President: Baroness Young of Old Scone.
Formed in 1867, Bedford Choral Society is one of the oldest established choral societies in the United Kingdom. A thriving local choir, Bedford Choral Society performs three or four times each year – usually in Bedford’s historic Corn Exchange. We have nearly 150 full-time members – with singers from other local choirs joining us on occasions for particular concerts. Our Director of Music is Ian Smith and our Accompanist Tim Grant-Jones. We rehearsed on Zoom throughout the pandemic but returned to live rehearsals in September 2021. For our first post lockdown concert we performed Rossini’s Petite Mess Solennelle in Bedford Corn Exchange on 20th November 2021. A family Christmas Concert followed on the afternoon of 11th December in the Bunyan Meeting House and we performed our Spring Concert, a performance of Bach’s Mass in B Minor, at the Bedford Corn Exchange on 26th March 2022.
We were busy!! Here is the choir singing a virtual performance of Vivaldi’s ‘Gloria’ and John Rutter’s ‘The Lord Bless You and Keep You’. We are grateful for the help we received from James Hawkins Music, and proud of the new skills we learnt in making the recording.
in more normal times the Hallelujah Chorus, performed from memory became our anthem. Here we sing it in Bedford Corn Exchange, conducted by our Musical Director, Ian Smith, and accompanied by the Bedford Symphonia.
Bedford Choral Society is a thriving Choir of over 150 members and attracting more new members all the time, and I'm pleased to say more young voices . The four sections of the Choir are well balanced but there is always room for more singers. We are in the process of commissioning new works by established composers which can be sung by the whole choir, or if appropriate by our Chamber Choir in more intimate venues.
Autumn 2021 saw us performing at Proms in the Park and returning to live concerts with Rossini's 'Petite Messe Solonnelle' at Bedford Corn Exchange in November, followed by a Christmas concert at the Bunyan Meeting House in December. We returned to the Corn Exchange on 26 March 2022 where we performed Bach's 'Mass in B Minor'. Currently we are rehearsing the 'St Cecilia Mass' by Charles Gounod and Parry's 'Blest pair of Sirens'.
Rehearsals take place each Monday evening, (7.30pm to 9.30pm), at St Joseph’s and St Gregory’s Catholic Primary School. Weekly rehearsals are scheduled throughout the year - apart from a short break during the late summer.
If you would like to come along to a rehearsal to get an idea of what singing with the choir might involve, just turn up on the night - but arrive 15 minutes early and speak to a member of the choir who will introduce you to a member of the committee.