Our Choir was 90 in 2019...
Formed in 1929, WDCS Choir celebrates its 90th birthday.
NEW Website for our Choir...
Be sure to place our new website in your favourites list...
Our 2022 Concerts...
To be announced...
Inspired Singing...
Enjoy singing? Why not join our inspiring Choir?

Join our new Youth Choir !
It’s all about singing… and at 93 years old, Wombourne & District Choral Society (WDCS) is still going strong – because singing is so good for you!

But to remain strong and to ensure that we’re here for another 90 years, we are starting Wombourne Youth Choir. So if you like singing, or even if you haven’t sung before but you would like to give it a go, and you’re somewhere between 13 and 21, then this is for you!

Weekly rehearsals will start in September on Mondays during term-time from 6.00pm to 7.00pm at Springdale Methodist Church, Warstones Road, Penn, Wolverhampton WV4 4LF.

Lead by Musical Director, Edd Caine, rehearsals will always be fun, giving opportunities for members to sing large scale choral works with experienced singers and a full orchestra, gaining experience in choral singing, supporting language learning by singing in different languages, gaining confidence singing in front of an audience, expanding your choral repertoire and learning about composers old and new.

Open to anyone who wants to take part and develop their interest in singing, there will no audition and it doesn’t matter if you haven’t done any singing before ( though if you have, that would be great! ). There will be no entrance or membership fee initially as full support is coming from WDCS but there may be a membership subscription at a later date once the Youth Choir is firmly established, in order to cover rehearsal room hire, concert and other expenses.

So what are you waiting for?
For further information or to enrol please contact Henry Ibberson on 07775 680705, email:
ibberson@uwclub.net or Eileen Brown on 01902 892391, email: eileenbrown31@talktalk.net or send us a message via our web-site www.wombournechoralsociety.org

Go on give it a go! We can’t wait to hear from you!


Beryl Beech
The Spring Concert 2022 was dedicated to the fond memory of Beryl, who sadly died on 10th February 2022 aged 83. She had been our accompanist for over 15 years, only relinquishing her role three years ago when she first became aware it was becoming too much for her. Members of the Choir were privileged to perform the “Agnus Dei “from the Faure Requiem at her committal service on 8th March in Telford.
In a moving address given at her memorial service by a close friend, David Corden, who is singing with us this evening, she was described as “lovely”, “elegant”, “incredibly talented”, “generous”, “unassuming”, and “gracious”,
attributes which we in the Choir knew and loved so much in her. Music had been her life, her talents as a pianist being fully recognised when a teenager, winning her a place at Birmingham School of Music, now the Conservatoire, where she continued her piano studies along with singing lessons. As well as playing the organ in local churches, Beryl developed her beautiful soprano voice, becoming a member and soloist with the City of Birmingham Choir. Never neglecting her passion for the piano, she was a frequent solo performer, whilst teaching piano and singing in the local area, additionally being appointed an accompanist for the renowned Charterhouse Summer School of Music. It was during this period that in 2003 she became rehearsal and concert accompanist for WDCS, often performing alongside our former Musical Director, Ian Clarke.
She will long be remembered for her faithful commitment to the Choir, and most especially for her consummate musicality, her sheer hard work and the unfailingly charming and unassuming manner with which she immersed herself in all the choir’s affairs. We are delighted that members of her family are here this evening to share in this commemoration of her life with us.
Henry Ibberson

A NEW EXCITING BEGINNING...
Following the massive effects of COVID-19, we were unable to perform any of our planned concerts for several months. During this time Ian Clarke decided that the time had come to retire as our Musical Director, plus our accompanist, Tony Bridgewater decided to leave because of other new musical commitments. On top of this, our present rehearsal venue was no longer available.
However, with the sterling efforts of our Chairman, Henry Ibberson, Eileen Brown and other members of the committee, these major problems have all been solved...
We now have a NEW Musical Director,
Dr Edward Caine, who will bring with him a NEW accompanist.

Where we rehearse...
We now rehearse every Monday evening in term time at Springdale Methodist Church, Warstones Road, Penn, Wolverhampton WV4 4LF from 7.30pm to 9.30pm.
How to find our rehearsal venue...

The rehearsal is taken by our Musical Director, Edd Caine and the accompanist is (to be announced).

New members are always welcome...
New singers are always welcome to the choir.
For more information, contact our Membership Secretary, Eileen Brown at
eileenbrown31@talktalk.net or on 01902 892391. more >>


90th Anniversay of WDCS In 2019, our choir celebrated it's 90th year...
Formed back in 1929, the WDCS Choir celebrated its 90th anniversary in 2019... quite an achievement! To celebrate this event, the choir performed three concerts during that year.

On Saturday 13th April 2019, we performed Verdi Requiem in conjunction with the City of Wolverhampton Choir at St John's Church in the Square, Wolverhampton, commencing 7.30pm.

Then on Saturday 13th July 2019, we held a special 90th Anniversary Celebration Gala Concert at the Wolverhampton Grammar School on 13th July 2019, commencing at 7.00pm. The Chamber Choir from the School also took part in this event.
See Photos >>
To round off the special year, we performed Handel's Messiah, again at St John's Church in the Square, Wolverhampton on Saturday 7th December 2019 at 7.30pm.
January 2021

Sad News...
We have heard today, the sad news that John Bolus, a long serving Tenor in our choir has passed away.
Choir members will probably remember the picture which John painted of Brewood Parish Church. We presented two paintings to our French friends “Chantemoy” of the churches in which we had our joint concerts, when they visited us in 2005.
Apart from his sterling work with the usually small group of tenors, John has also for many years organised the practice disks and downloads for the individual parts of the music which we perform. This has been an enormous help in preparing the choir for the concerts.
Condolences and very best wishes to John’s family at this very sad time.
25th January 2021

It is with sadness that the death on 10th September 2020 of much loved baritone Adrian Clarke is announced.

He was a joy to work with, full of character and love for his art, and also a most delightful man with a gleeful sense of humour and a nose for a good glass of red.

Our thoughts are with his wife, Sarah Pring and his family.


Classic FM Request...
As part on the many celebrations for Ann's special birthday, our Chairman, Henry, contacted Bill Turnbull, presenter of a request programme on Classic FM and asked if part of the Verdi Requiem could be played to celebrate Ann's birthday.
The result can be heard in the following recording >>
Click here
Ann Hawkins meets her goal on her 100th...
Ann Hawkins, a member of WDCS Choir since 1969 reached her 100th birthday on Thursday 20th October 2020. Robbed of any alternative means of celebrating Ann’s wonderful achievement, eight members of WDCS ( Eileen, MIke Coope, Mike Hayward, Denis Beaumont, Gil Sadler, Mary Hayward, Jill Mason, Liz and myself ) joined by three close friends from Pattingham, gathered to form a fully Covid Compliant Choir in front of Ann’s house at 10.00h on the morning of her Birthday.
Our good friend and highly talented musician John Fellows ( many of you may know him, as he has lead choirs and directed musical activities in and around Pattingham for many decades! ) was at the keyboard leading us in his own arrangements of “ Happy Birthday” and a specially written arrangement of “ Congratulations & Jubilations”, adapted to reflect many of Ann’s lifetime passions and activities.
She knew nothing about this in advance and was clearly overwhelmed and delighted, ( she was expecting a disappointingly low-key Birthday due to all the pandemic restrictions ), especially with the huge bouquet of flowers we presented to her on behalf of you all, and, of course, since she still enjoys her tipples, the champagne and single-malt whisky which accompanied it - oh and a splendid iced fruit cake, made by the Lychgate Pattingham village cafe owner, the candles on which, configured as the number 100, she almost completely extinguished as we gave her three mighty cheers!
She is a truly remarkable lady... We give her our heartiest congratulations on achieving her Century in such good health and God willing, may we all be privileged to share still more milestone Birthdays with her. She asked me to send her warmest thanks and very best wishes to you all.

WDCS and village members, all socially distanced, prepare to sing ‘Happy Birthday’ to Ann... WDCS Chairman, Henry, presents Ann with a large bouquet of flowers from the choir... Ann starts to blow out the 100 candles on the special Birthday cake. She made it ! A specially designed card containing the John Fellow’s music is given to Ann by Mike...



John Fellows, who wrote the special piece for Ann's birthday and also accompanied the small choir when they performed it in front of her house.
'Our Anniversary Song... 100 today!' by John Fellows...
CHORUS
CONGRATULATIONS, and CELEBRATIONS
A hundreth birthday's something special certainly,
It gives us pleasure to sing this measure,
And pay our tributes with this well-known melody.
VERSE 1
The notes are there, - we cannot guarantee their order!
Our song is 'off-the-cuff' we couldn't quite afford the...
WOMBOURNE CHORAL to achieve that near perfection,
But it's the thought that counts, we sing with great affection -
CHORUS
CONGRATULATIONS, and CELEBRATIONS,
Dear Ann's a hundred so we mark it tunefully,
So let's get swinging, and let's get singing,
and celebrate with this top hundred melody!
VERSE 2
You may have packed away the tennis shorts and racquet,
You may have ditched the car and stored that hiking jacket,
You may have picked last grapes that gave such satisfaction,
We wonder what comes next that'll stir you into action?
CHORUS
CONGRATULATIONS, and CELEBRATIONS,
Dear Ann's a hundred so we mark it tunefully,
So let's get swinging, and let's get singing,
AND CELEBRATE YOUR 100th ANNIVERSARY!

 ...and NOW the video
Although still photography is his forte, David Coxsell of In-Depth Photos in Pattingham agreed to video Ann's celebration event, for which we thank him. In order to avoid possible music copyright conflicts, we regret that we have had to remove some of the musical content of the video.
Click here >>

In Depth Photos


Valerie Fairclough is ordained as a Deacon at Lichfield Cathedral on 26th September 2020...
Originally from Liverpool, Valerie now calls Wolverhampton home and is a member of WDCS singing in the sopranos. She lives with her husband Stephen, two dogs and a cat. Valerie has two grown up daughters and three granddaughters. She worked as a teacher, mainly in Further Education, for many years; this was her vocation for her adult working life. Valerie first felt a calling to be a priest as a teenager, but women were not allowed to be priests back then. So she waited.

During her years of teaching, she learnt what it is to walk alongside those who don’t have an easy life; she learnt to have a listening ear and empathy. Valerie learnt to respect and love those who are marginalised and oppressed. This was time not wasted. A few years before retirement, Valerie felt God’s call again and became a Reader but it was not enough. God called her on. Valerie thought she was too old, but remembered Sarah who laughed when God told her she would be the mother of God’s people. Valerie finally accepted God’s will for her. Valerie has learnt that God loves us and can call us into service at any age. Her advice for those exploring God’s call - do not be afraid if you are called later in your life; be open to all possibilities, with prayer.

Valerie will serve her title in the Central Wolverhampton team with Revd Ray Gaston.

To see the full service on video, follow the facebook link , jumping the first 13 minutes of test screen...


Ann Hawkins at 99years...
At rehearsal on Monday 21st October 2019, celebrations were afoot to congratulate Ann Hawkins on reaching her 99th year. Ann joined the choir in 1969 and has been a regular member since then. Chairman, Henry Ibberson presented Ann with a special birthday card signed by all the choir members and birthday cakes, shared amongst all choir members. Happy Birthday, Ann and looking forward to your next birthday !

 

 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.  



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



Web page from the Shropshire Star - 5th July 2019



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

Welcome to our NEW website...
Launched in February 2019, our new website of is packed with
information about our choir... past, present and future.

Be sure to place it in your 'favourites' list.

The
NEW domain is www.wombournechoralsociety.org

 Ann Hawkins, member of WDCS

 Member of our choir celebrates her 98th birthday...

Many congratulations to choir member, Ann Hawkins who recently celebrated her 98th birthday. Ann has been a loyal member of the choir since she joined back in 1969.
At rehearsal, the whole choir sang 'Happy Birthday' to Ann.

November 2018


 October 2017 - 50 years of singing...
Congratulations to Annette and Eileen who both celebrated 50 years singing with Wombourne and District Choral Society.

They received flowers from chairman Henry at a recent rehearsal for the society's November concert, Dvorak's Stabat Mater, in tribute to their long association with the society and also thanking them for their contribution as members of the committee.



Friends of Wombourne Choral Cosiety
FRIENDS of WOMBOURNE & DISTRICT CHORAL SOCIETY

We value the loyalty of our audiences, who are already doing one of the most important things by providing support for ‘live’ music. What might not be know, is that box office income from ticket sales falls considerably short of the amount we need each year in order to continue to perform major choral works at a consistently high standard.

Members of the choir, many of whom have been singing for more than 40 years, do so simply because they have a passion for choral music. But most of our soloists have professional careers, many broadcasting and performing throughout the UK, and our orchestral players have a wide range of professional or semi-professional backgrounds.

Which is why we are asking you to go one step further by becoming a Friend of Wombourne & District Choral Society.

For £40 per year individual membership or £60 per couple we will show our appreciation by offering you the following benefits:

A 50% reduction in the cost of 1 ticket per member for each of our three concerts in the current membership year

Reserved seating for each concert

A free programme for each concert

The names of all our “ Friends of WDCS” will appear in each concert programme, as well as on our web-site ( unless you prefer to remain anonymous )

Invitations to all our Social events held currently once or twice per year.

Anyone joining will be able to enjoy these benefits for all concerts.

Thank you for giving this your careful consideration...

To download a copy of this 'Friends of WDCS' application form, please click here >>

(Membership Secretary, Eileen Brown on 01902 892391 or at eileenbrown31@talktalk.net)



Tickets for our concerts can now be ordered on line from our website,
phoning 01902 744447 or buying on the door on the night of the performance.


Get Inspired! Join Wombourne Choral Society



Sonia Nixon
The Stabat Mater Concert on 25th November 2017 was dedicated to the memory of Sonia Nixon who was a member of Wombourne & District Choral Society for many years.
Her generous legacy to the choir, for which we are most grateful, confirms her great love of music and how much the choir meant to her.


Sonia Nixon (4.6.1931 - 29.11.2016)
Most of Sonia’s childhood was spent in India where her father was a soldier in the British Army (Royal Artillery and later Royal Indian Artillary) and she always had fascinating stories to tell about those days and the dangers during the period of the Partition of India in 1947 which she and her younger sister, Madge, faced as they left to return home.

On returning to England amonst other things, she worked for Wolverhampton Council in the Parks Department and later became a legal secretary in a local solicitor’s office.

Those were her day jobs, but Sonia was an extremely gifted and artistic person who painted, embroidered, modelled in clay and wrote stories - anything requiring flare and imagination.

Above all, she loved music, had singing lessons and was thrilled when she passed the audition to join the CBSO chorus as one of the founding members in 1973 which she did for about fifteen years, mostly under the conductor Louis Frémaux and later Simon Rattle. She sang in St John’s choir here in Wolverhampton and also with the Berridge Singers and finally joined the Wombourne & District Choral Society and her generous gift given in her will is testament to how much this choir meant to her.

Sonia retired early in order to care for her ageing mother and they lived in a large Victorian house which was big enough for them to let rooms to actors working in the Wolverhampton theatre.

Sonia moved to Dorset to be with her sister Madge at the end of her life, but until then lived happliy with her beloved cats and her treasured memories. She was always caring and sensitive and is greatly missed by her many friends.

With many thanks to Mary Brown, a friend of Sonia and present member of WDCS for her contribution of these memories of Sonia’s life.



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