125 years of choral brilliance
Founded in 1888 by Frederick Lewellen, Clacton Choral Society's mission is to convey passion and enthusiasm through quality choral music.
Established as a pillar of choral singing in Clacton, the choir has maintained its presence in the community since its inception, pausing only during the World Wars.
In recent times, its membership has impressively doubled, now boasting 70 members from the Tendring region and beyond.
Each season, audiences are treated to three concerts: a traditional Easter performance, a delightful Summer afternoon recital, and a festive December concert mixing classic carols with other pieces. These performances are enhanced with the support of local instrumentalists and talented soloists, ensuring each concert is a memorable event.
Choral Celebrations: Showcasing Seasonal Excellence
In its storied history, Clacton Choral Society’s performances have resonated deeply within the community. Each season, they enchant audiences with a trio of concerts that showcase their versatility. The traditional Easter programme is a testament to their reverence for classic choral pieces, whilst the lighter Summer afternoon concert offers a refreshing musical escapade. December brings a festive treat, blending beloved carols with other distinguished works. These musical gatherings aren’t just vocal displays; they’re also enhanced by the talents of local instrumentalists and celebrated soloists. Each event is a testament to the choir’s dedication to bringing top-tier choral music to the heart of Clacton and beyond.
Unity in Harmony: Nurturing Local Talents & Community
The vibrancy of Clacton Choral Society emanates from its deeply rooted connection to the community. Comprising over 70 dedicated members from Clacton and beyond, the choir stands as a melting pot of diverse voices united by a shared love for music. Our reach extends beyond the concert stage; we actively engage with our local community, Moreover, we believe in the transformative power of music to bridge gaps, heal, and inspire. Our commitment isn’t just about preserving Clacton’s choral legacy; it’s about fostering a sense of belonging, enriching lives, and ensuring that the joy of choral singing is accessible to everyone.
Meet our leaders
Caryll Newnham boasts an illustrious career as a session singer in London. She’s been an integral part of several renowned ensembles, including London Voices, the Ambrosian Singers, the John Alldiss Choir, the Schutz Choir of London, the Monteverdi Choir, and also served as a dedicated BBC Singer for a significant duration, making appearances at the Proms.
Beyond her session work, Caryll has lent her voice to church choirs and held regular performances at HM Tower of London, a venue that even played host to her wedding. Her recording portfolio is vast, spanning numerous operas and collaborations with iconic artists like Paul McCartney, Elton John, and Pink Floyd. Additionally, Caryll was a part of the pre-production concert tour for Chess.
Passionate about nurturing the next generation, she imparted her knowledge at LAMDA, teaching singing for an extended period. Although her active singing days have concluded, Caryll recently trained choristers at St Albans and continues to instruct in singing and piano. Presently, she enjoys life in Frinton alongside her husband, the esteemed actor John D Collins.
From the age of fifteen, Nic Lawrence showcased his prowess by accompanying ballet, modern, and tap dance performances in Clacton. Pursuing his passion for music, he earned a First Class degree in music from the Colchester Institute and later achieved the LTCL piano teachers’ diploma. By 1984, he was already gracing Clacton Choral with his musical talents.
Post-graduation, Nic further honed his skills by undertaking a PGCE in secondary music at Goldsmiths College. His journey in education saw him take on varied roles, eventually leading him to become the Head of Music at the present-day Clacton Coastal Academy. Reconnecting with Clacton Choral in 1992, he continued to contribute his musical expertise, further enhancing his qualifications with an MA in music from the Open University.
Clacton Choral cherishes Nic’s consistent and impeccable accompaniments over the years. His innate ability to sight-read and intuitively discern the conductor’s needs is commendable. Beyond his exemplary skills at the keyboard during rehearsals, Nic seamlessly transitions to join the choir as a singer during concerts, truly showcasing his multifaceted musical talent.
A warm and enthusiastic community
Meet some of our members
Barry Shandley - Chair
Penny Price - Vice Chair
June Fieldsend – Secretary
Caroline Mulryne – Librarian
Richard Nowak - Co-ordinator
Interested in singing with us?
Click below for more info on how you can join us.