MNS, Chanot Ensemble, Robert Hamwee


Welcome to the Mid-Norfolk Singers website.

It has been a long time but we started singing again in September! We have all missed getting together and are really looking forward to putting on our usual series of concerts. We started off with a very successful Christmas Concert in Watton. In 2022 we will be performing a wonderful selection of works in the wonderful St Peter Mancroft Church in Norwich. So there is plenty to look forward to and we hope to welcome you as a singer or as a member of the audience.

COVID precautions
Rehearsals have been going really well and we feel safe in a large room with plenty of ventilation. We are wearing masks as we walk around, but not to sing in (unless singers want to). We have also been able to spread ourselves out.  Of course members with symptoms, even of a cold, are encouraged to stay at home and we have asked that tests are done before coming to choir each week. We are acutely aware of the dangers of Covid-19 and acknowledge that we are participating in an activity that raises the risks to us and our friends in the choir. 

The Mid-Norfolk Singers were established in 1946 as an educational evening class. Over the years we have grown in numbers to approximately 85, and have expanded our repertoire as a consequence, but the basis of our constitution remains the same, ‘The education of our members and the general public, in the art and appreciation of choral music’.  As a choir we receive no financial support from local government and so our work is dependent upon our members and of the general public support of our performances.

We give three performances a year generally Christmas, Easter and Summer, our selection of music reflects these occasions. At Christmas we alternate between a concert of audience based Christmas music, and a concert of the great choral Christmas works e.g. Bach’s Christmas Oratorio, or St.Matthew Passion at Easter. The summer concert is a relaxed and light-hearted affair and is sometimes given on behalf of a local charity as a means of contributing to their needs. These concerts are given in local venues, St Nicholas church, Dereham and St Peter & St Paul Church in Swaffham are two of our favourites. However we also perform at smaller village churches usually once a year. We have, over the years given several world premier performances. The rock opera ‘Exodus’ and the ‘Gettysburg Address’ as a tribute to Abraham Lincoln, whose family came from Swanton Morley, and given the regional premier of ‘On Christmas Night’ by Bob Chilcott. We have the aspiration of performing larger works by combining with neighbouring choral societies.

We have a three term year, autumn, spring and summer which covers approximately ten months of the year. During the year there are also social events as fundraisers but principally times of enjoyment for members and families. We have a connection with the choir of Ruthen in Germany, a twinned town of Dereham. We usually meet biennially, here or in Germany, the home choir hosting the visitors.

What we did in 2018/2019

The Christmas Concert was a wonderful affair that took place in St Mary’s Church, Watton in front of a large, enthusiastic audience. We performed Jazzy Christmas Songs, The Little Jazz Mass (Chilcott) and a good selection of traditional carols.
In April ww went to St James the Great Church in Castle Acre. The programme consisted of various items from Finzi, Bruckner, Mendelssohn and Elgar.
In July we held two concerts. The first in Saham Toney and then we were lucky enough to be invited to sing as part of the Swanton Morley Festival. We had a programme of English folk songs and American Spirituals
In December we had a fantastic time performing Handel’s Messiah in the church in Swaffham in front of a large enthusiastic audience. We were accompanied by the talented musicians of the Chanot Ensemble.

Sadly no concerts since Christmas 2019 but a lot to look forward to from December 2021 going on through 2022 and 2023. Lots of plans have been made.

Jane Fannon
Chairman of Mid-Norfolk Singers