History

At about the turn of the millennium a few members of St Peter’s and St Mary’s Parish Church got together to explore the growing number of Christian musicals and songs being written at the time, especially by Roger Jones.  (See http://www.cmm.org.uk/ for more details.) Mike Arbon, who played the organ at the Parish Church, was asked to help in this venture and found himself becoming the “Musical Director” of the group. Members of other local churches heard what was happening and joined in.

The choir has, for many years, shared the opening concert of the Stowmarket Christmas Tree Festival with other musicians. There has also, usually, been a charity summer concert where either a free-standing musical or a wide-ranging selection of pieces has been performed. These have included both secular and religious pieces.  We have supported the local Churches’ Together Unity and Advent Services, the Stowmarket Town Carol Services and led the music in several Taizé services.

Several members of the choir have travelled together to the Royal Albert Hall and joined The Really Big Chorus, once 3500 strong but always well over 1000. (See http://www.trbc.co.uk/ for more information about this organisation.) We have been thrilled to be part of Karl Jenkins’ The Armed Man – A Mass for Peace on two occasions, the world premiere of his Gloria and the piece he wrote for the Olympic Games in 2012 – The Gods of Olympus, as well as the Fauré Requiem, Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana and Jonathan Willcocks’ In Praise of Singing. Most members attended a workshop with John Rutter a few years ago.

In 2016 Mike Arbon stepped down and two long-standing members jointly took over leadership of the choir. Marion Gray, a member of St Peter’s and St Mary’s Anglican Church, and a founder member conducts the choir. Toni Grzedzicki, a member of Our Lady’s Catholic Church, who joined the choir in 2006 plays the piano. Between them, with assistance from a small committee, they have run the choir since 2016.