We are neither a large choral society nor a small ‘a cappella’ group. We try to fill the gap in the middle, allowing members the satisfaction of knowing they make an important personal contribution to our artistic success, but with support of some other voices in their section. Our size also gives our audience the opportunity to hear more intimate performances.
Origins of the Choir
The choir was founded in 1984 by its original conductor, Martyn Bagnall. The choir quickly established a name for itself in terms of the range of music performed and its quality of sound. Our current Music Director is Benedict Collins Rice.
We rehearse with an accomplished accompanist, our Assistant Music Director, William Baldry.
These fees are set by vote at the AGM, following proposals from the Treasurer.
We offer free membership for full-time students and those on the Apprenticeship scheme.
The subscription is for membership of the Choir, irrespective of the number of concerts in which you take part. At the discretion of the Committee, the subscription of a member who joins for the first time during the course of the year may be reduced.
Payment can be made online: ICC bank account number 80480991, sort code 20-44-51. Cheques should be made payable to ‘Ipswich Chamber Choir’ and handed to the Treasurer or another committee member, within one month of the AGM, or within one month of joining the choir. If you have any concerns or difficulties regarding payment, please speak to the Treasurer.
If you pay tax, your subscription can be worth considerably more to the Choir through Gift Aid, as the choir is a registered charity. Gift Aid Declaration forms are available from the Treasurer. If you are not sure whether you qualify, please ask the Treasurer for guidance.
We aim for a choir of about 40 singers. This makes for a flexible and versatile group, but does demand a high level of commitment from each member. Members are expected to learn their part at home and practise between rehearsals.
We employ a professional music director with an international singing career. Standards are therefore high. We ask members to attend 70% of rehearsals and without fail, the last rehearsal. If this is not possible, members will need to speak to the Music Director. Members who know they will not be able to sing in a concert may attend rehearsals, but will be asked not to attend the last rehearsal.
Your subscription funds the Music Director, accompanist, venue and hire of music. To afford good quality soloists and orchestral players, we need large audiences, so all members are requested to advertise the concert personally and to sell four tickets each.
The choir is a registered charity, no.1069284 and has a constitution approved by the Charity Commission with an elected committee of five. Committee members serve for a year at a time but are eligible for re-election at the AGM, which is usually held at the beginning of a rehearsal in October/November. The committee meets at least four-monthly and choir members are encouraged to raise items for discussion. The choir is run on a voluntary basis so help from members is essential and much appreciated. Keeping the church tidy for services following concerts and rehearsals is particularly important.
Concerts normally take place at St. Mary-le-Tower Church, Ipswich or St Andrew’s Church in Rushmere, although the choir has from time to time performed at other venues including Snape Maltings, Ipswich School Great Hall and Holy Trinity Church, Long Melford.
Women: all black, with sleeves, long skirt/trousers and discrete jewellery.
Men: Dinner jackets and black shirts, no ties.
The Concert Manager arranges the seating and manner in which the choir will process on to and off the stage.