Stokesley and District Choral Society
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July 2018

Stokesley and District Choral Society enjoyed another successful season in 2017/18, and now looks forward to next year. In April, we presented Rutter’s Requiem, together with a selection of beautiful Mozart pieces – Splendente Te, Deus, Ave Verum Corpus, and his lovely Coronation Mass. Suitably challenging and enjoyable for the choir to perform and much appreciated by the audience.

This concert also marked the final one for our wonderful accompanist, Trevor Blease, who is moving to pastures new. He will be sorely missed, our new accompanist will join us for a very different programme of music which we will perform in Stokesley Methodist Church on Saturday November 17th: “Tuneful Twosomes – a journey through musical theatre” from Gilbert & Sullivan, through Rodgers & Hammerstein, to contemporary pieces from the likes of Lloyd Webber and Rice. It promises to be a lively and fun concert!

Further dates for the diary: Saturday December 15th is our annual Festival of Christmas music at Stokesley Parish Church – always a joyful occasion. On April 27th 2019, we are presenting a very special concert jointly with the Angrove Singers and Vox choir in Stockton Parish Church. The main item will be Brahms’ Requiem, together with Vivaldi’s Gloria and Zadok the Priest (Handel).

We welcome members old and new – our first rehearsal is on Monday September 3rd at St. Joseph’s Church Hall, Stokesley at 7.30 pm. Ability to sight read is an advantage but not essential, as we can provide support and rehearsal aids. We do not hold auditions!


December 2017 - Review of the year
2017 has been a great year for Stokesley and District Choral Society. Spring saw us perform Haydn’s Creation with a large orchestra in Stokesley Methodist Church, and what a fantastic event this was (for both audience and choir!). For some choir members, this was their first experience of singing a major classical work, and the feedback we received was that it was thoroughly enjoyable.

In November we presented a lighter programme, “A Night at the Movies” which did exactly what it said on the tin. The music ranged from Back to the Future to West Side Story, and the choir had a great time learning some new and different repertoire. The concert also included some stunning orchestral playing, not least a moving cello solo (Memoirs of a Geisha) by our multitalented musical director, Jeremy Harbottle.

Our most recent concert was our annual Celebration of Christmas, with the Christmas Strings, and on this occasion we were joined by young singers from the Crash Bang Wallop Theatre Company. Again, a great time was had by all, and we raised a record-breaking 522 for Zoe’s place and Yatton House.

We start rehearsals on Monday 8th January for our next concert, which includes Mozart’s beautiful Coronation Mass, and Rutter’s moving Requiem, two contrasting pieces which the choir is looking forward to learning. The concert is on Saturday 21st April 2018 at Stokesley Methodist Church. As always, we welcome new singers. Anyone interested is invited to come to a rehearsal for a “taster” session, at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Stokesely at 7.30 pm.

September 2016
Our 45th anniversary season sees us welcome our new accompanist, Trevor Blease.

December 13th 2014: Review of the Festival of Christmas Music - Darlington & Stockton Times
A joyous evocation of the spirit of Christmas was manifest at Stokesley Parish Church on the evening of Saturday 13th December when Stokesley and District Choral Society presented their ‘Festival of Christmas Music’.  The Society were joined by ‘The Christmas Strings (plus percussion and bass guitar)’, Pianist Alison Gill and a junior choir from Roseberry Primary School Great Ayton.  MD and Conductor was Jeremy Harbottle.

The programme had great variety, content and balance.  This was much appreciated by the audience, who participated themselves joining in with six classic carols.  Highlights were perhaps:  a rousing traditional English Carol ‘The Boars Head’; reminders of childhood Christmases from the junior choir; Vivaldi’s first movement from his violin concerto ‘Winter’ by the Christmas Strings, Soloist Clare Gale and Rutter’s ‘Carol of the Magi’ which included a beautiful cello solo from Penny Ferguson.

Shortly before the interval a charity collection was made on behalf of Yatton House (helping local folks with physical or learning difficulties) and ‘Zoe’s Place’ (a local Baby Hospice and Respite Centre, providing specialist nursing care for infants and much needed respite care for the parents and carers).  428 was raised which will be divided equally between them.
SDCS during the Festival of Christmas Music
Some of the SDCS members singing in the Festival of Christmas Music
SDCS in concert at the Festival of Christmas Music
November 2014 - Review of the 'Opera through the Ages' concert - Darlington & Stockton Times
Saturday 8th November saw Stokesley and District Choral Society, Conducted and directed by Jeremy Harbottle, present their autumn concert ‘Opera Through The Ages’ at Stokesley Methodist Church.  Joining the Society were Alison Gill, piano soloist and accompanist; Rohan Hill Soprano Soloist and Dominic Barberi, bass baritone soloist.  (Dominic was recently awarded his MMus Perf with Distinction from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland). 

An exciting and entertaining programme thrilled the audience with diverse works ranging across two centuries - from Purcell’s ‘Dido and Aeneas’  to Schonberg and Boublil’s ‘Les Miserables’.  Highlights were perhaps Dominic and Jeremy’s baritone and  tenor duet, ‘Au Font du Temple Saint’ from the Pearl Fishers by Bizet; Alison Gill’s virtuoso performance of ‘Granados’ by El Pelele; the bass and soprano duet ‘Bess you is my woman now’ from Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess and great choruses including Verdi’s ‘Anvil Chorus’ from La Traviata, Puccini’s ‘Humming Chorus’ from Madame Butterfly and Wagner’s ‘Pilgrim's Chorus’ from Tannhauser,

The concert was brought to a rousing conclusion with chorus, tenor and soprano duet singing ‘Brindisi’ (the (drinking song) from La Traviata by Verdi.  The audience was very appreciative of what had been a most entertaining evening.
SDCS Opera through the Ages concert
March 2014 - A big 'Thank You'

A big thank you to Roseberry Primary School children
The children of Roseberry Community Primary School Choir in Great Ayton were thanked this week by Stokesley and District Choral Society for their contribution to another very successful ‘Festival of Christmas Music’ which was held at Stokesley Parish Church on Saturday 14th December 2013.  Bob Baker, Chairman of the Society, presented a cheque for 120 to be spent on music resources.  Alison Collins, leader of Roseberry’s Choir, received the cheque and said that the concert was a fantastic opportunity for the children to sing alongside the adults and to hear a live orchestra.