The Bishop's Stortford Musical Association (BSMA) was founded in 1940 and in 1984 it was renamed the Bishop's Stortford Choral Society. It is a Registered Charity, currently with 80 members, and is proud of its role in bringing both new and established composers before a local audience.
BSMA’s first concert, which was of Christmas music, was held in St. Michael's Church in 1940 under the baton of Mr L. Dupere. Christmas concerts remain a most popular part of our repertoire, the most recent in 2015 with Richard Brain conducting JS Bach’s Christmas Oratorio to a full house at the Methodist Church..
We enjoy an exciting range of music; recent concerts have included Bach’s St John Passion, Orff’s Carmina Burana, Elgar’s Dream of Gerontius and Mozart’s Requiem and Solemn Vespers. In the past we have been privileged to give premiere performances of works by Menotti and Gordon Jacob and more recently to stage lesser known works, e.g. Canterbury Pilgrims by Dyson and Gorecki’s Totus Tuus.
BSCS uses a variety of venues both locally, such as All Saints, Hockerill, the Water Lane United Reformed Church and Rhodes Atrs Complex, and further afield including Chelmsford Cathedral, Thaxted Church and even the in The Royal Albert Hall, where we sang Berlioz’ Requiem as part of the Joint Hertfordshire Choirs in 2007.
We usually perform with a full professional orchestra, often also with professional solo singers. We also occasionally join forces with other choirs, such as Royston Choral Society and Broxbourne Chorus. Sometimes we enjoy a joint concert with East Herts Youth Orchestra.
Richard Brain, who took over as Musical Director in September 2015, is encouraging us to broaden our repertoire to include more unusual and modern pieces as well as to improve our musical sound for the bigger more traditional choral masterpieces.