Tiptree Choral Society, formed in the late summer of 1945, is made up of a group of people who love to sing and enjoy making music together. Its aim was, as it is today, to provide the people of Tiptree and the surrounding area with high quality musical entertainment. Mr E Coates, the local headmaster, initially led the society, followed by Miss Joyce Goodman, Mr Snape and then Mr Rankin Busby, who taught music at the Colchester Institute. Malcolm Boulter, a former pupil of Rankin Busby, led the choir from the mid 1960’s until he took up a teaching post in Chichester when a colleague took over until Malcolm returned to Essex in 1976. Miss Goodman became the Society’s president in 1984, showing her continued support by attending almost all concerts until her death in 2006. The Society’s current President, Mrs Ruth Le Poidevin, was for many years the choir’s accompanist and now sings alto with the choir.
The society currently has about sixty singing members and its repertoire ranges from light popular music to major oratorios. It has an excellent reputation for presenting concerts of a high standard and in addition to using its own soloists, regularly engages professional singers and musicians to take solo or orchestral roles to accompany the choir. The choir has performed in several languages: it recently sang the Brahms’ Requiem in German, and has also sung in French, Welsh and Czech, Latin and of course English!
During the last several years, the choir has performed in France, travelling on two separate occasions to perform first with ‘Les Baribons’ in Montcornet and then to the Gironde / Lot-et-Garonne area, where it performed two very well-received concerts as guests of the Chaplaincy of Aquitaine. The choir has also visited Switzerland as guests of The Geneva Amateur Operatic Chorus and has crossed a border closer to home to sing in Wales with the Morlais Male Voice Choir in Ferndale.
As well as visiting other choirs abroad, The Society has been delighted to play host here on home ground in Tiptree. The Geneva choir, GAOS, was able to travel to Essex to help celebrate Tiptree Choral’s 60th Anniversary celebrations in 2005, and the Morlais choir enjoyed a very successful visit to Tiptree in the spring of 2009. Just last year, the ‘Glenfaba Chorale’ from the Isle of Mann joined forces with Tiptree Choral to present a lovely, varied programme for a spring concert; the choir is looking forward to arranging a return visit to the Isle of Man in the not too distant future.
The choir also performs in local venues when the opportunity arises and has given concerts in Mersea Island, Layer Breton and Prettygate in Colchester, as well as travelling a little further afield to Chingford and Cromer. It has also sung in a local barn! ‘Prom in the Barn’ proved so popular last summer that the choir has decided to give a repeat performance this summer.
‘Home’, however, is St Luke’s in Tiptree, and it was here that the Society celebrated Malcolm Boulter’s 40th year as Musical Director with a performance of Bach’s ‘Christmas Oratorio’, accompanied by the Kingfisher Sinfonietta.