A clarinet choir is an ensemble consisting entirely of instruments from the clarinet family. Alongside the standard Bb Clarinet, the choir includes Eb, Alto, Bass, Contra-Alto and Contra- Bass Clarinets. The resulting sound is quite unique, full and surprisingly varied, and is the equivalent of the string orchestra. Although dating back to the 1920′s, the format gained momentum in America in the 1950′s and is still very popular there and in Europe. In Britain it is a little less common, but gaining in popularity.
The South Wales Clarinet Choir was formed in 2005 by Dominic Codera and Howard Braithwaite. Benefitting initially from the support of notable clarinettists Leslie Craven and Peter Fielding, the Group has gone from strength to strength, particularly from 2009 when Lynda Jeffery took over as Musical Director. The Choir now numbers 20 musicians covering the full range of instruments and includes professional clarinettists, music teachers and accomplished players.
The South Wales Clarinet Choir perform on a regular basis across South Wales. Venues include the Millennium Centre, Welsh Proms Fringe performances at St David’s Hall, Norwegian Church, Arts Festivals, Swansea Waterfront Museum, Churches, and at the National Clarinet Convention held annually at Cardiff University.
In 2011 SWCC were delighted to be broadcast from Hoddinot Hall at the Wales Millennium Centre for BBC Radio 3.
SWCC’s repertoire is varied, ranging from Baroque to the present day, and includes arrangements of popular pieces together with original compositions.
SWCC have been very fortunate to have works composed especially for them by the distinguished composers Mervyn Burtch and Luke Whitlock.