Information Snippets...


New Members please note:
We have a system where you can have on loan certain volumes of music (as listed above). You are able to keep these volumes until such time as you leave the choir, when you should return them to our Librarian Annette or her assistant Gill Sadler. Please speak to Annette on Monday about this.

Other Concerts in the area...

Mary Stevens Concert


 Cedric Lewis
A member of Wombourne Choral Society for many years, Cedric recently passed away and his funeral was held at St Bart's Church, Penn where he was a chorister.
The church choir together with members of Wombourne Choral Society sang during the service of dedication, including John Rutter's 'The Lord bless you and keep you' and two pieces from Faure's Requiem.
Cedric excelled at detailed wood work and several of the items he had made were on show in the church. The following images give an insight as to his amazing talent in the art.  

Marijke Holden 1944-2019
Born and educated in Holland and already something of a linguist, Marijke first came to England and Wolverhampton as an au-pair, and after settling and gaining friends in the area, in due course met David, a young dentist establishing his own practice. They married in 1968, and she quickly became involved in the running and organization of his practice, eventually training others to succeed her.
Away from the practice, she was quick to develop other activities to which she committed herself with passion and enthusiasm. These included local politics and the magistracy, local and national charitable institutions and especially the Arts, where for many years she championed and eventually chaired the Codsall Arts Society.
Like her Mother, she enjoyed singing and for over 11 years she was a warm-hearted and generous member of our Choral Society, relishing to the full, the joy of our concert performances.
She faced her illness with characteristic courage and determination to carry on with as much of her regular activity as she possibly could, coming to rehearsals and concerts even when she was clearly very unwell. She is sorely missed but will always be remembered with warmth and affection for her generous and life-loving spirit.

Cutting from the Express & Star plus Shropshire Star - 17th July 2019

Web page from the Express & Star plus Shropshire Star - 5th July 2019

Note to Choir Members...
As well as being a publicity tool, this website, particularly the MEMBERS page, is for use by Choir Members. So if you wish to place a relevant notice, an article with images or any other information that will be interest to fellow members, please talk with Mike Coope or email him at

 Verdi Requiem / Bychkov - BBC Symphony Orchestra - BBC Proms 2011

 A quality Mozart's Requiem - The BBC Proms 2014

  Chopin / Polonaise Fantaisie Op. 61 - Eliane Rodriques

 Chopin / Fantaisie Impromptu (Op.66)

 Messiah / G.F.Handel - Choir of King's College, Cambridge (2 hours)

 Messiah / G.F.Handel - A fantastic performance

 La traviata – Addio, del passato (Ermonela Jaho, The Royal Opera)

 Delibes: Lakme - Duo des fleurs (Flower Duet)

Ian Clarke - Musical Director
From our Musical Director...

Meet our Musical Director...
An interview with Ian Clarke

When did your interest in music start, and did you prefer playing or singing?

I learned the piano from around 7, but I suppose crucial for me was joining the choir of St Matthew's Church in Northampton, and coming under the influence and tuition of successive Directors of Music there, Michael Nicholas and Stephen Cleobury: I always enjoyed both playing and singing, but I used to get very nervous of singing solos!

You have directed a whole range of musical groups ? do you have a favourite, or at least a favourite style?
I usually say that my favourite music is that which I'm rehearsing at the time. I love and respond to the serenity and depth of renaissance choral music, the clarity of expression of Mozart and Haydn, the emotional intensity of Beethoven and Brahms, Verdi, Strauss and Mahler, the Englishness of Vaughan Williams, the vibrancy of Stravinsky, the artistry and commitment of such composers as Britten and Tippett - the list is endless - but if I had to plump for a composer I couldn't do without, it would have to be J. S. Bach, for his amazing range, his spirituality, his universality. One of my earliest profound concert memories was a performance of the St Matthew Passion: I will never forget my feelings on hearing for the first time the phrase uttered by the centurion and those around him 'Truly this was the Son of God'.

What do you consider will be the particular challenges of directing WDCS?
Maintaining the high standards exemplified by your previous Directors, and perhaps helping the choir to expand its vocal and stylistic range so that different repertoires are tackled in a variety of styles. I should also like the choir to be able on occasions to sing some repertoire from memory: to dispense with the copy can be very liberating!

When you auditioned for the post of MD, you chose an arrangement of a nursery rhyme in the round for the warm-up, which could be seen as significant since we hope to recruit younger members! What would you say to persuade young adults to have a go at choral music?
Just try it, because so many people have reaped great and unexpected benefits. Being in a choir is fun, physically and spiritually engaging, good exercise for mind and body, a great way to socialise and meet a whole mix of people, an enjoyable and rewarding way of contributing to and being part of the local community.

What would be your perfect concert: location, artists, programme?
Impossible question to answer, as music is not a perfect art: we strive continuously, and if as a group of musicians we get somewhere close to achieving a real communication of the spirit behind the music to an audience, then we can be satisfied.

How do you like to spend your (presumably limited) spare time?
Walking, especially on Scottish mountains (Slioch was particularly fine last summer). Family time, making the most of daughters Lucy and Amy while they're still at home. Golf, though I have the rather high handicap of not being very good. Bridge. Reading. Armchair cricket and rugby, especially Ashes-winning series, Grand-slam seasons and World Cup success.

You have already been involved in both 'legs' of our French exchange. Could you comment on the value of this, both musically and socially, and do you have a view on future developments?
A valuable and enjoyable cultural exchange, and one I'd like to see develop with perhaps the focus of a more substantial work in which both choirs could participate, in addition to more informal (and some memorised?!) repertoire.

Is there anything that you would like WDCS to achieve within, say, five years?
Only in general terms, to continue to foster good relations with the local community, perhaps to forge links with schools and youth groups to encourage younger singers to join the 'Senior' choir at a later stage.

If you got diverted to a desert island on your way to Wolverhampton, what would you choose as your favourite piece of music, book and luxury item?
Bach (not surprisingly), probably Mass in B minor.
Assuming I've got the complete works of Shakespeare, I'd see if I was allowed a bound edition of the 12 books of Anthony Powell's 'Dance to the music of time', to divert, to amuse, and to remind me of how beautifully more modern English can be written: failing that, maybe 'Possession' by A. S. Byatt, which I've been meaning to re-read, or 'Earthly Powers' by Anthony Burgess, both extraordinary and profoundly affecting novels.
For my luxury, I think I'd have to have a set of golf clubs and inexhaustible supply of balls: not only would I win all my games - I'd never again be daunted by playing out of the sand!

Ian's comments on The St Matthew Passion

Ian ClarkeGood day, choir.
Well, what a beautiful day yesterday, perfect weather (which I barely experienced!), but the beauty extending into the quality of singing in the performance last night. The melodies have been ringing round my head continuously since, and I find myself almost conversing in recitative style!

What a work! One I've always wanted to conduct, and it was a privilege to perform it, and with such a wonderful mixture of forces. A great orchestra, with lovely solo players, an excellent continuo section, fabulous soloists, headed by the fantastic evangelist, and of course, Piran Legge, whose voice is such a treat.

And then of such importance is the choral part, those wonderful framing choruses setting the context, and then choirs playing the part of the groups in the dramatic narration.
You did so well, and gave a vivid account, committed, dramatic, both soulful and spiritual, I couldn't have asked for more, and the evening will live long in my memory.

Thank you so much for your part in making the evening such a success, and thanks too to John and Mike for their part in helping the narration come alive.

Have a wonderful Easter, everybody, and I look forward to seeing you next term, after a couple of weeks off!

Best of wishes
10th April 2017

How to use the Wombourne Choral Society Facebook...
Click Facebook image opposite for more information >>

Internet Fund Raising

As part of our future planning, we have linked with an organization now being used by charities up and down the country, including Music Societies and Choirs, called Simply put, this is a Discount Club, supported by all the major stores and retailers, whereby anybody wishing to purchase anything on-line can click through a link to, then proceed to the retailer or company of their choice. That retailer/ company/service provider recognizes our link with the scheme and will then make a donation to our cause, a small percentage of the cost of the product or service purchased – it’s that simple and at no cost whatsoever to us!

Please have a look for yourselves – our WDCS cause page is :-

Just click on this link, then go to “See how it works “ where there is more explanation and a short video. Visit “Browse Retailers” to see the ever-growing list of companies supporting the scheme, which has so far raised nearly £12m for charities in the UK.

All of us, our family and friends and anyone we know, just by simply clicking a link and then buying what we/they want in the normal way, can be raising extra funds for the Choir. Who wouldn’t want to do it?

Give it a go – and let Eileen or Henry know what you think, or if you are having any difficulty!

You can now use “easyfundraising” when making Amazon purchases.
Amazon have changed their system regarding easyfundraising and Wombourne Choral Society is now registered with this service.

Please see below how you can make it work for you; go onto:-

Immediately below the ‘Search’ box at the top, it says, ‘Supporting XXXXXXX’ with a tiny arrow at the end. Click on the little arrow. It will bring up, ‘XXXXXXXX Change’. Click on change, a number of charities will be listed, but WDCS is not amongst them.

Go onto the box, ‘Pick your own charitable organisation’ and type in, ‘Wombourne & District Choral Society’, IN FULL, NOT WDCS. Search & then Select.

You only need to do this once... for future purchases, by going on to it will show you as a supporter. It couldn't be easier...

Get Inspired ! Join our choir

New members are always welcome...
New singers are always welcome to the choir. Rehearsals are held on Monday evenings, 7.30 to 9.30pm during term time at Wombourne High School, Ounsdale Road, Wombourne, Wolverhampton, WV5 8BJ. For more information, contact our Membership Secretary, Eileen Brown on 01902 892391 or at, or just turn up at one of our Monday rehearsals.

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