East Oxford Community Choir (EOCC)

East Oxford Community Choir (EOCC) was founded in 1996 by dynamic Oxford
music teacher, Mel Houldershaw, who continues to direct and inspire its
programme and activity. Important back-up is given by Sarah Westcott, with
inputs from other members – in the spirit of a community choir.
EOCC performs frequently in Oxford, at the SJE arts venue in the If�ley Road,
St Mary and St John Church, Cowley Road, and occasionally in Abingdon and
other Oxford churches. The orchestra is specially assembled for these concerts,
which are expertly conducted by guest conductors, notably James Longstaffe and
Dexter Drown.
EOCC is a relatively small choir, but has often taken on major works from the
choral repertoire through its links with choirs in Oxford’s twin European cities.
The oldest of these is with Ensemble Vocal Interlude, Grenoble, a partnership
beginning in 2001. The two choirs hosted each other in alternate years inOxford
and Grenoble up until the Covid pandemic. Works they have sung together include
Mendelssohn’s St Paul, Haydn’s The Seasons, Elgar’s The Music Makers, and
Purcell’s Ode on St Cecilia’s Day. The intended 20th anniversary joint performance
of Haydn’s The Creation took place in Oxford in October 2021 by EOCC alone.
EOCC has also developed links with the choirs of the Carl-von-OssietzkyGymnasium and the Ernst-Moritz-Arndt-Gymnasium in Bonn. The original
intention was to sing Beethoven’s Mass in C in 2020, 250 years after the
composer’s birth, with the German partner choirs. Sadly, that plan had also to be
shelved. EOCC hopes that its valued musical partnerships with European choirs
and musicians will be able to resume in the near future.
EOCC normally meets on Sundays at 12:30 in St Mary and St John Church, Cowley
Road, where there is plenty of space for social distancing. For more information
visit the EOCC website, www.eastoxfordcommunitychoir.co.uk

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