Winter Programme 2008 - Press Release

The Burgate Singers with their conductor Alain Judd have a busy few weeks ahead. On November 29th at Burgate Village Hall they will take on the identity of the fictional Nether Bramlicote Choir in Ellen Dryden’s new radio play Places Where They Sing - an Afternoon Play for BBC Radio 4 which will be Broadcast in the Spring.

On December 13th, Burgate Singers will be at the Corn hall in Diss to give a performance of Handel’s much loved and highly dramatic oratorio, Samson - yes, the one with the famous aria, Let the Bright Seraphim which was sung at the Prince of Wales’ first wedding. The Singers and the Burgate Scala Orchestra will be under the direction of their charismatic conductor, Alain Judd.. The soloists include Ruth Kerr, Brian Parsons and Alan Weyman, who delighted the audience in the much appreciated Beethoven concert in April (Mass in C, The Choral Fantasia and the finale of Fidelio)

The Burgate Singers’ rehearsal over the last few weeks have been divided between Samson and the two short pieces specially composed for the play – and the choir – by Derek Bourgeois. Ellen Dryden a very enthusiastic member of the choir runs an Independent Radio Drama company, First Writes Radio, writing and directing plays for BBC Radio 4. Her playwright’s nerves began to twitch during rehearsal and the run up to the concerts. A writer is always on the lookout for a really exciting dramatic situation. How about a totally fictional Choir, performing a new work specially written for them by their totally fictional conductor Thomas – a totally fictional song cycle for Tenor, choir and orchestra? (The two songs composed by Derek Bourgeois are all that exist of this work!) But things are going badly wrong for the Choir and for Thomas, as they learn and rehearse the work with Thomas, conducting and instructing from the piano.

On November 29th, the Recording and Studio Manager of the the Sound House Studio will come up from London to record the music and the sounds of the choir in rehearsal in Burgate Village hall. These recordings will be used when the play itself is recorded in London in February. It is very important for the play that we have a real choir singing a new work, for real, in a real setting, rather than reaching for a commercial disc of a choir singing a well-known classic. This is the first time First Writes Radio has recorded on location so it’s an exciting new experience all round.

So, come and hear the Burgate Singers live in the Corn Hall, Diss at 7.30pm on December 13th – doing what they have done for so many years – giving a wonderful performance of a hugely popular classic.

Listen to them recorded when Places Where They Sing is broadcast in Spring 2009.

And if you love music and singing – whether you have sung recently or not, why not come along and see what Burgate Singers have to offer? The choir meets on Sundays – 4pm – 7pm in Burgate Village Hall. You will be sure of a warm welcome. If you think it’s right for you, you will enjoy week after week enjoyment, laughter, hard work and the pleasure of being part  of the process of learning and performing some of the loveliest music ever written

If you enjoy singing, our chairman Ellen Dryden would be happy to hear from you (on 01953 888 525) to give you more details, or check out our web site

Handel’s Samson. The Corn Hall Diss 7.30pm. Saturday, 13th December 2008

Tickets for available from Diss Antiques, Diss. Wortham Post Office 01379 642 783