Our Goals

Taunton Choral Society is the largest and oldest choir in Taunton with a membership of around eighty singers, coming from all walks of life and with a range of musical abilities.  It features professional, student and amateur musicians who all work together towards achieving our vision of presenting “inspiring music, without boundaries”. In keeping with this vision, we seek to provide high quality music which is both local and affordable. All of our concerts are planned to interest the discerning ear as well as please the casual listener and include both stimulating pre-concert talks and convivial hospitality.

Our season starts in September and we usually perform concerts in autumn, spring and summer, offering a mixture of sacred and secular works in a range of musical styles and periods.  We offer a welcoming, friendly and enjoyable environment and are committed to working collaboratively with and supporting other musical and charitable organisations.

Our people​

Our Patron is Sir Bryn Terfel CBE

Now an internationally famous bass-baritone, Bryn sang the lead role of Elijah with the Society in 1991 when John Cole was our MD (although there’s no mention of that on Bryn’s page on Wikipedia…!). Since then Bryn has moved on to greater things but we still keep him up to date with our activities and nurture a hope that he might come and sing with us again sometime…

You can find out more about Bryn Terfel at www.harlequin-agency.co.uk

The President of the Society is Linda Marshall Cole

Linda has worked with Taunton Choral Society for many years. She started as a choir member, became a frequent soloist, was involved in working with the society as musical director’s wife and now is proud to be cast in the role of President.

Linda teaches singing at Blundell’s School in Tiverton and has a private practice at her home in Taunton. She was originally classically trained, singing many opera roles and oratorio as a lirico spinto soprano, but in addition has recently done a great deal of work with Music Theatre voice qualities, having studied Vocal Anatomy and current vocal technique and artistry. She has been on the Council of the Association of Teachers of Singing, is Vocal Competitions Secretary for the Taunton and Somerset Music, Drama and Dance Festival, has run summer courses for singers and is involved in much music making in Taunton and the South West.

Vice Presidents

Vice Presidents of Taunton Choral Society are honorary post holders elected by the Committee and Members in recognition of their service to the Society. We currently have five Vice Presidents; Anne Curtis, Eric Franks, Diana Rees, Stephen Bell and John Crothers..… more

Our Musical Director is Edward Goater

Edward is a conductor, tenor and teacher and lives with his family in Wells.  He studied conducting with Norman Barnes MBE and for many years he was a member of the BBC singers. As a professional musician he has worked with some of the best musicians in the world, including Pierre Boulez, Bryn Terfel, Judith Weir, Sir Simon Rattle and Bob Chilcott. In addition to his role with Taunton Choral, Edward is currently the MD of the Taunton Military Wives Choir, Director of the Somerset Choral Society, Director of the Military Wives Choir Foundation, Taunton and Associate Conductor of the Berkshire Youth Choir.

Our Accompanist is Alison Pink

Alison studied piano and horn at the Royal College of Music and went on to teach in London and the Home Counties. She has been an examiner for Trinity Guildhall for over 20 years and a pianist at the Royal Ballet School, and has also accompanied soloists such as Cleo Laine, Michael Thompson and James Watson. For many years she tutored the brass of the National Youth Wind orchestra and she currently tutors and conducts as part of the National Children’s Orchestra.

In addition to teaching and playing the French Horn, she is a well known accompanist in the area and in 2007 she founded the Taunton Children’s Orchestra with Vivienne Price.

Governance

Taunton Choral Society is a registered charity and is managed in accordance with its Constitution.  The Committee is elected by the members at the AGM.  Current Officers and Trustees are:

Chair: Alys Gunstone

Treasurer: David Gover

Secretary: Pen Hollin

Trustees: Gail Cryer, Sam Hermelin, Liz Lewis, Linda Barrell

Our Friends

We are fortunate as a performing Society that there are many historic and beautiful churches in Taunton and we are grateful to many of them for hosting our concerts. We have a particularly close relationship with St Mary Magdalene church, which provides an inspiring setting  for grand choral works and we have enjoyed working collaboratively with their choir in raising funds for the renovation of the renowned Father Willis organ. St James church is another favourite with the choir, providing a more intimate setting.  St Johns church provides the perfect atmosphere for our candlelit Advent concert, which has now become a regular feature in our calendar.

We are also fortunate to have a strong and established working relationship with Taunton Sinfonietta who partner with us in many of our musical enterprises.

Another firm friend is the Temple Methodist church where we hold our weekly rehearsals as well as special events such as ‘Come and Sing’.

History and Past Concerts

Follow the link to read about the history of Taunton Choral Society from its roots in 1903… more

From 2009 to 2016 the choir was under the baton of our previous MD, Stephen Bell who saw the Society through a period of financial uncertainty  while still managing to introduce some new and challenging repertoire… more

Follow the link to explore earlier performances… more