Tuesday, 9 November 2010

Musical Director Joe Cooper's view of 2009/10

The season of 2009/10 has been a time of great excitement and expansion for the City of Wolverhampton Choir.  The choir has swelled in size and even more importantly has had an influx of younger people to balance the demographic of the choir and make it a choir for people of all ages and backgrounds.  Thanks must go to the new publicity campaigns that have appealed to the public of the city and brought in new talent.

The choir's standard has continually increased in terms of sight-reading and quality of tone; many of our concerts last year were met with great acclaim particularly the concert of Poulenc and Langlais that we performed in March 2010.  We have used the size of our choir to our advantage in order to perform works such as Pouenc - Gloria and Britten - Rejoice in the Lamb.  We are performing works that would be too big for chamber or church choir to undertake but yet too intricate for a large choral society of over a hundred people to perform.  By performing works of this size we can work to a high standard and attract new members and audiences by offering them an experience they will not gain from many other choirs in the West Midlands.  It has also been a good experience over the last year to work with individuals within the choir so they could perform solo roles in concerts, it is good to have a balance of giving people opportunities within the choir and also to work professional soloists and instrumentalists to give our concerts an extra flair.

New initiatives such as scratch projects have also gained us new membership as well as giving the current members of the choir a chance to perform works under intensive rehearsal situations.  We also performed with our daughter choir the Wolverhampton Young Voices and tried to build on this relationship through our concert in July 2010.

We are greatly indebted to Thomas Castle who served as conducting scholar last year for his contributions to concerts and rehearsals; I look forward to working with our two new conducting scholars Harry Castle and Beth Howells in the year ahead.

It is a credit to us that we are able to undertake the great tasks of two big concerts in the next two months ahead, we have been offered a great challenge and opportunity to work closely with the Civic Hall in putting on concerts to a professional standard and involving the people of Wolverhampton.  We must continue the progress we have made last year in order to meet the demands of the following concerts and create a positive working future with the Wolverhampton Council.

There have been many great achievements in the last year and I look forward to exciting times ahead with you all.

Joe Cooper

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