On Saturday 25 March 2023, Chepstow Choral Society pulled off a triumphal performance of some jewels of the classical music repertoire, supported by a superb line-up of professional soloists and musicians.

Entitled ‘Fit for a King’, the concert featured works by Handel, Haydn, Mozart, Pergolesi and Schubert, including works suited to this Coronation year such as Handel’s ‘Zadok the Priest’ and Mozart’s Coronation Mass.

It was performed in the spectacular setting of St Mary’s Priory Church, which was filled with a large and appreciative audience.

Although the town boasts a number of choirs and singing groups, Chepstow Choral Society is unique in presenting full, four-part choral works accompanied by an orchestra of professional musicians and soloists of high standard and calibre.

These included orchestra leader Elliot Kempton; Soprano Sophie Williams and Mezzo Soprano Molly Beere, both from the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, and Tenor Samir Savant and Bass Andy Marshall, who are both based in Bristol.

Choir members come from all sorts of walks of life and from all areas of the local community.

Members range from singers with decades of choral experience to first-timers who can’t read music.

Week after week, their enthusiastic Musical Director and Conductor, Graham Bull (who has just marked 25 years in the role), coaxes and coaches them to get the best performance from four voice parts, culminating in a truly memorable concert.

An independent charity committed to bringing great choral music to Chepstow, the Society relies on a team of dedicated volunteers to stage events such as this concert, and particularly its assistant musical director, Marjorie Duerden, who has worked tirelessly for the choir for 30 years.

Marjorie commented “We are so proud to be the flagbearers bringing classical choral programmes with professional orchestra and soloists to the people of Chepstow.

‘‘As our audience proved, there is a desire for this – but we now need ever-more support in these difficult times, as these programmes do come with considerable cost.”

The Society would warmly welcome support with future concerts, whether from individuals as patrons or from local businesses as sponsors.

A Society spokesperson said: ‘‘Please do get in touch if you think you can help. Chepstow Choral Society say that new members are always welcome, and previous choral experience is not required – just the ability to hold a tune, and the enthusiasm to learn and perform a wide repertoire of music.

‘‘As a study by the University of Oxford has proved, singing has unique benefits to wellbeing, improving both mental and physical health, so why not give it a go! ‘‘

Contact the choir via their website or social media (@ChepstowChoral) for further info.