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

In collaboration with creative groups from Ipswich and across the region, Ipswich Choral Society will remember the town’s part in the Great War of 1914-18 with a very special event. To mark the centenary of the end of that conflict, music, dance, poetry and animation combine to create an immersive, thought-provoking and moving performance.  We will learn about the personal stories of Ipswich people, both at home and on the front lines, leading up to and during wartime.

Choreographer Mary Davies, with dancers drawn from performing companies supported by DanceEast and community groups of all ages from across Ipswich, will bring these stories to life with music specially commissioned from composer Huw Morgan. The Suffolk Poetry Society and historians from Ipswich Choral Society will recreate the news and people’s experiences amongst songs from the war years, performed by professional and local musicians and vocal soloists. The performance concludes with “Eternal Light: A Requiem” by Howard Goodall (composer of TV themes for QI, Blackadder, The Vicar of Dibley, and many more), which weaves the Requiem texts with moving and beautiful poetry. Joining Ipswich Choral Society and their Music Director Robin Walker are soloists soprano Gwendolen Martin and tenor Tom Randle.

We hope you will join us for this very special event.  Performances on Saturday 17 March 2018 at 2.30pm and 7.30pm, each lasts 90 minutes including interval.

Ipswich Remembers main poster


Image of Ipswich Town Hall reproduced with kind permission of Suffolk Record Office, Ipswich branch – Ref K427/9

Ipswich Remembers is supported by Arts Council England National Lottery funding.

Ipswich Choral Society Registered Charity Number 278866.

Britten’s ‘Ceremony of Carols’ accompanied by harp is the finale for Ipswich Choral Society’s first concert of their 2017-18 season. Held at Ipswich School on 2 December, the concert features a delightful programme of music for a winter evening.

Sergei Rachmaninov’s beautiful setting of ‘Ave Maria’ from The Vespers, an arrangement of the traditional Welsh folk song ‘David of the White Rock (Dafydd y Garreg Wen)’ by Arnold Bax and ‘Winter’ by Stevie Wishart, written for Ipswich Choral Society in 2014 are some of the pieces to be performed. Conducted by ICS Music Director, Robin Walker, Ipswich Choral Society are delighted to welcome harpist Helen Sharp who has guested as Principal Harpist with most of the UK Symphony and Chamber Orchestras and pianist William Baldry, Assistant Director of Music at St Mary-le-Tower.

Ipswich Choral Society presents Britten ‘Ceremony of Carols’

  • Robin Walker – Music Director
  • Helen Sharp – Harp
  • William Baldry – Piano


Saturday, 2 December 2017, 7.30pm

Great School, Ipswich School, Ivry Street, Ipswich IP1 3QW


Tickets (includes programme and refreshments):  £15, Students/U16s £7.50

Available from ICS Ticket Line: 01473 625208 or ICS members

Interval refreshments are provided by Creative Cooks.

Ever wanted to sing the Hallelujah Chorus with a professional Baroque ensemble and outstanding soloists? Of course you have!

Join Ipswich Choral Society and their Music Director Robin Walker to rehearse and perform Handel’s great oratorio “Messiah” – all in one day! Accompanied by professional period instrument ensemble Vivace! and wonderful young soloists from the Royal Academy of Music, it promises to be a truly amazing experience

Everyone is welcome, it’s all about having a great time singing together. The day begins with rehearsal time led by Robin Walker and ends with the choir performing highlights from “Messiah” accompanied by our world-class players and soloists, all in the comfortable and modern surroundings of Suffolk One.

Messiah has always had special place in the hearts of singers and audiences alike. It is my great pleasure to invite you to join us to perform this wonderful work, and to celebrate the joy of singing together. On behalf of us all at Ipswich Choral Society I look forward to welcoming you to join us for what promises to be a fantastic concert.” Robin Walker

Closing date for workshop applications is 4th September. Please call 01473 738324 for further information or visit www.ipswichchoralsociety.org for a booking form.

Unable to join the choir singing? Never fear, you can experience the amazing concert finale by coming along to enjoy the performance!

“.. the orchestra and soloists were a delight, but nothing can take away from the enthusiastic and much enjoyed performance of the choir. The spontaneous applause after the Hallelujah chorus was indeed well deserved. A most enjoyable and well executed concert, the whole evening a resounding success!

(Ipswich Choral Society, Handel’s Messiah, Ipswich Corn Exchange, March 2016)


Come and Sing Handel’s Messiah with Ipswich Choral Society
Sunday 17th September 2017
Suffolk One, Scrivener Drive, Ipswich IP8 3SU

Workshop registration from 11.30am; rehearsal 12-2.30pm
Cost to take part: £30 (students and U16s £15)
Booking details can be found on www.ipswichchoralsociety.org or call 01473 738324 for more information

Concert 4pm, tickets £15 (students and U16s £7.50)
Available on the door or via ICS ticket line Tel: 01473 625208

Acknowledgement: photos provided by Matt Clarke of Ipswich & District Photographic Society.

Following their magnificent performance of Mendelssohn’s Elijah at Snape, Ipswich Choral Society finishes the current season with a relaxed Sunday afternoon concert. “Strawberries and Song” will be held on 18 June at The Royal Hospital School in Holbook.

Conducted by ICS Music Director, Robin Walker, the concert features two pieces by ICS Vice President, renowned composer Stevie Wishart. Commissioned by the Society to mark their 190th anniversary and premièred at Snape Maltings Concert Hall, “Summer” from Cantata for the Seasons as well as “Magnificat” (from Vespers for St Hildegard) written in honour of the canonisation of Hildegard of Bingen. The concert programme will also feature a collection of popular choral works by Brahms, Fauré, Parry and Whitacre among others.

“Strawberries and Song” starts from 3pm with an opportunity to socialise with the choir whilst enjoying strawberries and cream. The concert will begin at 5pm.

Ipswich Choral Society presents “Strawberries and Song”
Robin Walker – Music Director

Sunday, 18 June 2017
Burns Recital Hall, The Royal Hospital School, Holbrook, Ipswich IP9 2RX
Strawberries from 3pm, Concert starts at 5pm

Ticket price (includes strawberries): £12
Available from Ipswich Choral Society members, ICS Ticket Line: 01473 625208 or from Music World, Queen Street, Ipswich IP1 1SS

Ipswich Choral Society will celebrate their first visit to Belgium with the Belgian première of a work written for them by their Vice President Stevie Wishart. Commissioned by the Society in 2014 to mark their 190th anniversary and premièred at the world famous Snape Maltings Concert Hall, “Summer” from Cantata for the Seasons by renowned composer and Brussels-based Stevie Wishart will be the highlight of the concerts in Belgium.

The wide skies and flatlands of Suffolk inspired the new work, written as a homage to Suffolk-born composer Benjamin Britten (1913-1976) for the centenary of his birth. Britten, President of Ipswich Choral Society from 1948 to 1958, also founded the Snape Maltings concert hall in 1967.

Britten is one of those composers who has been very important to me in the formation of my own musical language. Growing up in East Anglia, I attended master-classes at Snape from a tender age, and so feel under the Snape/Britten spell. I also adore the skies and flat-lands of Suffolk – again childhood haunts, and so look to this landscape for inspiration.”  Stevie Wishart

Ipswich Choral Society is looking forward to the tour in June and delighted to be performing two concerts “Music for a Summer’s Evening” during their visit to Belgium. The first at Holy Trinity in Brussels is Friday 2 June, with the second the next day 3 June at Sint-Elisabethkerk in Ghent. As well as the première of “Summer”, the concert features “Magnificat” (from Vespers for St Hildegard) by Stevie Wishart written in honour of the canonisation of Hildegard of Bingen. The concert programme will include works by Delius, Brahms, Fauré, Parry and Whitacre, popular with English choral societies.

Music Director, Robin Walker, recently made his Snape debut conducting the Society in a special performance of Mendelssohn’s Elijah. Ipswich Choral Society were joined by special guests Halifax Choral Society, the oldest choral society in the UK, to celebrate 200 years of the English choral society tradition.

.. the orchestra and soloists were a delight, but nothing can take away from the enthusiastic and much enjoyed performance of the choir. The spontaneous applause after the Hallelujah chorus was indeed well deserved. A most enjoyable and well executed concert, the whole evening a resounding success! (Handel’s Messiah, Ipswich Corn Exchange, March 2016)

Many congratulations to the ICS for mounting an impressive programme. Stamina and musicality were outstanding! (Wishart’s Cantata for the Seasons première, Snape Maltings, April 2014)

The choir brought the Seasons to life in such a musical and heart-felt spirit, I only wish I could hear it all again. To my ears it really sounded like it was a piece made for the ICS special sound and it was quite thrilling and moving to hear the character of the various voices. Sitting there in that beautiful Snape concert hall the choir looked and sounded really impressive. (Wishart’s Cantata for the Seasons première, Snape Maltings, April 2014)


Ipswich Choral Society presents “Music for a Summer’s Evening”

Friday 2 June 2017, 19.00

Holy Trinity

Rue Capitaine Crespel 29

1050 Bruxelles

Tickets €10 includes drinks & pre- concert talk; to book visit www.ipswichchoralsociety.eventbrite.com

Saturday 3 June 2017, 17.00



9000 Ghent

Free concert, retiring collection