University of Plymouth Choral Society - with Alice Dennis inset

‘A festival of singing and rejoicing’: University of Plymouth Choral Society Christmas Concert

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Towards the end of the summer the University of Plymouth Choral Society appointed a new Musical Director to take over from Simon Ible, who had just retired after some seventeen years at the helm.

London’s Trinity College of Music graduate Alice Dennis, who has recently relocated to Penzance, after many years of living just north of Aberdeen, began her new appointment in September.

A trained-pianist and singer, Alice is also an experienced choral specialist, and directed the Haddo House Choral & Operatic Society since the early 90s. All the non-auditioned choirs she has led have gone on to win competitions at both local and national level, and she was awarded the BEM for Services to Music in Aberdeenshire in the Queen’s 90th Birthday Honours.

Always constrained by the relative shortness of university terms, Alice’s first public outing with the choir will be the annual Christmas Concert in Plymouth’s Minster Church of St Andrew, in little more than a month’s time.

A choir spokesperson said: “Enjoy uplifting music including the Christmas story featured in Part 1 of Handel’s Messiah that overflows with stirring choruses and evocative solo arias depicting the coming of the Christ Child. Surely this is what Christmas is all about – a festival of singing and rejoicing!”

And, of course, the audience will have their turn, too, with a number of traditional congregational carols to sing. Providing the accompaniment will be the University of Plymouth Sinfonia, and the usual array of professional soloists, to be confirmed shortly.

University of Plymouth Choral Society – Christmas Concert takes place on Saturday December 9, Minster Church of St Andrew at 7.30pm

Tickets £15 / £3 are available from 01752 585050, or by emailing

But if this doesn’t give you a sufficient Christmas fix, then the choir is in action again at the University Carol Service on Tuesday December 12 at 7.30pm in Plymouth’s Central Methodist Hall.

Philip R Buttall