David Coppock. Sings Bass.
Hello, I'm David one of the basses here in the choir and a mentor welcoming potential new members.
I joined a few years back following a desire to find my voice again and sing for pleasure. This group is very friendly with a desire to help new members settle in and enjoy rehearsing and performing.
Most of the works we perform are new to me as my early background was Motown not Mozart. Any fears I had were soon calmed by our Musical Director, the Assistant Musical Director and other members of the choir, who make rehearsals very entertaining and fun. We work towards a very professional performance standard and perform classic works in prestigious venues like The Anvil, Winchester and Guildford Cathedrals, as well as smaller more informal venues, these would be The Mayors Christmas Service, North Hants Medical Fund Carol Service and Carols in John Lewis's store. The choir is also invited to sing at weddings, funerals and in Care Homes.
There is a tremendous amount of pleasure in singing with professional soloists and orchestras which always leaves me on a high when we deliver a great concert that is well appreciated by our audiences.
So come along and enjoy yourself singing with people who want to make this choir a happy team, whilst making memorable music together.
Rachel Holland. Sings Soprano.
Singing is intensely personal. A public performance is at the same time a private achievement. It is both an emotional experience and a technical accomplishment.
Singing demands your whole concentration, mental and physical. It gives you a unique insight into the mind of the composer, and an opportunity to express that viewpoint, however long ago it was written down.
That is why I keep coming to choir!
Tony de Jong. Sings Tenor.
My name is Tony de Jong and I have had no formal training in singing and have a limited knowledge of reading music.
Up to 10 years ago I had not sung the Messiah since leaving school and the last time I sang in a choir was at school. So for me joining BCS has been an adventure from the start. I felt it was time to have a go at singing with a choir when a friend asked if I would like to go to a BCS rehearsal to see what went on. I was sure I would be out of my depth but there was only one way to find out.
It turned out that I was among a group of singers with a wide range of ages and musical experience all of whom had the same desire to make music together and were (and still are) quite happy to carry me when I struggle.
In the few years that I have been in the choir I have had a chance to learn new pieces, some of which I had enjoyed listening to and others which were completely new to me. But the experience of learning and then singing them amongst a group of dedicated and enthusiastic singers accompanied by a professional orchestra and singers is an experience I enjoy every time.
So do I regret going to that first rehearsal and sitting there wondering what will happen next? As Edith Piaf once sang, Non, Je Ne Regrette Rien
Marion McCann. Sings Soprano.
I've been a member of Basingstoke Choral Society since 2010 and I love it!
Singing in a choir was something I'd thought about for years and then a chat with a colleague resulted in my attending my first BCS rehearsal. I must admit to being terrified at first! The last time I'd sang in a choir I'd been at school. I had never sung from a score before and there was a steep learning curve ahead of me. However, rehearsals are a fantastic opportunity to learn and are great fun too.
I love the magic of the whole process - from the first hesitant rehearsal of a new work to giving a confident performance in just a few months amazes me every time!
Julian Hawkins. Sings Bass.
I sing with BCS because I like the type of music we perform, the high standard we aim to achieve and the excellent and inspiring venues in which we perform.
Anne Hurst. Sings Alto.
My love of music was probably inherited from my father. My mother was not at all musical and in fact as a small child had been told she was a ‘groaner’ and that she was not to sing. The consequence of this was that she never did and never could! Years later when I was in college training to become a teacher, we were told never to criticise a small child for not being able to sing in tune, as, with time and practice they would be able to.
If it came to a special musical event such as the Christmas play and their voice still had an effect on the rest of the singers, we should select them especially and suggest that they might like to play a few notes on the xylophone or some other appropriate musical instrument, thus avoiding them singing. This way they were made to feel really important and had no inkling of what the real motive for this special selection was. If only my mum had been treated like that. So far David hasn’t asked me to play an instrument in a concert, so hopefully, my voice is reasonably acceptable!
I started piano lessons at the age of five and continued throughout my school years as well as at college where I trained to be a teacher. Once I became fully qualified I started my career in a primary school with Year2’s but spent my final years before retiring with the reception classes. Whatever I have done and wherever I have been in life, music has always been a huge part of it. In fact, the relationship with my husband started by playing duets together on the piano!
I have been a member of a variety of musical societies over the years, enjoyed performing with them and made friends. However, I can honestly say that none of them ever gave me as much pleasure as being a member of Basingstoke Choral Society. I have huge admiration for the musical skills of both David our Musical Director and Mark our accompanist and Assistant Musical Director. We are so lucky to have the opportunity to perform to the high standards David asks of us and to work with professional soloists and orchestral players of international quality and reputation, in a venue such as The Anvil.
As a choir, we are all amateurs but we strive to make everything we do as professional as we can and I feel very proud to think we come pretty close to that. Above all that this choir offers us musically, firm friendships are built and genuine care for each other develops which is something to be treasured.
Every time I perform a concert in The Anvil I can’t help but remember my father. I wonder what he would have thought had he known that from those early days of singing, ‘Away in a Manger’ at school or a chorus from Gilbert and Sullivan in the garden, I now perform amazing works regularly, in an amazing venue and with amazing people.
Eleanor Bridgman. Sings Soprano.
I joined the Basingstoke Choral Society after moving to the area in 2017 and it’s my Wednesday night treat! I’ve been singing for some years and I love the fellowship that a group like Basingstoke Choral Society provides. Many of my greatest friends and experiences were made through singing (I met my husband at a Gilbert & Sullivan rehearsal!) – singing is a common language that brings together people from different countries, cultures, languages, ages and walks of life (that’s even true in Hampshire).
Singing exercises my body and my brain (watch me counting during one of the trickier pieces!), gives me great joy and can relieve stress from a tough day at work.
Basingstoke Choral Society is a mix of ages and experiences who come together to sing well known classical and lesser known more modern works. We are a big group but I’ve got to know fellow singers both inside and outside of my section – I sing second soprano and you’ll usually find me in the back row! We have great support: David Gibson, our Musical Director; Mark Kinkaid, our excellent Assistant Musical Director and rehearsal pianist and the opportunity to perform at The Anvil concert venue in Basingstoke with professional orchestras and soloists, as well as a committee that makes things run very smoothly. It helps to be able to read music but we have access to rehearsal support CDs and music files if we need them.
Come and join the fun!