Sturminster Choral Society is a mixed choir that rehearses and performs in the North Dorset market town of Sturminster Newton. Our aim is to offer people in the community the opportunity to sing in a relaxed, friendly environment, but with the motivation of a concert performance twice a year. We currently have about 50 members, drawn from towns and villages all across North Dorset.
Our general preference for our Spring Concert is for classical music to lead our concert programme, although the repertoire has over the years been quite varied. These concerts are often major works, challenging in their own right. The choir are often supported by some excellent professional soloists.
The Christmas programme is for shorter 'lighter' pieces, carols for solo choir and audience participation encouraged. The work of contemporary (and local) composers are often a feature in our programme.
We are fortunate to be led by a wonderful musical director:
studied voice at the Royal Academy of Music with Kenneth Bowen and afterwards with Josephine Veasey with whom she won many awards. She has been a freelance BBC singer and soprano soloist in a wide variety of masses, cantatas and oratorios throughout the British Isles. In recent years the versatility of her voice has been heard not only in choral works throughout Italy and Spain, but also at recitals of songs by Stephen Sondheim at the Edinburgh Fringe. Annemarie recently retired from the post of Director of Music at Knighton House School in Blandford and now teaches singing privately. She is delighted to be involved once again with Sturminster Choral Society.
Our accompanist, Caroline D'Cruz, keeps us in tune at rehearsals and our concerts.
We are extremely privileged to be able to draw on several accomplished local organists for our concert performances. They include Peter Lattimer, former director of music at Bryanston School and currently organist and choir master at St Mary’s Sturminster Newton; as well as Sam Hanson, Chris Dowie and Graham Scott. There are many talented soloists living in the south west. We regularly draw on their experience as well as encouraging new names and singing scholars early in their careers. We were fortunate to be able to engage the 2010 Kathleen Ferrier Award winner, Njabulo Madlala, for our Spring 2011 concert, and regular soloists include: Anna Gregory (soprano), William Tyson Smith (baritone), Maria Marton (soprano), Andrew Armstrong (bass).