Clive Smith - Musical Director
Clive Smith is a composer, pianist, conductor and teacher. He studied at the Royal College of Music gaining G.R.S.M. & A.R.C.M. in composition and piano. He has subsequently worked within the field of education. Clive has conducted adult and children’s’ choirs both nationally and internationally and each year enjoys a full schedule directing Music Festivals in Cambridgeshire and at many venues in Essex. As a composer Clive has written in a wide variety of styles. His choral works have included ‘The Golden Goose’, ‘A Guiding Star’, ‘One Bright Star’, ‘The Long Shadow’ and ‘The Bell Cantata’ written with the lyricist John Carr.
In recent years Clive has collaborated with his wife Irene to write a series of works for children and adult groups including the anthem ‘Living Stones’ and their cantatas ‘Telling Tales Around the World’ and ‘Santa’s Dream Steam Machine’. Their most recent work, ‘Nativity’ for choir and soloists, had its premier performances in December 2006 with The Sweyne Choral Society and the Swift Singers.
Performances at Chelmsford Cathedral have included ‘The Blackwater Suite’ in five movements for orchestra and choir, based upon the themes of Philip Walter, and his Piano Concerto in September 2007 with the Essex Chamber Orchestra and well known pianist, Timothy Carey. Other works have been heard on BBC Essex, Classic FM and Meridian TV.
Derrick Thompson – Accompanist
Born in Manchester, Derrick studied piano, voice and trumpet and was offered a place at the Birmingham Conservatoire. After being advised by a friend that one must be ‘either very fortunate or very talented to make a living out of music’ Derrick decided not to study at the Conservatoire but to embark on a career in banking, whilst continuing to pursue a keen interest in amateur music. Derrick appeared at many of the largest concert venues in the UK, before royalty at the Northern Musician of the Year Competition and went on a 5 city/5 day tour of Eastern America which culminated in a concert at Carnegie Hall.
After taking early retirement, (and he is particularly keen to stress the word “early”) Derrick is at last free to enjoy the career in music that he always wanted. One of the very first positions he accepted was as accompanist with the Swift Singers in December 2012. He has conducted various choral and instrumental groups and worked extensively in Musical Theatre as a Musical Director and as an accompanist. Nowadays he is just as likely to be found in school accompanying students as in a theatre, playing in the pit, or conducting.
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The Committee - 2009
The Choir is run by a committee made up from 11 members of the Choir, consisting of a Chairperson, Secretary, Treasurer and 8 other members all of whom are elected annually at the Annual General Meeting. The Committee meets usually every 6 weeks to discuss forthcoming concerts, new music, fundraising for charitable institutions and any other business. Pictured here is the Committee of 2009 who organised our 20th Anniversary Concert at New Hall in Chelmsford.
The Choir (last but not least) !
The Choir currently consists of around 70 members and we meet every Tuesday at 8.15pm in the Village Hall, Hullbridge Road, South Woodham Ferrers. We have recently bought a new uniform with the support and help of funding from Grassroots Grants (from the Essex Community Foundation) – black and gold jackets with black trousers and we have one or two scarves that alter our appearance when the need arises! Apart from concerts, we have social evenings and quiz nights and are always looking for ways to raise money for charities. Our Choir consists of 4 sections:
Sopranos, Mezzo Sopranos, and 2 sections of Altos – there is no audition but our Musical Director will arrange to conduct a voice assessment for all new members within two months of joining and allocate members to the appropriate section of the Choir.
Loads of fun is guaranteed so why don’t you come along and give it a try ?