Birmingham Festival Choral Society is delighted to be joined by a constellation of musical stars to lift our performance of ‘The Creation’ to the heavens.
Alexandra Eve Wynne enjoys a busy freelance music career, singing regularly as an oratorio soloist. For BFCS, she stepped in at very short notice as soprano soloist in Mendelssohn’s Elijah last November. She joined the choir as soloist on their last tour to Romania in 2019, and is looking forward to doing so again in Germany in May 2023.
Alexandra is a dedicated teacher, holding posts at Royal Birmingham Conservatoire Junior Department, King Edward VI Five Ways, and Elmhurst Ballet School (in association with Birmingham Royal Ballet). She is the founder of Choirs at Work Ltd, an award-winning company providing choral training for wellbeing and team building to organisations across the UK. As a choral director at Royal Birmingham Conservatoire Junior Department, she works with the intermediate choir, for 8-14 year olds.
Dale Harris (tenor) has been freelance singing for 10 years and performing both at home and abroad, notably with the Royal Shakespeare Company. The most recent production, The Comedy of Errors, spanned the majority of 2021. Dale spends much of his remaining time performing in Opera and Operetta, including an array of Gilbert and Sullivan shows and recently in Mozart’s Magic Flute, La Traviatta (Gaston) and Puccini’s Tosca (Spoletta). His 2023, diary is filling fast, with Carmen, Don Giovanni, and Dvorak’s Stabat Mater of particular note.
Midlands-born baritone, Edward Robinson, has a passion for opera which has led to performances in a number of innovative productions during his career. He also has a busy schedule on the concert platform, singing as guest soloist in many choral works.
Over the last 5 years Edward has become increasingly sought after as a Vocal Animateur and Workshop Facilitator. Through his work with Pimlico Opera’s scheme “Primary Robins”, Edward delivers 16 sessions a week introducing opera, folk and musical theatre to inner city students from Manchester schools in areas of high deprivation. Edward has also led both primary and secondary projects for Leeds Lieder Festival, working alongside musicians and poets to present Art Song to new audiences. Alongside pianist Rachel Fright, he is an associate artist for the organisations Live Music Now and SoundUp Arts, leading performances and workshops at special schools as well as for people living with dementia across the North East.
Kevin Gill (chamber organ) is BFCS’s
regular accompanist. As well as running a private teaching practice he has frequently given organ recitals in and around Birmingham, as well as piano duet recitals.
Kevin has accompanied BFCS concerts in many churches, cathedrals and concert halls in Birmingham and the wider Midlands, and on tours of Belgium, Holland, Slovenia, Estonia, Slovakia, Ireland, Burgundy, and most recently Romania.
Kevin has accompanied various choral societies in a wide range of choral works, and in January 2008 was appointed Musical Director of Atherstone Choral Society.
David Wynne enjoys a hugely varied career as a freelance musician. As a conductor, David is Music Director of Birmingham Festival Choral Society, Coventry Philharmonic Society and Warwick and Kenilworth Choral Society.
David holds a masters degree in Vocal and Operatic performance from the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire and is a busy freelance baritone soloist. David is a visiting lecturer at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire Junior Department teaching singing, conducting and musicianship, and is Choral Director of the senior chorus and the vocal ensemble.
David and his wife Alexandra co-founded the St Chad’s Cathedral Junior Choir and the extensive Choral Outreach Programme which sees them teaching choral singing to approximately 500 children a year across Birmingham.
Central England Camerata, founded by freelance violinist Anna Downes in 2013, has become one of the most sought-after chamber orchestras in the central region of the UK. It now works regularly with Hereford Cathedral Chamber Choir, Ledbury Choral Society, Derby Choral Union, Warwick and Kenilworth Choral Society, Birmingham Festival Choral Society, the Choirs of Southwell Minster, and Cantores Chamber Choir.
CEC is made up of professional musicians who freelance in many top orchestras. It has appeared at music festivals across the UK, touring with Andrew Downes’ Ballad of St Kenelm. In August 2017 CEC performed a series of film music concerts at Moseley’s Lord of the Rings Festival. In 2020/21, CEC made several professional recordings of the music of Andrew Downes: Festival Overture to St Cere, Toccata for Small Orchestra, Symphony no 6, and the Christmas Cantata. In August 2022, the orchestra recorded Downes’ brand new Violin Concerto with soloist Rupert Marshall-Luck, and the live première is planned for Spring 2024.