new upholstered seating is very comfortable, and the tickets are only £10 each, which includes a full programme. Phone 01255 221 511; email firstname.lastname@example.org or on the door in Tower Road, Clacton CO15 1DA. The Concert starts at 6.30pm on Sunday 9th December.
All at St James’ Church, Tower Road, Clacton, CO15 1DA
9 December 2018 at 6.30 pm – Britten Ceremony of Carols – see full details above
13 April 2019 at 7.30 pm – Gounod St Cecilia Mass and other music by French Composers, including Faure Cantique de Jean Racine
6 July 2019 at 5 pm – Clacton Choral goes to the Proms!
To receive full details of future concerts, please click here
Our archive of posters for the concerts we have performed since 2011 will give you a flavour of the range of styles and composers we have enjoyed in recent years. The posters are arranged chronologically, from most the most recent to older.
CLAIRE COLEMAN - SOPRANO
Claire Coleman studied singing at The Royal College of Music with Kathleen Livingstone. She made her London debut as a soloist at St. John’s, Smith Square, in 2003 and has since performed frequently as a soloist at most of the top performance venues in the country, including the Wigmore Hall, Purcell Room, Queen Elizabeth Hall, Royal Festival Hall and Kings Place.
Recent highlights include her debut as Nerone in L’Incorronazione di Poppea (Monteverdi) at the Suffolk Villages Festival and a collaboration combining Lassus and Eastern European folk songs with Moira Smiley at St. John’s Smith Square - excerpts of which were broadcast live on BBC radio 3s In Tune programme.
Claire has an extensive oratorio repertoire, having sung with numerous choral societies throughout Britain, and has been a soloist on many CD recordings. She has been broadcast on radio and television programmes such In Tune (BBC Radio 3), The Early Music Show (BBC Radio 3) and Songs of Praise (BBC One).
An equally experienced choral and consort singer, Claire has toured most of Europe and parts of the world with internationally renowned groups
such as the Monteverdi Choir (Sir John Eliot Gardiner), The Sixteen (Harry Christophers), The Parley of Instruments (Peter Holman), Ex Cathedra Consort (Jeffrey Skidmore), Cappella Fede (Peter Leech) and the Musicall Compass (Crispin Lewis).
Claire has been a soloist for the Suffolk Villages Festival for over fifteen years and is the principal soprano with the professional church choir at St. James’ Church, Paddington. Until recently Claire had performed under the name Claire Tomlin.
STEPHEN CVIIC - TENOR
Stephen Cviic cut his musical teeth as a boy treble and orchestral flautist. After a career in journalism, he changed track to pursue solo singing, spending two years on the Morley College Opera Course.
Since then, his operatic roles have included Don Jose (Carmen); Tamino (Die Zauberflöte); Macduff (Macbeth); Orpheus (Orpheus in the Underworld); Pong (Turandot); Aeneas (Dido and Aeneas); Frederic (The Pirates of Penzance) and numerous Handel tenor roles, including Grimoaldo (Rodelinda) and the title role in Belshazzar.
On the concert platform, Stephen has performed, among others, Handel’s Messiah and Judas Maccabeus, JS Bach’s Christmas Oratorio and Mozart’s Requiem, Coronation Mass and (with Clacton Choral) Litaniae Lauretanae.
He also enjoys giving regular, creatively-themed song recitals in and around London with his sister, Antonia Cviic (soprano). In March 2018, he will appear as the Prince in Harrow Opera’s production of Dvorak’s Rusalka.
He studies voice with John Upperton. www.stephencviic.com
PATRICK MCCARTHY - BARITONE
Baritone Patrick McCarthy has been a notable figure on the East Anglian music scene for over thirty-five years. Trained at the Guildhall School of Music and the London Opera Centre, he has appeared with leading British opera companies and gave concerts in the UK and abroad, later teaching singing at the Colchester Institute.
He hit the headlines in 1974 when he rescued a televised Proms performance of Carmina Burana, when a singer was taken ill.
Some twenty-five years ago he successfully took up conducting and has appeared on television, at Snape Maltings and other leading East Anglian venues with his choirs and orchestra, the Colchester Philharmonic.
His recent singing engagements have included Noah in Britten’s Noyes Fludde; Puccini’s Messa di Gloria; Handel’s Messiah and Samson, and song recitals.
GUESTS AND CONTRIBUTORS
We are lucky to have a reliable pool of local performing talent on which to draw, as and when we require it.
Recent performances have featured:
THE KINGFISHER SINFONIETTA
LED BY BETH SPENDLOVE
The Kingfisher Sinfonietta was founded in 2011 by its Leader/Director Beth Spendlove. In a short but very busy time, it has become a much-respected orchestra, performing to high professional standards in a variety of venues across Suffolk and Essex. As well as some of the best orchestral musicians in East Anglia, the KFS occasionally helps young musicians to experience and gain confidence in orchestral playing. Soloists are drawn from the profession and from principal players within the orchestra.
"The key to its success," says Beth Spendlove, "is that we all truly enjoy playing together. All the players are so enthusiastic about making really good orchestral music and some of us have performed together for a very long time.
We particularly delight in supporting a number of important choral societies in small and large-scale works and also performing works by living composers.”
Stephen Smith is a scientist by profession, and at the University of Essex, he was Dean of the School of Science and Engineering, and Head of the Physics Department. He studied the piano and organ from an early age, and has given organ concerts in England, Germany and the United States.
Stephen has been accompanist and sometimes conductor with the Stour Choral Society since 1976 and has accompanied many choirs on the organ.
He has conducted, amongst others, Mendelssohn’s Elijah and St. Paul; Bach’s Christmas Oratorio; Schubert and Haydn Masses; Poulenc’s Organ Concerto and Gloria; and Verdi’s Requiem in combination with the Clacton and Dovercourt Choral Societies.
In addition to these, Stephen regularly accompanies concerts for the Anglia Singers, solo singers and the University of Essex Choir, and he is a member of the concert group ‘Con Spirito’ and the Colchester Chamber Choir.
COMPOSER AND PIANO
Peter Thorne has been composing music since the age of about twelve. He read music at Oxford and the UEA, where he took a Master’s degree. Over the years, he has written in many different styles and genres but most recently for wind instruments and piano. His music often features influences from various kinds of jazz and pop and is often colourful and rhythmic.
He has written two piano sonatas and other pieces for the concert pianist Peter Seivewright who is in the process of recording them for a CD.
As a pianist, he regularly accompanies choirs, ensembles and soloists in concerts locally.
Alan Bullard's music is performed and broadcast world-wide and appears on many CDs and publishers’ lists. He has composed in most genres, for both amateurs and professionals. He has recently edited a new anthem collection for Oxford University Press, while future commissions for new pieces range from Colchester Choral Society to the Children’s Chorus of Greater Dallas, USA.
After many years of teaching, Alan now works as a full-time composer and he is also an examiner for ABRSM. He has lived in north Essex or Suffolk for over forty years and enjoys accompanying or continuo playing when the opportunity arises.
Acknowledging with thanks the work of Jeff and Marie Stansfield, for the video clips