The Society was formed over 30 years ago from the previous Overdale Singers and we currently have over 70 members; some new and some very experienced, but all sharing their love of choral singing.
In our weekly rehearsals, we prepare for four concerts per year, including our popular Christmas concert and we perform works from a wide range of classical repertoire details of which are given on the Concert History link.
We are regularly accompanied by Stockport Symphony Orchestra and on other occasions by some notable local organists and our own talented regular accompanist, James Pelham. Experienced soloists enhance our performances and concerts with orchestral accompaniment are usually given at Norbury Parish Church in Hazel Grove, with other concerts being on home ground at Marple Methodist Church.
Having recently said farewell to our musical director, Michael Segaud, Marple Choral Society is delighted to welcome Ian Crawford as our new conductor. Rehearsals have never been such hard work – nor such fun!
An enthusiastic guest conductor Jonathan Lo took the final three rehearsals and conducted the concert which was a novel experience for the choir having previously never had an invited conductor. Stockport Symphony Orchestra provided excellent accompaniment as always to the two pieces, namely Handel’s “Dixit Dominus” and Haydn’s “Nelson Mass”.
The opening work “Dixit Dominus” was sung at a demanding speed in the sparkling Italian style, full of dramatic word painting, which the choir managed to convey very successfully. They were admirably supported by the five soloists, Tanya Hurst (1st soprano), Barbara Ruzsics (2nd soprano), Helen Frances (alto/mezzo), Alex Banfield (tenor) and Mark Rowlinson (Bass). As with the choral parts, the soloists have some scintillating and dramatic arias, to which they all did excellent justice, and we were extremely pleased that they were available to sing for us.
The second half consisted of Haydn’s “Nelson Mass” which was written when Napoleon’s armies were threatening Vienna and people were extremely fearful. The mood of the piece expresses this, and also has a strong military undertone with marching rhythms and trumpets.
A familiar piece to the choir, they were able to perform it most convincingly and enjoy themselves in the process. The solo parts are mainly built into the choruses, with just one aria, the Agnus Dei and the interactions between soloists and choir where they either echo each other, or where the choir provides gentle interjections are particularly enjoyable. Gradually the work becomes more positive in tone and ends with an affirmative “Dona Nobis Pacem”.
We would like to express our particular thanks to Simon Mercer for undertaking the early rehearsals this term, and to Jonathan for taking on an unknown choir and moulding us with such skill.
Milly Chadband, Concert Manager