Burgate Singers going full circle in anniversary

Burgate Singers
Burgate Singers

A local choir will get its 40th anniversary celebrations under way tomorrow with its first concert of the year in Eye.

The Burgate Singers were founded in 1977 by Alain Judd, who is still at the helm as music director.

Burgate Singers

Burgate Singers

They were formed when a group of people got together to perform and raise funds to restore the church tower at St Mary’s in Burgate.

The singers enjoyed the event so much that the following year they staged a musical festival – and agreed to perform on a regular basis.

And with their milestone coinciding with the centenary of the Russian Revolution, there are no prizes for guessing the theme of the event, which takes place at Eye Town Hall at 7pm.

The concert opens with Igor Stravinsky’s Symphony of Psalms, which was given its first performance in Brussels on December 13, 1930.

It’s been enjoyable – but a roller coaster, too

Alain Judd, founder, Burgate Singers

Also in the concert is Stabat Mater (1925-26) by Polish composer Karol Szymanowski, and the joyful Nelson Mass by Joseph Haydn, which received its first performance in September 1798, two weeks after Admiral Lord Nelson had defeated Napoleon in the Battle of the Nile; the Mass’s original title Missa in Angustiis was soon replaced by the nickname ‘Nelson’.

The soloists are all popular visitors at the Burgate Singers’ concerts; the soprano will be the very young Henrike Legner, Joanna Gamble, mezzo, Benjie del Rosario, tenor, and Alistair Bamford, bass.

A second concert has also been planned for December 9 at the recently renovated and reopened Diss Corn Hall.

The singers will perform Messiah, by Handel – which was sung at the group’s very first concert.

Mr Judd said: “It seems like yesterday when we started the Burgate Singers, but it is a very different world from when we started the chorus.

“We now branch out into all sorts of repertoires, which are not always box office, but you cannot sing Messiah each year for 40 years.

“We have done some really exciting and high-profile things over the years. It’s been enjoyable – but a roller coaster, too.”

n For tickets for tomorrow’s concert, call 01379 677333

n For more information on the Burgate Singers and information on how to join, go to www.burgatesingers.co.uk.