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Culm Valley Mission Community Choir

posted Jul 26, 2015, 1:13 AM by Julian Garner   [ updated Jul 27, 2015, 10:12 AM ]
The Culm Valley Mission Community Choir gave an amazing concert in St Mary's Church Uffculme on 27 June. 

Richard Rutty gives the background to the Choir in his summary below.


June 27th 2015 will, for me, be a memorable date. The first concert of the Culm Valley Mission Community Choir. But how did it come about? Over the last few years the St Mary’s Uffculme festival choir has grown in its ability to sing choral music. As with many small choirs getting a balance between all singing parts soprano, alto, tenor and bass is a challenge. At Uffculme we are very fortunate in having that balance most of the time.

Towards the end of 2014 I wondered what we might be able to achieve if we could add singers from our sister churches in Willand and Kentisbeare to the ranks of the Uffculme choir. The idea being to form a Culm Valley Mission Community Choir.

Early in the new year I contacted Hazel Jones at Willand and Rachel Carr at Kentisbeare. Both were enthusiastic and undertook to approach their congregations. By Easter I had the names of forty people who were interested to participate. From those forty people some amazing talent appeared. Not least of which was Julie De’ Ath Lancaster ( chorus director of The Sheldon Singers ). I already had it in mind to sing some movements of the Vivaldi Gloria and was more than delighted when she agreed to rehearse and conduct the Gloria leaving me to concentrate on the other music. With Rachel, Geoff and Julie we had a very solid base of musical expertise.

Looking back there is no doubt that we pushed the boundaries with the music chosen but it was clear to me from the first rehearsal that, with hard work, the choir could rise to the challenge and indeed it did.

I am hopeful that the enthusiasm shown for the summer concert will be a springboard to other concerts; perhaps we might be able to produce something near Christmas.

I must also make reference to the band. As was the case with the choir, the music for the musicians was very challenging. This was the first time a number of them had played from proper music scores. Their excellence added a dynamic and colour that greatly enhanced the choral music.

There is always room for more singers, especially tenors and basses and It would be wonderful if we could attract younger singers, maybe family members. Have you thought about it?

Richard Rutty


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