Celebrating its 200th anniversary, Ipswich Choral Society performs Haydn’s masterpiece ‘The Creation’ at Snape Maltings Concert Hall on 20th April, joined by the Britten Sinfonia and soprano Anna Dennis. Ipswich Choral Society also welcomes back Halifax Choral Society, making the performance a truly momentous occasion featuring Britain’s two oldest choral societies.

‘The Creation’ was the first major work performed by Ipswich Choral Society in 1825, 16 years after Haydn’s death. Incredibly, original hand-written scores from 1824 used by the new society were discovered in January 2012, now archived at The Hold in Ipswich. Completed in 1798, ‘The Creation’ would have been quite contemporary at the time. The premiere using the English text as held at Covent Garden, London in 1800.

For this 200th anniversary concert, Ipswich Choral Society is delighted to be performing again at Snape Maltings with Halifax Choral Society. The two societies last performed together back in 2017, when Halifax Choral Society celebrated their 200th anniversary. Living proof that the 19th Century pastime of joining a choral society is still as enjoyable in the 21st Century!

Ipswich Choral Society are thrilled that Britten Sinfonia will be joining them for this special occasion. Britten Sinfonia has a national and international reputation as one of today’s finest ensembles. Renowned for its adventurous programming and high-quality performances, Britten Sinfonia also brings high-quality music-making to schoolchildren, hospital patients and communities across the East of England.

Also performing are soloists Anna Dennis, Ryan Vaughan Davies and Dan D’Souza. Anna Dennis won the Royal Philharmonic Society Singer Award in 2023 and has performed at the English National Opera, La Scala in Milan and the Sydney Opera House, among others. Welsh tenor Ryan Vaughan Davies is a Jette Parker Artist at The Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. Dan D’Souza is an Irish-British baritone and performed at venues including the English National Opera, the Paris Philharmonie, the Berlin Philharmonie and La Scala.


Photo: Ipswich Choral Society and Halifax Choral Society performance of Mendelssohn’s ‘Elijah’ at Snape Maltings Concert Hall, April 2017. Credit Peter Smith.

Marking the 110th anniversary of the birth of Benjamin Britten, Ipswich Choral Society will be performing a selection of his choral works at their ‘Celebrating Britten’ concert on Saturday 27th May at St. Mary-le-Tower church in Ipswich. Described as the most important British composer since Henry Purcell, Britten composed a range of works including opera, other vocal music, orchestral and chamber pieces.

Ipswich Choral Society and their Music Director Robin Walker will be joined by organist William Saunders, performing ‘Festival Te Deum’, ‘Rejoice in the Lamb’ and ‘Jubilate Deo’ by Britten. The concert will also include performances of works by Frank Bridge, who taught Britten composition, and key influences Ralph Vaughan WIlliams and John Ireland.

Britten was President of ICS from 1948-58 and his uncle William Hockey was Music Director between 1906 to 1921. Another former ICS Music Director with connections to Britten is John Cooper, who conducted the choir from 1969 to 1979. John was involved in the first performance of Britten’s War Requiem.


Celebrating Britten

Ipswich Choral Society
Robin Walker Conductor
William Saunders Organist

Saturday 27 May 2023, 7.30pm
St. Mary-le-Tower Church, Ipswich IP1 3BE

Tickets: £15
Available from Ipswich Choral Society members, ICS Ticket Line: 07597 052572 or online here.
Interval refreshments available.


ICS concert poster image May 2023

Singing for the first time at Ely Cathedral, Ipswich Choral Society, joined by The Cantate Choir from Kent, will perform Tchaikovsky’s Liturgy of St John Chrysostom on 28 January 2023. Ipswich Choral Society Music Director, Robin Walker, also conducts The Cantate Choir.

Sung unaccompanied, Tchaikovsky composed The Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom in 1878. The first performance took place in the Kyiv University Church in June 1879, followed by the first public performance in Moscow in December 1880.

John Chrysostom, appointed archbishop of Constantinople in 397, was one of the most prolific authors in the early Christian church and an excellent preacher. He revised the Divine Liturgy or celebration of the Holy Eucharist and to this day, is still celebrated by the Eastern Orthodox and Eastern Catholic Churches. There are several feast days dedicated to St John Chrysostom, one of which is the 27th January.

Prayer for Ukraine is a patriotic hymn which has become the spiritual anthem of Ukraine. First published in 1885, it gained national significance during the Ukrainian war of independence in 1917-1920. Since the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine it has gained further prominence, being performed at many international concerts and church services. There will be a retiring collection after the concert in aid of the DEC Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal

Ipswich Choral Society will be offering a coach travel and concert ticket package for anyone from Ipswich wishing to attend the concert. The coach will leave from Crown Street at 5pm on 28th January. If you are interested, please contact chair@ipswichchoralsociety.org by 10th January for more details.


Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom, Tchaikovsky

Prayer for Ukraine, Lysenko / Konysky

 Ipswich Choral Society

The Cantate Choir

Robin Walker, Music Director

Saturday 28 January 2023, 7.30pm

Ely Cathedral, Ely, CB7 4DL

Tickets: £15*

Available from ICS Ticket Line 07597 052572 or online here.

Retiring collection in aid of DEC Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal

*Ticket booking fee may apply

Ipswich Choral Society will commemorate Remembrance weekend with performances of two requiem masses. The sublime and deeply moving Requiem by Gabriel Fauré and the contemporary, atmospheric Requiem by John Rutter.

Conducted by Robin Walker, ICS Music Director and accompanied on the organ by William Baldry, the concert will be held at St. Mary-le-Tower church on Saturday 12 November, starting at 7.30pm.

This concert will be dedicated to June Catling, a very dear friend to Ipswich Choral Society, who sadly passed away in September 2022. June was well known for her cake making and other fundraising efforts for Ipswich Choral Society. The association with ICS began in September 1984 when her husband joined the choir and June helped out with the Christmas Coffee morning. This started a fundraising partnership with the choir that lasted until pandemic in 2020. Having raised thousands of pounds for the choir, June was made an honorary life member of Ipswich Choral Society in 2010 to mark her dedication to ICS, even though she didn’t actually sing! June will be missed by the choir and many people in Ipswich, in particular her amazing cakes.


Ipswich Choral Society presents Requiem – Fauré | Rutter

Robin Walker Conductor

William Baldry Organist

Saturday 12 November 2022, 7.30pm

St. Mary-le-Tower Church, Ipswich IP1 3BE


Tickets £15 available online here or via the ICS Ticket Line 07597 052572. Interval refreshments will be available.

Ipswich Choral Society Registered Charity No. 278866.

Celebrating the Platinum Jubilee of Her Majesty the Queen, marking the first British monarch to achieve 70 years of public service.

Ipswich Choral Society and Music Director Robin Walker will be performing music from Coronations and Royal occasions throughout history. The choir are delighted to be joined by David Poulter accompanying on the organ.  The celebration concert will be held at St Margaret’s church in Ipswich on 18 June, starting at 7.30pm.


Ipswich Choral Society presents “Jubilee!”

Robin Walker Conductor

David Poulter Organist


Saturday 18 June 2022, 7.30pm

St. Margaret’s Church, Soane St, Ipswich IP4 2BE

Tickets £15 available online here or via the ICS Ticket Line 07597 052572.

Interval refreshments will be available.


Jubilee! poster image

Ipswich Choral Society is excited to return to singing live again after the Covid lockdown. Bruckner’s Mass No.2 in E minor features in the Society’s upcoming concert at Ipswich School on 4 December, conducted by ICS Music Director Robin Walker.

Bruckner’s setting of the mass is for eight-part mixed choir and fifteen wind instruments, and Ipswich Choral Society is delighted to be performing with The Puffin Ensemble for the first time. The Puffin Ensemble will also be performing Serenade in Eb for 13 wind instruments by Richard Strauss.

Ipswich School was the venue for the last Ipswich Choral Society concert back in November 2019. The Covid lockdown has been challenging for all choirs not being able to meet in-person for 18 months. The choir have been holding in-person rehearsals with a live Zoom feed to provide options for members. Covid measures will be in place at the concert too to ensure the safety of both performers and audience alike.

Ipswich Choral Society is keen to support local charities by raising awareness amongst ICS members and concert audiences. For this concert, there will be a retiring collection in aid of Families in Need (FIND) Ipswich. FIND is a Suffolk charity which supports all those in need, regardless of faith or circumstance and offers a lifeline to people experiencing poverty and despair.

Starting with Purcell and through to big Romantic classics, before moving onto Gilbert and Sullivan, then finishing with modern stage music.

Ipswich Choral Society will be charting the history of the chorus on stage for their autumn concert on 17 November at Ipswich School. Music Director Robin Walker conducts the choir through a programme incorporating operatic classics with modern show tunes, joined by pianist Daniel Law and special guest soloist Claire Weston.

Starting with Purcell, moving onto Handel and Mozart and through to big Romantic classics by Wagner, Verdi and Bizet the first half of the concert provides highlights from the operatic chorus reportoire. The second half focuses on musical theatre with pieces from the operettas of Gilbert and Sullivan to the choruses from popular musicals such as ‘My Fair Lady’, ‘The Sound of Music’ and ‘Les Misérables’.

Prize-winning pianist and Master’s graduate of the University of East Anglia and Royal College of Music, Daniel Law has appeared as a concerto soloist, chamber and theatre musician throughout East Anglia. He regularly collaborates with Colchester Institute and Aldeburgh Young Musicians as well as teaching at a number of schools throughout Essex and Suffolk.

Graduating from the Royal Northern College of Music, award-winning soprano Claire Weston joined English National Opera as Principal Artist in 1999. Stage highlights have included ‘Fiordiligi’ in Cosi fan Tutte, ‘Donna Elvira’ in Don Giovanni, ‘Marcellina’ in The Marriage of Figaro, and as soprano soloist in a staged production of Verdi’s Requiem. Alongside her current solo recital work, Claire is Head of Singing at Woodbridge School and Music Director of the Suffolk Singers.

Chorus! The history of choirs on stage

  • Conductor Robin Walker, ICS Music Director
  • Piano Daniel Law
  • Special guest soloist Claire Weston

Sunday 17 November 2019, 3pm
Great School, Ipswich School, Ivry Street, Ipswich, IP1 3QW

Tickets: £15, U16s/students Free

Available here online or via the ICS Ticket Line: 01473 625208.

Chorus! poster Nov2019

Ipswich Choral Society round off their 2018-19 season with a delightful evening of choral favourites at St Margaret’s Church in Ipswich on Saturday 15 June.

Conducted by ICS Music Director, Robin Walker, the concert programme features pieces performed on the recent ICS trip to Todi in Umbria, Italy and will culminate with ‘Gloria’ by Vivaldi. Composers featured will include Parry, Elgar, Rachmaninov, Mendelssohn, Stainer and Macmillan among others. Ipswich Choral Society are delighted to welcome organist William Baldry, Assistant Director of Music at St Mary-le-Tower who will accompany the choir for Vivaldi’s Gloria and also perform solo pieces.

Ipswich Choral Society presents
Vivaldi Gloria and other choral favourites

Robin Walker, Conductor
William Baldry, Organist

Saturday 15 June 2019, 7.30pm
St. Margaret’s Church,
Soane St, Ipswich IP4 2BE

Tickets: £12; U16/students £6.
Buy now online or via the ICS ticket line on 01473 625208. Interval refreshments available.


Ipswich Choral Society with Music Director Robin Walker return to Snape following their hugely successful performance of Mendelssohn’s ‘Elijah’ in 2017. The concert on 6 April features a mostly Mozart programme including his famous ‘Requiem’ and a world première of ‘The Affirming Flame’ by Tom Randle.

Shrouded in mystery, the commissioning of the unfinished Requiem written at the time of Mozart’s death in 1791 has always fascinated the musical world. Mozart’s ‘Requiem’ is a choral masterpiece and hugely popular with performers and audiences alike. For their performance at Snape, Ipswich Choral Society is delighted that their President, the international conductor Cem Mansur, will be joining them as guest conductor.

Inspired by the ‘Ipswich Remembers’ performance when he was invited to sing with Ipswich Choral Society last March, Grammy award winning tenor and composer Tom Randle is thrilled that his new oratorio ‘The Affirming Flame’ will be premièred at Snape on 6 April. The five part oratorio uses text from poets such as Siegfried Sassoon and Carl Sandburg, and ‘The Parcel’ from local poet Pam Job of the Suffolk Poetry Society.
ICS 6Apr concert poster

Following on from their First World War Centenary concerts earlier in the year, Ipswich Choral Society mark another centenary, the birth of Leonard Bernstein. The Bernstein Centenary Celebration will be held on 20 October at St Mary-le-Tower church.

Leonard Bernstein (25 August 1918 – 14 October 1990) was a world renowned musician, conductor and composer. He served as Music Director of the New York Philharmonic and conducted the world’s major orchestras. The finale of the concert will be a performance of Bernstein’s Chichester Psalms, originally commissioned by the Very Reverend Walter Hussey for the 1965 Southern Cathedrals Festival.

Another highlight will be discovering more about Leonard Bernstein with Ipswich Choral Society President Cem Mansur who will give a talk during the interval. Cem studied with Bernstein at the Los Angeles Philharmonic Institute and has since gone on to work with major orchestras and opera houses across the world.

Ipswich Choral Society will also be performing settings of two psalms ‘The voice of melody’ and ‘Idols’ by British-French-Israeli composer Nimrod Borenstein, whose music is widely performed throughout Europe, the USA, Canada, Australia and Japan. The BBC Philharmonic Orchestra recently performed the world premiere of his second Cello Concerto.

The concert programme will feature other works by Bernstein and a collection of choral works by Sergei Rachmaninov, Eric Whitacre and Stevie Wishart among others.

A retiring collection will be made after the concert for Ipswich Choral Society’s nominated charity for 2018, Diabetes UK, Ipswich & District Support Group. Their goal is to provide support and advice to people living with type 1 and type 2 diabetes as well as their family and friends.

ICS 20 Oct 18 concert poster