Of course, organisations like the Ipswich Choral Society don’t run themselves. Whilst it’s perfectly possible to enjoy membership of ICS without taking on additional roles, we like to feel that we have an ethos of a true “society”, where we all share and contribute, not only to rehearsals and performances but also to our social and charity events.
Many of our members give their time and energy in order to set the direction of the society and to create new and exciting opportunities to bolster the social aspects which in turn support our musical activities.
After nearly two centuries, Ipswich Choral Society remains a vigorous and exciting organisation. Our task is to ensure that it continues to flourish and evolve for future singers.
Chair – Christine Pearce
I joined the Ipswich Choral Society in 1998. Never having sung in a large choir before I was really nervous to begin with, but the choir members made me welcome and were helpful and patient with me while I was learning ‘the ropes’. What do I get from the choir experience? Well, friendship certainly, and the sheer joy of being part of a big sound. I’m learning a great deal about music and have thoroughly enjoyed our concerts and singing trips abroad.
Vice Chair – Michael Robertson
I help to run the society. In my role, I have been involved in all sorts of things from designing posters, to fund-raising, to setting up staging, organising concerts and recording some of them. I have been in the Choral Society for 28 years, and have enjoyed the challenge and variety of the music that we sing. I have sometimes thought when we have just started rehearsing a new piece, “I don’t like this much”, but by the time we are ready to perform it, I always find that I really enjoy the piece. Singing is good exercise and after a hard day’s work, it is a good way to unwind.
Treasurer – Linda Scott
I keep control of the finances and the membership list.
Secretary, Alto Voice Representative – Sue Sinclair
When the call came for a new secretary last year I offered to fill the gap, having joined the choir earlier in 2011. I have sung and enjoyed singing all my life, but not choirs. I do not read music so find extra ways of learning music via recordings, or music highlighting my part (alto). Learning to decipher ‘music language’ is giving me a buzz. ICS members are warm folk who help each other learn to sing and interpret music; for me difficult stuff sometimes, and like a laugh, I get a kick out of hearing voice parts sing together. I need to get to grips with the music, but as with so much in my life the satisfaction I feel is proportionate to the practice I put in. I think we work and play hard. Why, because we want an audience to have as good a time as we’ve had. Come and hear us, better still come and join us, we would love to meet you.
Soprano Voice Representative – Maureen Fell
I have always enjoyed singing and joined ICS back in 1998 to find a friendly, sociable choir singing a wide range of music. Apart from great concerts in Ipswich and Snape, there have been many choir trips abroad, including memorably, taking part in the International Festival in Istanbul. As a former chair Of ICS I know how important the section reps are to maintaining a well functioning but also a sociable choir. My role will be to act as an important link between our sopranos and the ICS committee and of course to welcome new sopranos to the choir. Above all to make sure everyone is enjoying their singing with us.
Tenor Voice Representative – Phil Powditch
I joined the choir in 1999, having previously sung with choirs in Framlingham and Woodbridge. My job is to look after the Tenors in the choir, generally an easy task as we are the smallest section, but sometimes tricky as they are always the most boisterous!! The choir offers a fantastic experience at all levels from social activity, to trips abroad and the opportunity to sing in world class venues, either on our own or with other societies. The help and guidance available to all members, however experienced, brings together a great singing experience.
Bass Voice Representative, Ticket Manager – Peter Edwards
I joined the choir about three years ago, having started singing relatively late in life. As a newbie, I was concerned that I might not be able to meet the standards of the choir, but there is a range of abilities in the choir, from very experienced singers to newcomers like myself. There is a very supportive approach to singing and musical exercises that help to improve one’s technique. I have found that being in the choir has opened up a whole world of new music for me and it is great fun to perform as part of an group.
Recruitment Officer – Laura Albins
I joined the society around two years ago, having previously sung whilst at college. I have found Ipswich Choral Society very friendly and welcoming, a great place to meet people and sing brilliant music and despite being relatively inexperienced at singing in a group, I have always found my fellow ICS singers helpful and supportive. Probably most importantly for me, as a mum with two small kids, the choir provides a much needed dose of sanity and tranquillity amidst the chaos.
Publicity Officer – Fenella Andrews
On moving to Ipswich, I decided to return back to singing and joined Ipswich Choral Society in January 2008 (having previously sung when I was (much!) younger whilst at Leeds University and with Preston Cecilian Choral Society). I love singing as part of a large choir and being a member of ICS has meant I’ve been able to make new friends in Ipswich as well. Initially helping out as part the ICS Publicity team, I became Publicity officer at the May 2010 AGM. There is a lot to organise with the general ICS publicity and concert promotions during the year. Fortunately, there is a fantastic team of choir members to help out to ensure everything gets done on time.
Librarian – Graham Popple
I joined the choir 5 years ago now and I wished I’d done so years earlier. The choir is just brilliant on many levels – the people are great; the rehearsals are always fun (but yet we work hard); we sing all sorts of music, so I’m getting educated; and then we wind down after rehearsals with a social drink at the pub. I like to think that we are carrying on the traditions of the choir’s founder members in 1824.
Correspondence Secretary – Sue Wallace-Shaddad
I was one of the people from another choir (Birkbeck Singers) who joined with Ipswich Choral Society to sing the Messiah in Spring 2016. I found everyone very friendly, really enjoyed learning and being stretched. I could not believe six months later that I was singing in the Corn Exchange, given that I only started singing in 2014. I have enjoyed singing Elijah this year too. As I am very involved in poetry in Suffolk, it has been great to see some collaboration between Suffolk Poetry Society and the choir too. I volunteered to become a co-opted member of the committee as Correspondence secretary this summer so am currently learning the ropes!
Social Secretary – June Catling
My association with the choir began in September 1984 when my late husband joined the choir and was ‘roped in’ to help with the Christmas Coffee morning. A year later the responsibility was handed over to me and suffice to say I have been here ever since, and I still don’t actually sing!!!!
Ipswich Arts Association Representative – Simon Snowden
The Ipswich Arts Association supports the work of arts organisations, individual performers and issues in the Ipswich area. My role is to attend IAA meetings, keep aware of local events and issues and to feed back to the committee any relevant information which may be of help or interest to the Ipswich Choral Society.