Musical Director, Laurence Blyth,
the musical director of choral societies in Exeter, Exmouth and Wellington,
and of the Somerset Community Foundationís annual Sing for Somerset
event in Wells Cathedral.
was previously Musical Director of In Ecclesia (with whom he directed
liturgical performances at venues including York Minster, Salisbury
Cathedral and Bath Abbey), a member of the cathedral choirs in Exeter
and Truro, and now sings countertenor in the Buckfast Abbey Choir and
as an oratorio soloist and consort singer around the south west.
Laurence Blyth read music at the University of Exeter and subsequently
graduated with a masterís degree in choral conducting at the Royal Welsh
College of Music and Drama. At RWCMD his studies with Simon Halsey,
Adrian Partington and Neil Ferris were supported by the Busenhart Morgan-Evans
Foundation and the EMI Music Sound Foundation. He also conducted in
masterclasses with Edward Caswell, Peter Broadbent, Sarah Tenant-Flowers,
John Butt, Robert Dean and Eric Whitacre.
Recent highlights on the podium include performances of Bach Christmas
Oratorio and St Matthew Passion, Brahms Ein deutsches Requiem and Bernstein
Chichester Psalms. Plans for the 2017-18 season include Vaughan Williams
A Sea Symphony in Exeter Cathedral, Bach Mass in B minor (chorus master)
at Exeter Cathedral and a return to Wells Cathedral in support of the
Somerset Community Foundation.
As a countertenor, Laurence Blythís solo performances have included
Bach Magnificat, St John Passion and various Cantatas (Exeter Cathedral),
Orff Carmina Burana, Kodaly Missa Brevis, Handel Messiah (University
of Exeter, Powderham Castle and Teatro Leal, Tenerife), Mozart Requiem,
Haydn Missa in tempore belli (Exeter Cathedral) and Harmoniemesse, Vivaldi
Gloria and Stabat Mater and Pergolesi Stabat Mater (Powderham Castle).
Laurence's own web page HERE
is a mixed voice choir which has grown to over 80 members. The repertoire
is based around masses and oratorios. We rehearse on Mondays in
Glenorchy Church and Hall on Exeter Road. Our concerts are usually held
in Holy Trinity Church which has good acoustics for choral music. Our
concerts are usually held with small orchestras and always with good
soloists. We have purpose made staging for the church so that visibility
is good. Members also have the opportunity to join in with social events
that we hold during the year.
history of the Society
Choral Society was founded by William Vinnicombe, who was organist of
Withycombe Raleigh Church, in 1867. It was reorganised in 1896
by Raymond Wilmot and by 1910 the Society had performed 37 different
works. You can find details of the concerts
since 1896 HERE
and of the music
During the First World War concerts were abandoned but from 1920 to
1934 regular performances were given. However, support waned after
that and no more concerts were given until 1937, when Archibald Marcom
took over as conductor. There have been no further gaps in continuity
of performances. The Society performed regularly during the Second
World War and in the immediate post war period hosted two music festivals.
We had two musical directors for 60 years from 1948: Donald White
1948 to 1983 and Brian Northcott 1983 to 2009.
more of our earlier history HERE
rehearsal accompanist - Sandra Jepps
has been our accompanist since 1995 when she answered our advertisement,
in order to escape three toddlers! She now accompanies two other
choirs and is the organist at the Royal Marine Training Centre in Lympstone
while teaching in a local primary school as her day job. She obtained
her music degree from the University of Huddersfield and her piano teaching
diploma from Trinity College of Music. She studied piano with
Peter Donohoe and composition with Richard Steinitz.
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