Vice President

John Cooper

John Cooper is Organist Emeritus of St. Mary-le-Tower, the Civic Church of Ipswich (where he was Organist and Director of Music from 1971-1999) and Organist of St. Mary's Church Grundisburgh, near Woodbridge. He was for many years a Senior Lecturer in the School of Music at the Colchester Institute, Chairman of the Suffolk Area of the Royal School of Church Music and from 1969-1979 Conductor of the Ipswich Choral Society.

A highlight during his time with the ICS was a concert in 1976 in which the works performed were Five Mystical Songs (Vaughan Williams), Symphony of Psalms (Stravinsky) and Belshazzar's Feast (William Walton).

Before moving to East Anglia he was Organist at Holy Trinity Church Leamington Spa, and in 1962 his boy choristers sang in the premiere of Benjamin Britten's War Requiem at Coventry Cathedral; John was the organist in this performance. He was born in Leicester and graduated at London University before gaining the M.Mus degree at Durham University. He also gained first prizes in the Associate and Fellowship diplomas of the Royal College of Organists.

Since retiring from his full-time work John has remained busy as a concert organist and frequently gives recitals in East Anglia and beyond, including York Minster and the Marktkirche in Halle (Handel's birthplace). He enjoys his role as a piano accompanist and often gives recitals with the tenor, Gordon Pullin, with whom he has made three CDs, including one of the songs of Roy Teed (of Colchester) who celebrated his 80th birthday in 2007.

He is rehearsal accompanist for the Hadleigh Choral Society and plays the organ or piano in the choir's concerts: John was the pianist in the HCS's performance of Rossini's Petite Messe Solennelle in March, 2007, and in the ICS's performance of the same work in May, 2009. He was also the soloist in performances of Poulenc's Organ Concerto in concerts presented by both societies.

Stevie Wishart

Stevie Wishart is a composer, performer and improviser; exploring medieval and contemporary extremes, using voices, ancient technologies such as the hurdy gurdy, and electronic music technologies of our own time. She has composed for modern orchestras and vocal groups and for her own group, Sinfonye. As a composer she works acoustically with music notation, combining improvisation and computer music systems.

Education and academic work

Stevie studied composition and electronic music at the University of York with Trevor Wishart and Richard Orton, as well as improvised and aleatoric music with John Cage and David Tudor in Edinburgh. She continued postgraduate performance studies in early music at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and with a Nuffield Foundation award and a Vicente CaÒada Blanch Junior Research Fellowship at the University of Oxford for research into medieval musical iconography. She is currently a Visiting Music Fellow at the University of Cambridge with the AHRC Research Centre for Musical Performance as Creative Practice.

Performances and other activities

Stevie has performed at Londonís Wigmore Hall, BBC Proms, the Purcell Room, Queen Elizabeth Hall, the ICA and Sydney Opera House, and throughout Europe, the USA, and Australia. Her concerts have been broadcast by BBC Radio3, Radio France, Australian Broadcasting Corporation, ORF, German Radio Networks, and Klara Radio Belgium VRT. Performances and commissions include those for the Festival van Vlaanderen and Styriarte. Stevie has also performed her compositions for Pope Benedict XVI at St Peterís, Rome, and for RAI tv. Contemporary music recordings include those with Fred Frith, John Tilbury, the Art Zoyd Studio, and Ensemble Musiques Nouvelles.

Recent major works

ëIcedí, for orchestra and Theremin, was given in 2005, commissioned by Belgian groups Ensemble Musique Nouvelle and Art Zoyd. ëThe Sound of Gestureí, a project developing an interface for solo violin and computer, was developed at ZKM and ADK and first performed live in Belgium in 2010 as part of an installation. For the 2011 Proms, Stevie was commissioned by the BBC to write ëOut of this Worldí premiered by the BBC Singers conducted by Robert Hollingworth, and was described in the media as ìamong the finest of this yearís new [BBC] commissionsî (TheArtsDesk 2011). Recently Stevie composed ëVespers for St Hildegardí in honour of the canonisation of Hildegard of Bingen. A full-length concert version for choir and instrumental ensemble was premiered in York Minster at the 2013 York Early Music Festival.

Current commissions

Major projects include a ëConcerto Grossoí, a double bass concerto, jointly commissioned for Chi-chi Nwanoku and the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and Rob Nairn and the Handel & Haydn Society, Boston, to be premiered in the Queen Elizabeth Hall, London, May 12, 2015.

By using the links below Ipswich Choral Society will receive a small commission.

Saturday, 2 December 2017, 7.30pm

Britten's Ceremony of Carols
The Great School
Ipswich School
Ivry Street
Ipswich IP1 3QW

Saturday, 17 March 2018

Goodall's Eternal Light: A Requiem
Corn Exchange
Ipswich IP1 1DH

Tickets direct from:
ICS Members
ICS Ticket Line
01473 625 208
0759 705 2572
Music World,
Queen Street,
Ipswich IP1 1SS