the J Singers amateur mixed-voice choir
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The singers

At the time of writing we have 24 singers, consisting of 9 sopranos, 5 altos, 4 tenors and 6 basses.

While some of our members have sung with us — or with other choirs — for years, others had never sung in public before joining us. We continue to welcome new members in either category.

We operate on a democratic basis with a committee elected from among our members, and are not affiliated to any other organisation.
 

Our Director of Music

Sally Jenkins took over as our Director of Music in January 2015 and is very much looking forward to leading the J Singers to further success, and to engaging with the local community. Building on the work of her predecessors, she plans to continue to develop our confidence and technique to produce polished performances featuring music of a wide variety of styles and genres.

Sally developed her love of music at a very young age. As a child in Wiltshire, she sang in a choir that regularly deputised for several cathedral choirs, which gave her the opportunity to perform in venues such as St Paul's Cathedral and Westminster Abbey.

After taking singing lessons for many years at school, Sally went on to study music at Bristol University, where she was taught by Mollie Petrie, one of the West Country's leading singing teachers. Sally was also heavily involved in the university's select chamber choir – the University Singers – and subsequently with the chamber choir at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama. She performed with both groups in many of the country's major venues and also on European tours.

After concluding her studies, Sally trained to be a Secondary Music Teacher and held the post of Director of Music at Clifton High School in Bristol and at The Royal High School in Bath. This enabled her to develop her choral-training expertise as she prepared choirs for a very wide range of performances, ranging from from community events and the Bath International Festival, to the Colston Hall and local Cathedrals and Abbey. Alongside her choral training work, Sally continued to sing in prestigious choirs, including the Waynflete Singers in Winchester, Jubilate in Cheltenham and the Cappella Singers in Stroud.

Having relocated to Taunton in August 2014, Sally now leads the Headway Charity Choir as well as the J Singers. In addition to singing, Sally is also a highly accomplished harpist, and has performed at many major venues including the Royal Albert Hall and the Birmingham Symphony Hall. Since 2014 she has been working as a harp teacher and performer in both Gloucestershire and Somerset.
 

Our accompanist

Angela Parkes, LRAM, LTCL, is an experienced piano teacher and accompanist, and has accompanied the J Singers for several years.

Angela began playing the piano at an early age and, after several years of tuition, she gained a Distinction in the top Grade 8 ABRSM exam. Encouraged by her success, she went on to study for a diploma in piano teaching with the Trinity College of Music, followed by the Licentiate of the Royal Academy of Music diploma.

Angela has now taught the piano for nearly 40 years and, before moving to Somerset in 1997, was the accompanist for a ladies choir in Plymouth.

In addition to accompanying the J Singers and her teaching, Angela has also been the Director of Music for her local pantomime society for the past 10 years.
 

Our history

The J Singers have had several changes of name since our foundation in 1966, when a group of men gathered informally around a piano to sing for pleasure. They named themselves The Bridgwater Glee Singers and first sang in public at the Bridgwater Arts Centre in 1967. Their objective was to raise money for charitable organisations and other good causes of any size, an aim which — along with enjoying our singing — we continue to follow.

In 1969 a similar ladies’ group, The Thornbury Singers, was founded. The two groups sang together at several concerts in the area and, in 1972, decided to amalgamate to form The Quantock Singers. At this time the leading tenor was Alfred Atkin, while the pianist was Joan Rumsey. After their marriage, the group sang under the name of The Joan Atkin Singers from 1974 until 1992.

When Joyce Hodges took over as Director of Music in 1992 we adopted our current name — The J Singers. Joyce was succeeded in 1999 by Joyce Peach (2000 to 2001). From 2002 to 2005, Director of Music Bill Young was the driving force behind several major charitable concerts, many of them held at Bridgwater Town Hall. He was followed by David Yates (2006 to 2007) and, briefly, by David Tilling.

During the nine years from 2008 to the end of 2014, Elaine Thorneycroft-Gibb took us through a new phase of musical development, increasing our professionalism and renewing our repertoire.

We are now enjoying the leadership of Sally Jenkins who took over as Director of Music in January 2015.
 


 
j singers photo

Wanted

We are currently recruiting new members, with or without experience! Interested? Contact us now for further information and a membership form.


the J Singers : singing seriously for pleasure since 1966 : www.jsingers.org/