The new Concert Season is looking very positive after the challenges caused by the pandemic, St Albans Choral Society Chair Ken Young told members at the 76th Annual General Meeting, which was held online on 14th September.

The choir resumed its weekly rehearsals at Dagnall Street Baptist Church on 9th September, with health precautions in place. It is working towards its first concert of the season – featuring Rossini’s ‘Petite Messe Solennelle’ and four Bruckner’s Motets – at St Saviour’s Church in St Albans on Saturday 20th November.

Further plans include performances of Richard Blackford’s ‘Pietà’ – a co-commission with the Bournemouth Symphony Chorus – and Haydn’s ‘Nelson Mass’ at St Albans Cathedral in April 2022.

The Chair stated the Society had benefited hugely from the 73 online rehearsals led by Augustina Kapoti, Assistant Conductor, who was appointed in May 2020. Her rehearsals consisted of vocal exercises, pieces from the choir’s repertoire, and learning new works in preparation for future concerts and recordings.

This programme, selected and overseen by Music Director George Vass, kept members singing and improved the choir’s sense of community during the lockdowns.

Ken thanked the entire Committee for contributing to the effectiveness of the choir’s live and online activity during one of the most challenging seasons St Albans Choral Society has ever experienced. “It has been most gratifying to witness the attendance and contribution from the membership,” he said. “Our Society indeed did more than cope, we learned, and we grew together”.

He also warmly thanked members of the Committee who were stepping down from their roles, having made invaluable contributions to the operations of St Albans Choral Society over the years: Alex Maynard and Caroline Bragg as Voice Reps, Adrian Whalley as Concert and Rehearsals Manager, Julie Stephens and Alison Maitland as Publicity and Media Secretaries respectively, and Vivienne Levy as Committee Secretary.

The Committee welcomed new members Helen Pitman and Pam Firth as Voice Reps for Sopranos and Altos respectively, James Shipp as Concert and Rehearsals Manager, Debbie Switalska as Publicity and Media Secretary, and Lynne Cockbill as Committee Secretary.

The choir welcomes new singers and details of our Open Rehearsals will be announced shortly. Meanwhile, the Chairman and the Committee wish our Members and Friends a safe and exciting year ahead, filled with everything we all missed so much over the past year – experiencing great live music together.

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