From Small Beginnings…
Onwards & Upwards
At the end of 2005, members of the Pakefield Singers collaborated with members of the Beccles and the Lowestoft Choral Societies to participate in the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra Christmas Concert at the Marina Theatre, Lowestoft.
In May 2006, Pakefield Singers joined forces with the Beccles Choral Society in a performance of Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana at the Snape Maltings Concert Hall. This work is usually performed with an orchestra, but the group performed it in its original accompaniment of two pianos and percussion; the original score was only orchestrated for its first public performance in Frankfurt in 1937.
2007 proved to be particularly busy for the Pakefield Singers. In May, the group went on tour to Aarhus, Denmark after a reciprocal invitation from Kor-I-Nord, a choir from Aarhus that visited Lowestoft in 2005. In August, Pakefield Singers again joined forces with Beccles Choral Society to perform Carmina Burana as part of the “Last Night at the Proms Concert” with the London Gala Concert, conducted by Stephen Bell, at Kentwell Hall. The year culminated with the whole choir performing at the Gala Celebration Concert with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in December, conducted by Nick Davies at the Marina Theatre.
The event was hailed as a great success and Pakefield Singers, thus encouraged, had its sights set on the next major choral work, Mozart’s Requiem in collaboration with Great Yarmouth Choral Society in 2015. Carmina Burana followed in 2017 and was greatly enjoyed by performers and audience alike, and, in complete contrast, the choir presented Mendelssohn’s oratorio Elijah in 2017, again in Great Yarmouth Minster. St Edmund’s Church in Southwold was the venue for Rossini’s Petite Messe Solennelle in 2018 and this was followed by a performance of Beethoven’s Mount of Olives in Lowestoft in the church of St John, Kirkley the following Easter.
Vivaldi’s Gloria in St Margaret’s church in 2019 was significant, although no one knew it at the time, as it was to be the last major concert performed before the Covid pandemic was upon us. Despite eighteen months when lockdowns and stringent rules were in place to manage the virus Pakefield Singers kept on singing, firstly on Zoom and then in the grounds of Benacre Hall and on the church field, always appropriately distanced. Gradually the choir returned to indoor rehearsals and was able to present a concert on the church field in July of 2021. November of that year marked the return to performing major works with a sell out performance of Mozart’s Requiem in St Mary’s Church Halesworth.
2022 was a bumper year for the choir as they celebrated their 20th anniversary with a full programme representing the wide range of music making they are known for. Concerts, cabarets and community singing days all featured, and the celebrations culminated in a performance of Handel’s Messiah with Norwich Baroque in St Margaret’s Church in October.
The choir has now grown to around 70 singers and often has a waiting list of people wishing to join so…