Newent & District Choral Society

Newent & District Choral Society

Welcome to the Newent and District Choral Society Website!

We are a friendly Choral Society, previously of about 65 members (Pre-pandemic). We are now very keen to welcome new members in all voice parts. We do not hold auditions and your first term is completely free.

Singing is good for you! In the Links section below there are links to several websites which extol the physical and mental benefits of singing.

Newent Choral Society meets in Newent Memorial Hall on Tuesday nights (and some of us afterwards, usually at The George.)

We have an autumn term with concert and a spring term with concert. There is a more informal group which meets in the summer for those who wish to continue singing. See below:

Our next term will start on 6th September, and will run until our concert on 26th November, with a half term break on 25th October. We will be preparing two fantastic choral works, Vivaldi’s Gloria and Faure’s Requiem.

To find out where we rehearse look at the Where we meet page.

For more information please email us at or telephone 07792 872523

At our last AGM on 26th April 2022, Angela Jones took over from Peter Coulson as Chairman. With his hard work and dedication Peter has enabled the chorus to produce extraordinary performances for a non-audition choir.

We were rehearsing Duruflé Requiem and Lauridsen Nocturnes when Covid happened and we had to cancel our performance. These were lovely works and we hope to sing them again at some point.

Vistaprint, who own have decided that now would be a good time to monetise all the free websites created over the years under Freewebs and Webs, so this site may not exist for much longer!

Photo Credit: Charlie Chan

With Nia Llewelyn Jones as our Musical Director we have had several successful and memorable concerts, including The Armed Man and Elijah.

Nia is an experienced choral conductor (National Youth Choir of Wales, Cambridge University). She is also employed by the CBSO and the LSO as a rehearsal conductor. As the first to hold the position of Singing Development Leader at Gloucester Cathedral, Nia became, in 2016, responsible for conducting the new Girls Cathedral choir. Several of us from Newent Choral Society witnessed the historic first ever Gloucester Cathedral Evensong with a girls Cathedral choir on the 7th November 2016! Nia is now Assistant Conductor at Gloucester Cathedral.

We benefit from a very strong and imaginative committee resulting in decoration of the concert venue to give a unique experience to audience and performers alike. Please come along to our next concert!

So you can see what I've done to the site since you last visited there is a site log at the bottom of this page, listing the changes and also future tasks that I need to tackle!

This site has grown quite extensive with interesting reviews, photos and posters from our varied performances over the years. Even if you've seen it all before, it's worth looking through again!

In addition to our Spring and Christmas concerts we take part in other events to raise money for charities and to help pay for orchestras! In Summer, a subgroup, the Newent - Scottish Choir sings anything ranging from medieval to jazz, often a cappella, at interesting venues such as Usk Castle and the Linton Jazz Festival. We also travel abroad to sing in places like St Malo and Bruges. We have sung Evensong and put on concerts in aid of local charities at St David's Cathedral and Brecon Cathedral!

To read more about Newent - Scottish, look at the Other Activities page.

Forthcoming Events & Productions
Alexander L'Estrange ~ “Ahoy!” 1st April 2023

This is an exciting piece which tells the story of the Tudor ship, the Mary Rose. We’ll be joined on this occasion by the choir of Huntley School.

There will be links on the Practice Resources page to the music files.

Latest News

Choir Social - December 2018

This time Marion, Wally, Tim and Tom provided folk-style background music as guests arrived. After a lovely meal, the floor was open to anyone who wishes to put on a performance. For the first time we had a demonstration of Argentine Tango! We all had a very enjoyable evening!

Choir Social - December 2017

Peter, Angela, Heather & Tom singing Counting Music by Chris Lawry.

There weren't so many acts this time, but there was an amusing music quiz which kept us guessing for a while! A good evening was had by all!

Winter Celebration - December 2016

A jazz trio called Triage, playing mainly in the keys of A & E provided ambient music as the guests arrived.

We were able to celebrate Ian Fox’s long tenure at our annual Christmas get-together at May Hill Village Hall, presenting him with a specially commissioned plate which I know he values highly as representing the admiration and affection of those who have sung with him over many years. Once again, the Christmas social was brilliantly organised and highlights what a friendly and warm choir this is.

Social Evening - 5th December 2014

Over fifty choir members and spouses gathered at May Hill Village Hall for a most enjoyable social evening. The concert the previous weekend had been very successful, and this clearly had engendered a celebratory mood!! All enjoyed a wonderful three course meal supplied by Cass and Phil from the Yew Tree Inn in Cliffords Mesne before settling down to an entertainment schedule which included sixties songs from Peter, Bald and Hairy (Marion, Tom and Peter – guess which was which!!);

Spanish rhythmic music from Tim, Gillian and Rob; songs from Heather, Angela, Sue, and Dave; some musical bickering from Rob and Gillian;

Newent Scottish events:

Many thanks as always to Joe and Rosemary for the enormous amount of work they've put into setting up such interesting events and the necessary rehearsals which precede them! They bring a lot of joy (and sometimes harmony) to a devoted band of singers!

Looking down the long lists of other activities it is just amazing how many diverse and interesting venues we've enjoyed singing at!

Vivaldi Gloria & Fauré Requiem 26th November 2022

A double bill of two joyous and well loved choral works, each of which form the subject of numerous choral workshops!

There are links on the Practice Resources page to the music files.

We held our first full concert for three years on Saturday 26th November 2022, taking place at Newent Community School. The choir performed two beautiful choral works, Vivaldi's Gloria and Fauré's Requiem. We were directed by our fabulous musical director, Nia Llewelyn Jones, who is Assistant Conductor at Gloucester Cathedral. The soloists were all from the same family: Nicholas Perfect, baritone, Catherine Perfect, mezzo, and their daughter, Harriet Perfect, a very talented soprano, aged just 14! The accompanist was Deputy Director of Music at Gloucester Cathedral, Jonathan Hope. He also played a solo “party piece” which the audience loved: Lefebure -Wely's ‘Sortie in E Flat’. Everyone was smiling as they went out for the interval.

Stainer Crucifixion, Tuesday 12th April 2022

We're back from Coronavirus, although with reduced forces of around 25! In the two years we were locked down our excellent rehearsal (and concert) pianist, Giles Turner, decided to retire. Evie Perfect has taken over very ably. For our first performance in over two years we gave a free performance in Newent Memorial Hall aided by David McKee, director of music at Cheltenham College (baritone) and Tim Burton (tenor) with Nia conducting and Evie accompanying us.

Nia provided a summary afterwards, "I was going to write to say how impressed I was with the choir yesterday. The choir’s performance really did surpass my expectations! I think everyone seriously upped their game. I thought that there was a great level of energy and commitment in the performance, and the soloists and Catherine Perfect commented on how good the choir sounded. I am pleased that despite some of the logistical misgivings about having a concert, we were able to go ahead with the performance. And it’s great that there were such generous donations in aid of Ukraine."

Duruflé Requiem & Lauridsen Nocturnes, 28th March 2020 **CANCELLED**

It is with great regret that, due to Coronavirus, we decided to cancel this concert! We really enjoyed the rehearsals and are hoping to re-stage this concert at a later date

The Duruflé Requiem is a very tuneful piece with glorious harmonies. Check it out on YouTube!

There are links on the Practice Resources page to the music files.

Previous Newent Choral Society Concerts:

Handel - Messiah, 30th November 2019

Another great concert, as evidenced by the numerous comments from the audience. This time, due to a couple of unforeseen ailments, our Chairman had to find replacement soloists and harpsichord player at the last minute! Special credit must go to Jon Pilgrim, who had never played from that score before and effectively sight-read the harpsichord continuo in the concert. Wow! Also Catherine Perfect stepped into the Alto solo role at 24hrs notice and garnered the 'Audience Prize' for her lovely singing. It is heartening that due to the undoubted quality of our concerts, it is the norm to be singing to a full audience!

Rossini - Petite Messe Solennelle, 6th April 2019

Judging by the enthusiastic responses from the audience members, and from knowledgeable musicians who attended, this was undoubtedly one of our best ever concerts, helped in no small measure by the excellent musicians which Nia had assembled. Special credit must go to Giles, who was in the spotlight throughout and played quite superbly. But young Christopher Too, Organ Scholar at Gloucester Cathedral, performed the Offertory Harmonium solo (at very short notice) with such poise that it was hard to believe he is only 18! Nia assembled a great line-up of soloists from Gloucester Cathedral and from her Welsh connections.

Alexander L'Estrange, Wassail - 8th December 2018

Under the direction of Nia Llewelyn-Jones and with an excellent little ensemble of recorder, accordion, piano, percussion and double-bass we had an astonishingly good concert which we'll remember for a very long time! I'm sure the children from Picklenash Primary school, who sang everything from memory after a handful of rehearsals, won't forget the experience in a hurry! WASSAIL! has to be summed up as pure heart-warming festive joy!

Haydn ~ Nelson Mass, Te Deum & Insanae et Vanae Curae - 24th March 2018

The program was:

Haydn Te Deum (Marie Therese)

Ffion Edwards sings Mozart Exsultate Jubilate

Haydn Insanae et Vanae Curae (with string accompaniment)

Haydn Nelson Mass

There are links on the Practice Resources page to the music files.

Britten ~ St Nicolas - 18th November 2017

Nia's contacts at Gloucester Cathedral enhanced the concert with the excellent girls choir and the pickled boys, which helped to produce prolonged applause at the end. Young tenor, Matthew Keighley was exceptional as Nicolas, and has a great future ahead of him. The orchestra was also excellent and we were indeed fortunate to have Adrian Partington playing the organ for us! Overall, a great evening!

Nia conducting the choir at the afternoon rehearsal

Adrian Partington playing the organ!

Mendelssohn ~ Elijah - 1st April 2017

Elijah premiered in 1846 at Birmingham Town Hall and has since been a particular favourite of amateur choral societies. Its melodrama, easy appeal and stirring choruses have provided the basis for countless successful performances. Elijah is modelled on the oratorios of Baroque masters, Bach and Handel; however, in its lyricism and use of orchestral and choral colour the style clearly reflects Mendelssohn's own genius as an early Romantic composer.

Ledbury Choral Society joined us to sing this stirring piece to a full house! To stay within fire regulations we adjusted the number of tickets on the door according to choir members who couldn't make the concert due to ill health! As before, Nia conducted us with great energy and attention to detail to produce a great performance!

Karl Jenkins ~ The Armed Man - 26th November 2016

We last sang this with Ledbury Choral Society in 2007 and before that in 2003. Time to sing it again! Somehow, new Musical Directors have The Armed Man forced on them when they join a choir. In 2007, Adrian Partington's first concert with Gloucester Choral Society was The Armed Man, and so it was for Nia at Newent Choral Society! The Armed Man doesn't make up a complete concert and so for the first half we sang several short pieces by English composers




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You know that BLOG is short for Web Log. Well, this is a Site Log, now known as a SLOG!

18/06/22 Website still exists. Have revitalised it with next concert info and new Chairman.

07/03/20 Poster for French concert added.

05/01/20 Messiah has passed into history! Review. First notice of our rehearsal start date & next concert.

15/12/18 Wassail has passed into history! Review. First notice of our rehearsal start date & next concert.

14/01/18 St Nicolas has passed into history! Practice file links added for Spring Haydn concert. First notice of our next concert.

28/07/17 Elijah has passed into history! Practice file links added for Saint Nicolas. First notice of our next concert.

07/09/16 Major update! Nia is our new Musical Director! Tending the links. First notice of our next concert.

24/08/15 Added the poster for our forthcoming Vivaldi concert. Deleted the forthcoming concert page as we put this on the homepage anyway. Added links to choir practice resources. Cleaned up the Where we meet page. Still have a bunch of Newent Scottish summer events (Usk Castle) which need to be added!

13/03/15 Added the poster for our forthcoming Haydn Creation concert. A bit more work on the opening paragraph as the society grows.

03/08/14 Added the learning file links for Autumn concert. Added another bunch of Newent Scottish events and photos.

29/12/12 Puccini & Fauré is past. Brahms next. Links to new practice files already! Added details of several Newent Scottish events. Busy & interesting as ever! Rob's walk writeup.

13/05/12 Overdue updates. Music Makers is past. Next is Puccini & Fauré. Links to new practice files already! Pub crawl photos added from last year! Rob's next walk.

02/01/12 I have added links to the Elgar and Vaughan-Williams practice files.

10/12/11 Handel's Messiah has been sung. So it's moved downwards into Previous Concerts. Added details of our next concert and when we're starting rehearsals. The home page was getting a bit large and so I've moved older events to Previous Concerts & Other Activities.

11/06/11 Dvorak Stabat Mater has been sung. So it's moved downwards into Previous Concerts. Jenny's review has been added. I need to find out what we're singing next and when rehearsals start? Our Secretary is now Huw Clayton and his details have been added. Our latest Berrington Hall event has also been added.

08/01/11 I've added links to the latest practice files, added reviews and news.

10/10/10 I've added links to the Practice Resources page for our latest concert.

29/08/10 After a LOT of work the site may actually be up to date and more accurate than it's been for a while! If any choir members wish me to add anything further or adjust anything, just email me.

21/08/10 Site updates are like buses - nothing for ages and then a whole bunch come along! The site is headed by our crisp new logo courtesy of Jenny. I've created a new Practice Resources page. I think that gathering practice files for our forthcoming events is proving to be an important resource for our members (and others?). I hope to build this into a resource which will bring other singers to our website.

19/08/10 There are a few recent events which need adding to the site, so I've just been shuffling older items downwards to make room. I've created a new Other Activities 1 page. It interesting to look back at this page and the preceding one to see the range of interesting events we've taken part in!

28/12/09 As the last days of 2009 slip away, there were several Newent Scottish events to report on before Christmas cheer rots my memory! Previous 2008 concerts have been moved into the appropriate section.

02/12/09 Autumn concert turns from future to past tense. Ian's three choirs event to look forward to in May!

01/10/09 First of October - and a first for this site! I have created my first midi learning files for Hear My Prayer!

30/09/09 Gathered a load of links to learning aids and mp3s relating to our next concert.

17/07/09 Moved some of the older events from the home page into the Other Activities page. Added Rob's latest choir walk and the recent Hellens and Newland church events. First news of combined concert next year. Updated the Next Concert page!

29/04/09 Completed the write-up for our Spring 'A Touch and Taste of Old England' concert, including an excellent review and weblinks for the businesses that provided free and reduced cost food and drink. Added Autumn rehearsal start date.

18/01/09 Updated the Next Concert page with initial details of our Spring 'English Music' concert. We're still adding items to the programme. The Christmas Concerts have moved into the Recent Events section, along with a couple of excellent reviews of the Mozart Requiem concert.

25/10/08 Added notice of Kempley Christmas Concert and pic of Onion Fayre.

15/07/08 Added some photos to Rob's Annual Walk and Swanage articles.

08/07/08 Moved older events from the home page to their proper pages to make room for a number of recent events. Some of these are very much bookmarks and need to have more detail and photos added, hopefully shortly. Also a writeup and links have been added concerning our next production of Mozart's Requiem, which hope will enthuse choir members, potential choir members and potential audience.

11/04/08 Added a photo of the choir. Carmen was a great occasion to be remembered for all sorts of reasons. So another chunk of website has moved into the past tense. But always there are new performances and activities to look forward to.

22/03/08 Added Jenny's latest poster for Carmen. Again my hand drawn version from 10 years ago doesn't stand comparison. The plot, set in a cigar factory, is at odds with modern sensibilities and we may have to sing this outside! Also showcased is the concert coming up in Summer as part of the Medieval Fayre in Gloucester. The Dymock Verdi Requiem is now past and so I have had to adjust the notice into the past tense. I was looking for events over a year old which should go into the other activities section and was amazed at how many things we've taken part in over the last year. Musical activities in this choir certainly haven't been confined to two concerts a year!

09/02/08 Lots of things that were coming up are now happy memories - but there's a stream of new events to replace them. We are now hard at work on the Opera choruses (partly because there's a supply problem with the Carmen scores). Without all the various other activities we engage in, there would be very little to report on this website. As you will see, that is not the case! I'm looking forward to Jenny's new artwork. We did a similar programme quite a few years ago when I did the programme without the computer graphics we now take for granted. Jenny is a MUCH better artist than I am!

04/11/07 I have added the Christmas programme front page and poster - 'cos it's always nice to get more of Jenny's artwork on the site. There are a few events coming along - a concert at Kempley, the Christmas pub crawl, appearing on Songs of Praise! So I've done a little update!

27/8/07 Apologies for neglecting the website! There have been mutterings! Quite a few updates have now been done and there are more on their way. Most notably our Christmas Concert on the 1st December. Having listened to the excerpts I am now very keen to sing in the Solemn Vespers and the audience will be in for a treat!

1/2/07 Several engagements already for the choir which we hope you'll want to enjoy with us! Jenny's new poster for Trial by Jury is wonderful! What sort of a cad wouldn't be enthralled by the beautiful Angelina? Let us all be the judge of that!

30/12/06 One of the last things I have to do this year is to update the website. The News section on this page reviews the Christmas pub crawl. A happy and noteworthy New Year everyone!

17/12/06 Many of our Christmas events have been enjoyed and have passed into history. And so the News section on this page discusses how well they went.

19/11/06 The next concert page contains first details of our Spring 2007 concert. Date on this page for the start of our Spring term rehearsals (and what we'll be rehearsing).

29/10/06 Updated the next concert page. Added Jenny's writeup on the Onion Fayre which fortunately wasn't a washout this year!

Added some new Christmas events on this page.

20/05/06 Write up of our little post AGM musical soiree. Interesting how I seem to be using food analogies to describe music!

Added the poster for our little Medieval fayre concert in St Nicholas Church and in St Mary de Crypt. Thirty of these have been distributed in the immediate area around Gloucester.

New picture button links to our local Making Music websites. We are actually supported by the SouthWest region. See below.

29/04/06 The website has been updated with the latest Making Music logo. See below.

Unfortunately, if you don't tend your links they have a tendency to perish! I have done a bit of weeding and planting. The result is well worth exploring!

23/04/06 We spent months practising for the Elijah concerts and now they're behind us :( Eventually they will be moved to the Previous Concerts page. I need to update our Next Concert page. The Summer Season news has been added. Still need to confirm the start date for autumn rehearsals.

26/03/06 We spent months practising for the Elijah concert and now it's behind us :( But what a sing it was! I have created a Latest News section near the top which contains an informal little review 'from near the back of the choir' by me. Eventually it will be moved to the Previous Concerts page. I have updated our Next Concert page and this one to show that Elijah at Ledbury is next. Need to confirm the start date for autumn rehearsals.

04/12/05 Our Petite Messe Solennelle concert was very enjoyable. I have updated our Next Concert page and this one to show that Elijah is next on the horizon. Need to confirm the start date for rehearsals.

I have finally done the Bruges Trip, which you'll find in the Other Activities 1 page.

06/10/05 I have added our proposed 2006 concerts to Forthcoming Events above, and writeups and pix (of course) of our Castle Fruit Farm BBQ to the Other Activities 1 page. Bruges trip - Next update?

21/09/05 It's amazing how much we've done this year! How did we find time for our Spring concert?! I have added writeups and pix (of course) for the 60th Anniversary Dinner and the Medieval Fayre to the Other Activities 1 page. I've put a stake in the page for the Bruges trip. I need some free time to tackle that story. Next update.

16/09/05 This is what happens when I don't record our activities as they happen! I forget when they happened! Like with our Forest of Dean walk! I have added 3 more activities to the Other Activities page. More to come ie, Bruges Trip, Medieval Fayre, The 60th dinner. (sigh!) I can't keep up with all the fun we're having!

15/09/05 Updated theAbout Us page to encompass all our various activities.
There's a full report on the wet Onion Fayre on the Other Activities page written by Jenny!

12/07/05 General overhaul to bring the site up to date again! There is a lot still to do in Other Activities to report on our Bruges Trip, The Dinner, The Medieval Fayre, Bollitree Castle etc..

07/05/05 I've added a link to Newent Orchestra. Note that their Spring Concert is on 21st May. See their website for more details.
So much to do - I've also made Forthcoming Events relevant again and added a link to The Onion Fayre (they just need to update their homepage).

09/03/05 I've created another follow-on website, just as a way of getting more pages. So far I've split up the Other Activities and Previous Concerts pages because they were getting too long. The second (older) page in each case is on the new site and you'll notice this because of the site index on the right hand side. I've also updated the Next Concert page. I don't know yet what else Ledbury are singing. Must find out!

20/12/04 The last Christmas concert has now moved into Previous Concerts and there is also a write up about our Charity Christmas carol pub-crawl: Other Activities

07/07/04 More events which we were looking forward to have become history! Accordingly they've been moved into Other Activities. Next is the start of the Autumn rehearsals and we don't even know what we're singing yet!

13/06/04 St Nicholas isn't deconsecrated! Added St Nicholas website link.

02/06/04 Singing in St Nicholas church as part of Gloucester Medieval Fair + Oxenhall on the 19th!

29/05/04 A Summer Serenade added above - looking forward to it!

15/05/04 The Ledbury concert has passed into Previous Concerts  On this page you can see when our next season of rehearsals starts.  And what we're hoping to sing!
If you are thinking of singing with us for the first time, look at Join us! and Where we meet
(Note new NFMS 'Making Music' logo - had our wrists slapped over that one!)
Just noticed the nasty banner ads at the top of each page. They appear after about 45 days (when a lot of work has already gone into the site!) Apparently we have to pay to get rid of them! Sorry! At least they don't hover down the side like they do with other free ISPs.

07/04/04 I'm still obsessively humming snatches of Rossini & Elgar after our last concert! Now reviewed in Previous Concerts

13/03/04  The Fauré concert at Gloucester Cathedral was brilliant. Read about it!

03/03/04  Fauré's a jolly good fellow.... Forthcoming concert at Gloucester Cathedral.

17/02/04  More entries in Previous Concerts back to Christmas 2000


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