Wednesday evenings at the Congregational Church will find the Belper Singers gathering for their weekly rehearsal. Initially, warm laughter and chatter will be heard as the kettle is set for a half-time cuppa, followed by a settling into focused concentration with Musical Director Mitchell Holland. Mitch, an experienced choral conductor with an MA in Music Performance, has been with the choir since 2012 and travels from Birmingham to lead rehearsals.
The Belper Singers are a diverse band of around 25 to 30 voices. A few dedicated members of forty years remain alongside a steady stream of “new blood” ensuring that the choir sustains its vitality and commitment to technical and musical quality. United in their love of choral music, the Belper Singers enjoy the familiar repertoire of part-songs, anthems and choral classics spanning from the 16th century to the present day. Under Mitch’s leadership, the group has ventured into new ground, challenging and further developing their skills, as demonstrated in their recent performance of the Messa di Requiem by Ildebrando Pizzetti, a beautiful and complex work, with sections in eight and twelve parts.
There are around six concerts a year with performances in local churches, the Strutt’s Centre, The Tiger Inn, Turnditch (for Christmas Carols) and further afield. The next opportunity to hear the choir will be at the Unitarian Chapel, Field Row, Belper on Saturday 9th April at 7.30pm where they will be singing a programme of European Sacred Music. They will also be appearing at Haddon Hall on Sunday 19th June and will sing Evensong at Derby Cathedral on Saturday 23rd July.
If you are interested in promoting a joint fund-raising concert or would like the Belper Singers to participate in an event or sing at your wedding, do get in touch as they are currently planning their 2017 season.
Enquiries from potential new members are always welcome. There are currently vacancies for tenors and basses, sopranos and altos being held on a waiting list. Singers interested in joining the choir are invited to attend a few rehearsals before a short, informal audition with the Musical Director.
Photo by: Ewan Mathers Artsbeat