Opus 32 was formed by Derek Boyne, the current Musical Director, to give young vocalists in Swale a forum in which to continue singing once they had left full-time education. Like most towns, Sittingbourne had an established Choral Society performing large Oratorios, but there were few opportunities available for the ‘lighter’ repertoire. Drawing on pupils, from Secondary Schools in Sittingbourne and Swale Music Centre, the first group of singers met on November 6th 2000 and Opus 32 was born.
21 years on and 1 of the original members is still performing with the choir, the maximum membership of which is 32 (8 singers per vocal part). 2015 saw the choir pass its 230th public performance which have included weekend tours in Shefford, Portsmouth and Blackpool and sell out concerts around Kent.
Opus 32 prides itself on the number of instrumentalists within the group, making it possible to stage a small Orchestra; Jazz Band and Folk Group at any given Concert. Additionally, the in-house expertise gained from our sound and lighting technicians allows Opus 32 to produce visually stimulating performances which are enthusiastically received by out supportive audiences.
Our repertoire is wide and varied, encompassing many musical genres and styles. Jazz standards are hugely popular, as are songs by Karl Jenkins and John Rutter. Equally you can expect to hear a song from ‘Spamalot’ or the like, such is our versatility making Opus 32 ‘A Choir for All Occasions’
Derek has been actively involved in music throughout his life. He played the violin in his School Orchestra and the Gosport and Fareham Youth Orchestra; played the piano; sang in the School Choir and the Barbershop Group. Whilst at Secondary School Derek performed his first vocal solo at the age of 18, in Faure’s Requiem. Although he studied R.E. at the Hertfordshire College of Higher Education, Derek had a free hand to develop his love of music – often at the expense of his studies! He produced H.M.S. Pinafore; set up a Barbershop Quartet;performed with the Welwyn City Players; staged Concerts and Revues and helped run the Folk Group. Although currently Opus 32 takes a tremendous amount of Derek’s time, he is also Musical Director of Encore in Sittingbourne directing the Senior Strings and Concert Band. Additionally he is accompanist for instrumental and vocal examinations and works through Kent as a piano tuner and technician.