Tim Davis and David Wynne were guests on Radio WMs Sonny and Shay programme this afternoon, talking about Birmingham Festival Choral Society, David’s new appointment as Music Director, and the forthcoming ‘Nocturne’ concert.
David was challenged to give Sonny some singing exercises and decide what voice part he was – the conclusion was 1st Bass! Tim managed to get in every last detail about the choir, history, website and rehearsals – well done!
A selection of choral gems, familiar and unfamiliar, with a “nocturnal” theme, interspersed with popular piano music by Chopin, feature in the concert by Birmingham Festival Choral Society on April 1st.
Among the best-known of these fine vocal works are John Tavener’s “Song to Athene”, which rose to fame in 1997 when performed at the funeral of Diana, Princess of Wales; a setting of the “Londonderry Air” by Bob Chilcott; and “Water Night” by the prolific American choral composer Eric Whitacre.
BFCS patron John Joubert, who celebrates his 90th birthday this March, and whose latest opera Jane Eyre received its premier performance last autumn, is represented by two part-songs, “There is no rose of such virtue” and “O Lorde, the maker of al thing”, the words of the latter being attributed to King Henry VIII.
Part songs by three British composers from an earlier era – Robert Lucas Pearsall, Hubert Parry and Edward Elgar – will also be heard, including Parry’s moving “Songs of Farewell”, well-known in the choral repertoire. Brahms’ sacred song “Geistliches Lied” and his secular “Vier Quartette”, together with Faure’s popular “Cantique de Jean Racine” also feature in the programme.
Many of these items will be performed a capella; for the remaining numbers the choir will be joined by regular accompanist Kevin Gill, who also provides an interlude with three of Chopin’s famous Nocturnes.
The concert marks a departure from the more typical repertoire of large-scale works, such as oratorios and masses, by the Society, which has been in existence since the 1840s. (Their next concert in June includes two hugely popular 20th Century works: Leonard Bernstein’s Chichester Psalms and Carl Orff’s “Carmina Burana”.)
More importantly, it introduces the Society’s newly appointed Music Director, David Wynne, a graduate of the Birmingham Conservatoire who has been active in teaching and conducting with both adult and junior choirs in the West Midlands and beyond.
The concert by Birmingham Festival Choral Society will take place on Saturday April 1st, commencing at 7.30pm, in the fine setting of St John’s and St Peter’s Church (Ladywood ARC), Darnley Road, Birmingham B16 8TF. Tickets (£14, students/under 16s £7) are available on the door before the concert, or beforehand from Ticket Source.
Post script: David Wynne and Tim Davis have been offered a slot on Radio WMs ‘Sunny & Shay’ programme between 3.30 and 4pm on Monday 20th March! They will be talking about David’s appointment as BFCS Music Director and the forthcoming concert.
Our concert on 1st April contains a wide variety of popular choral music, in keeping with our ‘Nocturne’ theme. This will be the first BFCS concert conducted by our new Music Director, David Wynne! We hope that you will be able to share it with us.
Frederic Chopin Three Nocturnes (Kevin Gill, piano)
Charles H.H.Parry Songs of Farewell (unaccompanied)
Have you made a New Year Resolution to join a choir? Come along to our free Open Rehearsal next Wednesday, 4th January and give us a try, with no obligation! We recommend arriving at 7pm, in order to find your way around and meet some singers before the rehearsal starts at 7.15pm. Please pass the message on to any prospective singers you know.
We are delighted to announce that David Wynne is to be our new Music Director.
David will take up his new post in January. It promises to be an exciting future!
David has been Music Director of the Ryton Chorale since 2013 and Arrow Vale Singers since 2012. He graduated from Birmingham Conservatoire with a Masters degree in Vocal and Operatic Performance (studying as a bass-baritone) and has been a soloist in both oratorio and opera. While at the Conservatoire he was awarded a scholarship to study choral conducting with the influential conductor Paul Spicer.
In addition to his conducting posts David is closely involved in educational work: he is co-founder of the St Chad’s Choral Outreach Programme in Birmingham, and teaches and conducts at the Birmingham Junior Conservatoire.
Further information will be found on the link below.
Come along at 7pm on Wednesday 7th September to sample a BFCS rehearsal, with no obligation! A very warm welcome awaits you. We meet at Lordswood Girls’ School, Knightlow Rd, Harborne, Birmingham B17 8QB.
The choir has just returned from a very successful tour to France, and is looking forward to preparing French music for our November concert. The major works in this concert will be the beautiful requiems by Faure and Durufle.
The friendly Birmingham choir singing the world's best choral music.