One year in, and loving the Latin!

‘This time last year’, says James Myers, ‘I did something I’ve always wanted to do – joined the choir!’  James says he’s always enjoyed singing, but didn’t have enough confidence to join the school choir because it seemed so full of good singers.  Later on, when he sang at church:  ‘People said I had a good voice, but never the very musical people, only the ones who didn’t really know!’

At a recent rehearsal for our forthcoming concert, Mozart’s Mass in C Minor anVesperae solennes de confessoreat St Edmundsbury Cathedral on 3 March, James told the story of how he joined the Bury Bach Choir.

A few years ago he went to hear Handel’s Messiah at the Royal Albert Hall. ‘We were wearing dinner jackets and they thought we were part of the choir, we were told we were late and were rushed off to the dressing rooms!’ Eventually he found his way into the audience and says ‘I absolutely loved it, I was hooked’.

So over Christmas 2016, James resolved to join a choir.  ‘I wanted serious, classical choral music – I googled and found the Bury Bach Choir, which rehearses just round the corner from where I live’. He joined for a few sessions, sang tenor to start with, then decided bass was his true voice.  He had a voice check and he was in!  

James doesn’t read music and learns everything by ear, with the help of recordings and an excellent website called Cyberbass, which has all the major choral works broken down into their individual parts, so you can sing your line in context.  ‘Handel and Purcell will always be my favourite composers because we sang their music in my first concert’ he says.

Singing in other languages is another requirement – over the last year the choir has sung works in French, German and Latin, as well as English.  ‘I’m really enjoying singing the Mozart in Latin’, James says, ‘it’s another great challenge’.

James hears a lot of music at work as well as in the choir. He works for an undertaker as Funeral Manager, and says the most popular music for a funeral is ‘My Way’ sung by Frank Sinatra, ‘All things bright and beautiful’ and Schubert’s Ave Maria. He much prefers the music we sing at choir, though:  ‘I’ve never regretted joining the choir, it’s been very welcoming and it has really lived up to what I expected’.

To find out about joining the choir or coming to our concerts visit


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