Spring Concert 2016

Mid Wessex Singers’ Spring Concert 2016 is on Saturday 7 May at St Mary’s Church, Huish Episcopi, Langport, starting at 7.30 p.m. It will celebrate the meeting of cultures between a traditional English choir and an American Musical Director and will feature both English and American folk songs.


Christmas Concert 12 December 2015


First rehearsal for Christmas concert 7.45 p.m. Tuesday 8 September 2015

Mid Wessex Singers will begin rehearsing for their Christmas concert at 7.45 p.m. following their AGM on Tuesday 8 September at the Methodist Church Hall, West Street, Somerton, followed by regular rehearsals at 7.30 p.m. every Tuesday evening.   New members are welcome.

In the first half of the concert the choir will be performing choral pieces from parts 1-3 of Bach’s Christmas Oratorio, arranged for choir (SATB) and organ. The second half of the concert will comprise a selection of carols and seasonal readings.

Mid Wessex Singers AGM 7.00 p.m. Tuesday 8 September 2015

31st July 2015
To all members,

Notice is hereby given that the FIFTEENTH Annual General Meeting of the Mid-Wessex Singers is to be held in the Somerton Methodist Church, at 7.00 p.m prompt on Tuesday 8th September 2015, to consider the agenda below.


Doreen St.John-Rushton, Hon Secretary
Tigh-An-Allt, Church St., Limington, YEOVIL, Somerset BA 22 8EQ 01935 840248


7.00 p.m. on Tuesday 8th September 2015

1 Apologies for absence.
2 Minutes of the fifteenth A.G.M
3 Review of 2014/15 – Herina Fletcher
4 To receive Annual Accounts for 2014/15—Nina Ayres –Hon Treasurer
5 To confirm annual subscription for Autumn Term 2015
6 Election of Committee:-

The following members of the committee all offer themselves for re-election. They are as follows:-

Nina Ayres Treasurer; Doreen St.John-Rushton Secretary; Steph Berry Publicity; Dot Walford; Jane Rose (co-opted); Barbara Nieto (co-opted).

Note 1: Herina Fletcher will not be seeking re-election.
Note 2: Any nominations should be in writing to Hon Secretary at least 14 days prior to the A.G.M.
7 Future Funding.
8 Re-appointment of Independent Examiner
9 Any Other Business. Please submit any other items for discussion to the Secretary, seven days prior to the meeting.

Come and Sing!

Mid Wessex Singers will be meeting again after the summer break on Tuesday 8 September 2015.  We invite anyone interested in singing to come along and try us out.  There are no auditions and we are a friendly bunch!

New Musical Director from across the pond

Bryan Anderson, a recent graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, will take on the role of Musical Director of the Mid Wessex Singers in September. Bryan, who is Senior Organ Scholar at Wells Cathedral, will be rehearsing the singers for their Christmas and Spring concerts.

Steph Berry, Chair of Mid Wessex Singers, said ‘We are so fortunate over the years to have had extremely talented and passionate musicians to guide us and share in our love of singing. Each brings his or her unique approach and expertise and as amateurs we have benefited so much from the challenge, learning new skills and feeling confident in our performances. We are looking forward to working with Bryan, who is coming from the USA. ‘

Bryan’s most recent positions have been as organist and assistant choirmaster at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church and Tenth Presbyterian Church, both in Philadelphia. Bryan was also an assistant organist of the Wanamaker Grand Court Organ.

He has been described as “simply first class”(Classical Voice of North Carolina) and “brilliant” (The Diapason). A rising performer and collaborator, Bryan has performed at venues including the Kennedy Center, Verizon Hall in Philadelphia, Woolsey Hall at Yale, Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, and the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York.

Mid Wessex Singers say farewell to MD

At the Mid Wessex Singers’ spring social event in Somerton on 21 April, the choir said a sad farewell to Musical Director, Nicholas Freestone, who in July comes to the end of his year as Senior Organ Scholar at Wells Cathedral before moving to St Albans. Following a buffet meal and entertainment by choir members, Nicholas was presented with a parting gift and card.
Nicholas sent a message to the singers the following day ”Thank you so much for such a lovely event last night.  It was great to see everybody one last time and to celebrate what has been a successful season for the Mid-Wessex Singers. I have really enjoyed working with you all over the year, and a huge thank you to everybody for their commitment, generosity and good humour.  You can all be very proud of the two concerts this year.’

Full House for War and Peace

St Mary’s Church in Huish Episcopi was packed on the evening of Saturday 18 April when the Mid Wessex Singers performed their Spring concert, entitled ‘War and Peace’.

The evening’s programme was inspired by the recent commemorations of the centenary of the beginning of the First World War. 100 years on from the beginning of this great tragedy and loss of life, the world still suffers from unrest, violence and conflict.

The first half of the programme comprised the choral suite from ‘The Armed Man (A Mass for Peace), interspersed with poetry readings by the choir on the subject of war and peace. Karl Jenkins was commissioned to compose The Armed Man to mark the millennium and he dedicated its composition to victims of the war in Kosovo. Poignantly, the recording was released the day before the September 11th terrorist attacks. As a result it became a very real reflection of the need for peace in twenty-first century society. The very moving ‘Benedictus’ featured cellist James Watson, a student at Bristol University, who was previously a pupil at Wells Cathedral School.

Following the interval, during which a draw was held for prizes donated by local businesses, the choir performed Faure’s Requiem, complemented by solos by soprano, Madeleine Perring, head girl chorister at Wells Cathedral and baritone, Andrew Kidd, Vicar Choral at Wells Cathedral. The choir was accompanied by organist, Alex Goodwin, Senior Organ Scholar at Worcester College, Oxford and conducted by Nicholas Freestone, Senior Organ Scholar at Wells Cathedral.

Mid Wessex Singers entertain at the Vicarage Nursing Home

The residents of the Vicarage Nursing Home in Hambridge enjoyed entertainment by the Somerton based choir, the Mid Wessex Singers, on Wednesday 25 March. The choir chose songs with a local connection. Three songs were from Cecil Sharp’s collection of English Folk Songs, which he started in 1903 after visiting his friend, Charles Manson, the vicar of Hambridge, when he heard the gardener singing while he worked.

In addition to the choir’s performance, Laurie Phillips sang three songs he composed himself, accompanied by his Bouzouki, an instrument of Irish origin. The audience then had the opportunity to join in ‘Catch a Falling Star’ made famous by Perry Como in the 1950s, ‘Soft Shoe Shuffle’; and ‘Don’t Sit Under the Apple Tree’, a popular song from Glenn Miller Band and the Andrews Sisters during the 2nd World War.

A choir member said ‘ We were given a very warm welcome by the manager, staff and residents of the home and treated to delicious home made cakes and tea. The choir provides free entertainment for local care homes and sheltered housing as well as performing two public concerts a year.’