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Congleton Choral Society, Congleton, Cheshire, UK

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Making Music Congleton Choral Society is a member of Making Music, The National Federation of Music Societies.

Congleton Choral Society is a Registered Charity
No: 515851


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Welcome to our web site. This busy and friendly mixed choir based in Congleton, Cheshire meets weekly on Monday evenings to rehearse, and performs four major concerts a year at local venues, including Congleton Town Hall. If you are interested in listening or in joining as a singer, please browse our pages and find out more about us.

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What's on...

Summer 2019 concert

Tickets, priced £15 adult, £12 concession, £2 student, are now on sale for this exciting concert. Composer and popular Classic FM presenter John Brunning is coming to introduce and hear us perform his stunning new work 'Amazing Day'. Virtuoso pianist Dominic John will make a welcome return to accompany the choir.
Tickets are available from Congleton Tourist Information Centre, telephone 01260 271095, or from any choir member. To book online click here.
To read more about the composers and their music click here.

Chilcott singing day

Booking is now open for our Singing Day. Be one of the first to explore Bob Chilcott's brand new Christmas Oratorio with the composer himself. Book early to ensure your place!
Click here to download a booking form.
Click here for more details and to book online.

To be kept informed about this and all our events please join our mailing list.

What they're saying...

Here is a selection of comments and feedback we have received following recent events. Click on a title to reveal the comments.
Mozart's Great Mass in C and Solemn Vespers, April 2019
Comments from the audience:
'Heartfelt thanks to Christopher Cromar and the choir for a truly magnificent evening of music. How lucky we are to have such a performance taking place in our own town.'

'The ‘Not-So-Solemn’ Vespers bounced along with joy. The choir was in excellent form, and the soloists, especially the two coloratura sopranos in the Mass, were superb.'

From the soprano soloists:
'Such a pleasure to join you all on Saturday. Congratulations for a brilliant concert!”'

' It would be wonderful to sing with you all again. I thought the choir was superb.'
Beethoven's Missa Solemnis, November 2018
Comments from the audience:
'What a wonderful experience ...'

'I will not forget last night, and the wonderful sound made by the two choirs.'

'Many members of the audience were transfixed by the music ...'

'Impressive ... moving ... inspirational ... divine.'
The Armed Man (Jenkins)and Eternal Light (Goodall): July 2018
Comments from the audience:
'CCS surpassed even its own high standards, providing an evening of exceptional entertainment'

'The organ and keyboard accompaniment for Eternal Light was magnificent, the soloists were excellent and the sound made by the choir was beautiful'

'The interpretation of The Armed Man was spell-binding ... The percussion and brass set the rhythm and atmosphere ... the phrasing and sound made by the choir was exquisite and poignant, and in places my breathing was on hold'

'There are no words to describe the concert on Saturday. Well done, how do you go home and sleep after that? Please convey my congratulations to all.'

'I loved it. Very dramatic and moving. The violin and flute in the Armed Man were fantastic.'

'The best concert you have ever given.'
Spring Concert, April 2017
Extracts from the press review:
'Superb Performances of Haydn and Mozart Masses...'

'Congleton Choral Society has excelled itself once again... (The choir's) singing was articulate and impressive... (the performance was) passionately and beautifully sung...powerfully dramatic...'

Mr Cromar impressively brought together two dramatically different settings of the mass. The joyful and spirited version by Haydn contrasted with the serious driving force of the Mozart Requiem with all its different dramatic emotions...

'The choir sounded fantastic. Its tone, articulation and contrasting moods were all very well-rehearsed. The orchestra enhanced the programme magnificently throughout. The four stunning soloists integrated well with the choir and orchestra, combining to make a superb and enjoyable evening.'
November Concert, 2017
Comments from the audience:
'Congratulations on the wonderful performance from Congleton Choral Society and the soloists ... The programme was beautifully chosen, and the architecture of the Hall echoed the wonderful sounds and harmonies.'

'It was totally glorious. Thank you and well done to everyone involved.'

From the press review:
'A splendid concert which inspired us with exciting music and highlighted the musicianship of Congleton Choral Society under its Music Director Christopher Cromar... Click here to read the full review.'
Children's Singing Day with Shirley Court, October 2017
Comments from the children:
'It was brilliant...'

'It was fun and exciting. I would come again because we all learned something new.'

'I really enjoyed the day and I've made lots of new friends... I enjoyed coming out to be a singing detective and show my enthusiasm with a song. Thank you Shirley for giving me a solo...First time on the stage, loved it.'

'I really like singing and the adults were very kind.'

'I really enjoyed today... I'd love to come again.'

Comments from parents and grandparents:
'Awesome and galvanising. Well done one and all.'

'What a brilliant performance!'

'Amazing! What a fabulous concert achieved in such a short space of time. An absolute treat. My daughter is raving about her day already and has asked to come again. Many, many thanks.'

'Amazing to hear and see what they had produced in such a short time, my daughter really seems to have had a great time and it's brilliant for her confidence...Thank you.'

Comments from Shirley Court:
'I will do it again. Loved it. The children worked very hard and learned about singing, performing and working as a team.'
Singing Day with Bob Chilcott, September 2017
Comments from guests:
'Amazing day.'

'What a wonderful day it was with Bob Chilcott. The organisation was excellent, St Michael's Church a beautiful venue, and of course Bob and your wonderful Chris Cromar on the piano made the day quite exceptional ... Bob certainly exceeded my expectations and I thoroughly enjoyed his music and the whole experience.'

'Thank you to all the team at Congleton for a fantastic Singing Day. Bob and Chris Cromar were a great team. Loved the music, particularly the Gloria. Looking forward to hear you sing it on the 11th November.'

'Really enjoyable day, such beautiful music and so many funny stories from Bob Chilcott!'
A Summer Concert Of English Music, July 2017
Comments from guests:
'Loved all the music.'

'A fabulous uplifting concert...well done to the team.'
Four Hands - One Piano, July 2017
Comments from guests:
'A lovely way to round off a great weekend of music.'

'A fantastic piano recital by Christopher Cromar and Dominic John this afternoon.'
The Armed Man singing day with Christopher Cromar, April 2017
Quotes from guests:
'Thank you for your hospitality on Saturday. It was a super day and the refreshments and venue were excellent. It was really enjoyable.'

'It was a fantastic day. I loved every minute.'

'The day was well organised, led by Chris Cromar's expertise and brilliant piano accompaniment from Andrew Green.'

'Thank you to all the 'tea' ladies and 'bakers'.'

'I was buzzing for ages afterwards and didn't want the day to end.'
Bach's St John Passion, April 2017
From the audience:
'A great concert ...'

'Just to say how much we enjoyed the St John Passion. The choral parts sounded wonderful. Congratulations! Neither of us knew the work and would certainly go to another performance of it.'

'Superb...loved the orchestra ... the usual very high standard. Thanks.'

'Wonderful performance.'
We Wish You A Merry Chrismas, December 2016
From the audience:
'The concert really was magical...'

'That was lovely! A big thank you to all who worked so hard to make such an enjoyable evening.'

'The readings and the music were excellent...'

'The mixture of traditional and contemporary worked well...'
Handel's Messiah, November 2016
From the audience:
'Every word clear as a bell ... a lovely warm sound.'

'Greatly enjoyed the Messiah last night and thought you gave an excellent performance.'

'The soloists were excellent and how good that the orchestra was so sympathetic to the singing.'

'Choir in excellent form and all soloists brilliant. Handel would be pleased.'

And from the Orchestra:
'Thank you Congleton for a wonderful Messiah yesterday with Northern Baroque! Getting the season off to a good start.'
B minor Mass Singing Day with David Hill, October 2016
Quotes from guests:
'What a fantastic day and it was very well organised. A big vote of thanks to all who worked so hard behind the scenes.'

'David Hill gave a good balance between attention to detail, voice techniques and letting us have a good sing.'

'... It was extremely well organised ... and it was a lovely place to sing (I've not been to one of the singing days in Macclesfield before). It was also lovely to meet lots of new singers'

'David Hill was excellent... Good cake selection on offer at lunchtime!...[The music] was so difficult at times ... BUT it is good to be challenged!!..I will definitely book onto next year's Chilcott Singing Day.'
Grand Anniversary Concert, July 2016
Soprano soloist Charlotte Richardson tweeted:
'Congratulations @congletonchoral for a GREAT concert this evening! Thank you for having me.'

From audience members:
'Congratulations on a wonderful Town Hall Anniversary concert. The choir was well balanced and in top form. Thoroughly enjoyed the programme . I've never heard the Stainer or Maunder before but both were beautiful and well performed by all.'

'The choir was outstanding ... loved the music.'

'Beautiful singing ... brilliant top notes from the sopranos.'

From a choir member:
'Many thanks to Christopher Cromar for his inspirational conducting. This was my first concert singing with the choir in Congleton, I look forward eagerly to many more.'
Harvestehude Symphony Orchestra, May 2016
Comments from the audience:
'...a unique experience to welcome a such a large orchestra to Congleton Town Hall.'

'...a rare opportunity to be 'up close and personal' to such talented musicians.'

'Dvorak's cello concerto was the highlight of the evening, featuring a sensitive and assured performance from the young cellist Jacob Stepp. Between passages of tremendous power, quieter ones allowed each section of the orchestra to show its musicality and technique, which they did admirably. It is difficult to imagine a professional orchestra bettering the technical virtuosity and musical sense manifested by this amateur unit.'

'The choir's confidence shone through... their account of Handel's music was radiant. All parts were heard clearly and diction was admirable.'
The Dream of Gerontius, April 2016
Quotes from the audience:
'A superb interpretation of this marvellous work.'

'The orchestra was magnificent and the quality of the singing was beautiful.'

'This is the 18th time I have heard Gerontius and this was one of the best performances.'

'The experience was awesome, I wouldn't have missed it for the world.'
Christmas Concerts, December 2015
Quotes from guests:
'Thank you for a splendid evening with a good varied selection of carols.'

'I enjoyed the evening concert immensely, as did the couple who were sitting next to me. It was their first visit to the Choral Society and they were really impressed.'

'I enjoyed the mix of new material...the readings were excellent...the Choral Academy and the Children's Choir in the afternoon both did well.'

'What a lovely concert in the afternoon, the Children's Choir were brilliant and it was very enjoyable.'
Autumn Concert, November 2015
Quotes from guests:
'A tremendous concert, literally raised the roof and well appreciated by the audience. Thank you.'

'Amazing ... stunning ... beautiful ... so fitting a dedication to the people of Paris.'

'It was a privilege to be in the audience... Christopher Cromar's Dubois 'Toccata' was mesmeric.'

'Fab concert! Beautiful music masterfully performed - Thank you.'

... and from a choir member:
'It was a terrific experience and a privilege to sing in this concert.'
Rutter Singing Day, October 2015
Quotes from guests:
'So much encouragement all the way through from so many people. Having spoken to several other visitors I think it quite fair to say it certainly was a particularly special experience for those of us coming as guests. "Watch me and use me," Christopher said ... testing that invitation really worked. CCS singers worked extremely hard, not only hosting throughout but generously and unobtrusively sharing their experience, spreading confidence and a joy of celebrating music that will last a very long time.'

'Thank you for a wonderful day! The choice of music was lovely and Christopher Cromar was a very supportive leader. Great accompanist, Andrew Green as well. Although I didn't find all the music easy to get to grips with, it was so good to be surrounded by so many lovely singers. i look forward to any future singing days.'
Of Love And Music, July 2015
From members of the audience:
'Wow, what a fabulous concert! CCS goes from strength to strength......'

'The Carmina Burana was stunning - no wonder there was a standing ovation'

'You could not wipe the smile off my face for the way the children’s choir sang. Their enthusiasm and commitment was absolutely superb.'

'What a great concert - really uplifting. Thank you CCS for a fantastic experience.'

'I wouldn't have missed it for the world...'

'The percussionists...were brilliant and made the performance'
Elijah, March 2015
From members of the audience:
'The most amazing evening [we have] ever attended.the emotion of the music and singing was so powerful...[we] will never miss another of your concerts'

'I really did not wish to go to this concert but I am so glad I did as it was tremendous!'

'The best thing yet!'

'Enjoyed it tremendously, a very polished performance'

'A super evening; you must have worked so hard. I'm definitely coming in July'


'Wonderful concert....there was a perfect balance and blend between the choir and the orchestra...magical unaccompanied singing from the ladies in "Lift thine eyes"'

'I think you were all absolutely fantastic. I still can't believe that a small town such as Congleton has such a professional choral society. [The music was] so spiritual and uplifting'
Christmas Concert, December 2014
From members of the audience:

'The choir gets better and better every year'

'A lovely concert with a fabulous sound'

'The concert was truly beautiful and I am still dancing on air'

'Marvellous music'

'My wife and I attended your lovely concert on Saturday. I was so impressed with the Choir.....I would be very interested in joining if my voice was acceptable. I sing Bass'
Lest We Forget, November 2014
From members of the audience:
'The poem at the start - you really nailed it, stunning and the Duruflé [Requiem] was amazing.'

The Duruflé is in parts difficult for the listener and more so for the singer, it was performed extremely well, with great sensitivity. The Haydn [Nelson Mass] was so uplifting and a joy to listen to. Well done, you must be shattered!

'I thought that the concert was excellent. The music was quite difficult so more power to you all for your performance.'

'The Duruflé was absolutely beautiful'
'Best Duruflé ever, and the Haydn was uplifting'
'Duruflé such difficult music, sounded great.'
'A wonderful concert'.

From one of our choir members:
'The bass soloist was very complimentary. He hadn't sung the Duruflé before. He commented that he had heard other more well known choirs perform this piece and we CCS, were much better!'

From another of our choir members:
'Our neighbours who came to the concert said it was very enjoyable and uplifting. The Guest piece set the tone admirably.'
Singing Day with Christopher Cromar, October 2014
Tweeted by Aimee Toshnay, soprano soloist at our singing day:
'Lovely afternoon with @congletonchoral singing Mozart's Coronation Mass. Fantastic group and a most civilised way to spend a Saturday!'

From a visiting singer who joined the chorus:
'I wanted to let you know how much I enjoyed the Singing Day yesterday. It was very well organised and a joy to work with such a talented chorus master as Christopher Cromar. A great day and I hope you have many more. Alas I live too far away to consider joining your wonderful choral society, but would love to take part in future events whenever possible. Thank you again for such a super day.'
(This comment sums up all the positive feedback we received from singers who attended the singing day.)
Fascinating Rhythm, July 2014
For this concert we asked audience members to complete a feedback form. Here is a small selection of their comments:

'Excellent in all respects'

'What a super change from the usual repertoire'

'Enjoyed the excellent piano duo'...'wonderful sound'...'very talented musicians'
(about Christopher Cromar and Dominic John)

'Good variety, enjoyed Emily Dankworth especially, amazing voice range, very many thanks'

'Good to hear modern choral popular music; but we have never been disappointed!'

'Nice to see the choir so relaxed'

A Night At The Opera, April 2014

Extract from a review published by the Congleton Chronicle, 24th April 2014:
A Night at the Opera - and what a brilliant night it was...

People ask 'What is opera?' It is stylish, funny, dazzling, often beautiful, often sad, cruel, warm-hearted, serious and even sexy...That is what Congleton Choral Society, with four excellent guest artistes, gave us on 5th April in the Town Hall. It was an evening to cherish and remember, and to be proud that we, the audience, could hear such quality in our own town...

Thanks to all who took part in this evening's operatic journey with so many memorable moments...a big thank you to the Choral Society's great inspirational conductor Christopher Cromar, who must be proud of you all...I must make a special mention of the guest accompanist Dominic John, whose playing throughout was absolutely brilliant - the best accompanist I have ever heard.

Click here to read the full review.

From an audience member sent in via our web site:
Congratulations to all on a truly wonderful concert. The whole programme was a delight with superb soloists and the choir sang the opera choruses magnificently with good diction and tone. The overall sound and view from the gallery was very enjoyable!!

From an alto who took part:
Wow, what a night! Fantastic soloists, brilliant pianist and our musical director was, as usual, inspiring us to be at our best. How lovely it was that the audience seemed to enjoy it too.

From a member of the bass section currently not singing with us:
A truly wonderful concert. Well done everyone; I was sad (and envious) not to be up there with you. My guests loved it too.

From a soprano who couldn't sing in the concert:
What a sensational concert ! Sorry I was unable to sing with you but it was great to simply sit and enjoy all your hard work. Fab....u...lous! And what a pianist! Amazing.

From someone who has been involved 'by marriage' with CCS for many years:
I can't remember ever hearing such superb soloists and pianist in the town hall; what a wealth of talent. We were fortunate to be in the audience last night.

From a young member of our front-of-house team:
My first real taste of opera, and I enjoyed. I'm more cultured than I thought. I will be humming slightly irritating tunes for a while though. Well done CCS.

From a soprano who took part:
[It was] a wonderful concert. I was in seventh heaven as were my 10 guests (had to get my brownie points in there!) who came to watch and listen. They said it was our best concert to date, loved the soloists and admired all the ladies in our evening gowns.

Overheard in the gallery as we walked on:
Don't they all look glamorous!
Christmas Concert, December 2013

Extracts from letters to Congleton Chronicle:


Full of praise for town choral society
I congratulate Congleton Choral Society on a marvellous Christmas carol concert in the Town Hall... The recently formed children's choir...impressed the audience with the quality of their varied offerings that speaks volumes for future events in which they participate.

...The town is fortunate to possess such a number of talented singers who are willing to invest a considerable time rehearsing under their brilliant conductor to offer a performance that I will remember for many years.
- Dr. Peter Hirst


Christmas carol concert was outstanding
...Without any doubt the Congleton Choral Society’s Christmas carol concert was just that [outstanding] in every sense of the word. ... The musical director, soloists, the readings and the choir itself were all magnificent... [and as for] the extraordinary children’s was impossible not to be moved by their performance after only about three months of rehearsal.
- Neville Price.

Audience feedback:

It was a good'un as usual and the Children's Choir went down a storm. The training they'd had from Christopher Cromar clearly shone through. Hopefully it will encourage other children to join.


The audience seemed delighted with it, all my guests said the sound was amazing, stunning and precise.


We are in total awe of the standard of performance you achieve at every concert, engaging with the audience and obviously enjoying all that you do.

The Concert was a roaring success and everyone said how much they enjoyed it.


The children were absolute stars (as was Christopher [Cromar]). A well balanced programme.


[Choir members] Clare and Liam’s solos were particularly memorable.


I enjoyed [W] Terry [Fox’s] readings. The programme was a good mix of everything.


Christopher [Cromar] has done wonders with the children.


It was a joyous occasion.

Mozart's Requiem and Haydn's Harmoniemesse, November 2013
Audience feedback:

Wonderful of the best!

We were enthralled with the whole thing

It was a spine-tingling evening

The Haydn was amazing; there were moments of sheer joy

Our guests from Switzerland....were blown away by the scale of the event and the professionalism of the choir

The soprano section's top notes were effortless and beautiful

From a member of the Philharmonic Ensemble:

It was a joy to play for such a good choir

See reviews of our previous concerts.

Sing with us...

Would you like to join our choir?

This is Christopher Cromar, our professional conductor, leading a rehearsal. He's an enthusiastic, dynamic and inspiring leader. We're making great music together!

If you love singing, why not come along to a few rehearsals to see if it's for you? You will receive a very friendly welcome.

See our How to Join page.

Learn more about Christopher Cromar

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If you would like to support the society financially, please consider applying to become a Vice President.Click here for more details.

The society is grateful for donations received from individuals and organisations, whose generous sponsorship helps us to bring excellent music to the town. To find out more about sponsorship, click here.

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Bob Chilcott and Christopher Cromar at the CCS Singing Day, September 2017. The works studied were Chilcott's Gloria and Five Days That Changed The World. A great time was had by all!
Bob Chilcott and Christopher Cromar at the CCS Singing Day, September 2017.
Bach's St John Passion, April 2017. Left to right: bass baritone Thomas Stoddart, mezzo soprano Laura Margaret Smith, tenor Jonathan Cooke, Soprano Aimee Toshney, conductor Christopher Cromar.
Soloists at St John Passion - Jonathan Cooke, Laura Margaret Smith, Thomas Stoddart, Aimee Toshney, and conductor Christopher Cromar.

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