Hadleigh Choral Society

President: John Lill CBE


About the Hadleigh Choral Society

A music society has been in Hadleigh for over 120 years – the first reference extant is dated 1885 when the conductor (George Hardacre) issued stern instructions to the choir:

To insure success in the performance of Judas Maccabaeus tonight, I finally ask all present to:

  1. To place entire dependence upon my baton throughout the choruses, and not to listen for the accompaniments, or solo voices as guides in any way.

  2. That the signs for rising and sitting may be attended to with great precision.

“Special Services” (i.e. concerts) were held in St Mary’s Church during the end of the 19th century with chorus size reaching 90 - soloists had backgrounds that included venues such as Paris, or posts such as St Paul’s Cathedral.

In 1919, the choir became the Hadleigh Operatic and Dramatic Society and then became, in 1950, the Hadleigh Choral Society. Archives for the earlier years are now fragmented and it is probable that there have been breaks in the continuity.

Since 1950, the Choir has thrived, apart from a couple of years in the mid 1980s. In 1988 it was reformed by Tom Langley who conducted a performance of Messiah and continued in post for 3 years.

Christopher Phelps has been Conductor and Musical Director since 1991. His first concert was Haydn’s Creation which was performed on 27th April to celebrate the Hadleigh Millennium. The archive details since 1991 are included here.

In recent years, the Society has had two notable Presidents - Sir Charles Groves was President from 1988 until his death in 1992, followed by George Malcolm until his death in 1997. At present John Lill CBE has kindly agreed to be our president.

In 2002, we formed a small “choir for hire” from within the membership. This choir - Serendipity – has concentrated on performing at weddings and providing fund raining support to local “causes”.

Last Updated on Thursday, 20 June 2019 11:17