Huge turnout at first Community Choir practice!

Monday 12th November was the tryout session for the new Community Choir run by St Mary’s, an open invitation to local people to join a choir ‘from scratch’ and prepare to sing at our new Carol Service this Christmas.

Licking the hopefuls into shape was our own Gareth Malone!  Alexander Norman (pictured) has a background in Choral conducting with an MA from Birmingham Conservatoire and extensive experience in performing, conducting and recording both locally and overseas (full bio below).  Organising the choir is our very own Ali Spencer, long-term congregation member and worship leader at St Mary’s.

Posters and advertisements have been posted in the last few weeks, and an encouraging number of responses led us to believe there might be in excess of 20 people signing up for the choir.  What no one expected, however, were the 55 new recruits who walked through the door of Coppice School hall!

Who knows how we will fit choir and congregation into Coppice School Hall for the Carol Service, but what is certain is that if you live in Wythall you won’t want to see Christmas in without it!

Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols @ Coppice School, Shawhurst Lane, Hollywood – Saturday 22nd December, 6pm

Photo: Rebecca Hastie


Biography of our new Conductor

Alexander Norman holds a Masters Degree in Choral Conducting from Birmingham Conservatoire, prior to which he was an organ scholar at Royal Holloway, University of London, where he accompanied the chapel choir for services, broadcasts and for the Hyperion record label.

He is Artistic Director of the chamber choir Convivium Singers, with whom he has performed in the UK, Italy and Spain, and has worked with several amateur choirs in the Midlands region, including Wesley Singers (Coventry), Shirley Community Gospel Choir and The Half Circle Singers (Birmingham).

Alexander’s recording of music by the seventeenth century composer Peter Philips (Convivium Singers/Convivium Records) received a five star review in Choir&Organ magazine, being hailed as ‘my find and disc of the year’.

Alex is Organist at the Methodist Central Hall, Coventry and piano tutor at Coventry Blue Coat CofE School and Music College. He has been asked to record the new Methodist hymn-book, ‘Singing the Faith’, in its entirity, for use in churches which do not have access to an organist or pianist.

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