Our summer concert of English choral music was held in the historic Collegiate church of St Mary, Warwick last Saturday, 6th July. It was a special day out for our singers and supporters, and it also introduced the choir to a new audience in Warwickshire.
The rehearsal gave us the chance to get used to singing in that big, airy space, accompanied by the grand piano, or the magnificent organ. Our gentlemen stood in the church’s semicircular choir stalls, and the sopranos and altos filled in the semicircle in front of the stalls.
The break between rehearsal and concert gave some the chance to explore the medieval Beauchamp chapel, with the magnificent tombs of three Earls.
The concert showed the full range of English choral music, from the purity of Stanford’s Blue Bird and folk song arrangements with piano, to the grand sound of Parry and Elgar with full choir and organ.
We sang music written by Tallis in the 16th Century and Purcell in the 17th century, right through to Bob Chilcott’s 21st century pieces.
Elgar’s Songs from the Bavarian Highlands showed a lighter side to the composer we thought we knew so well. A holiday souvenir with a difference!
Solo verses in the folk songs were sung by Mitch Holland and David Wynne, and Kevin Gill treated us to an organ solo: Stanford’s Postlude in D minor.
Finally, we sang Chilcott’s Irish Blessing as an encore. Singing it from memory made it feel extra special – a fitting end to our 2018/19 BFCS season.
Thanks to Peter Wright for the photographs of the choir.
Join us in the beautiful town of Warwick on 6th July for our summer concert, ‘The English Choral Tradition’. We will be singing in the magnificent church of St Mary, visible for miles around due to its tall tower. A church has a great history, having been on this site for 1000 years, and housing the splendid tombs of three Earls in its gothic Beauchamp Chapel. Our concert will take place in the 17th century nave, with its tall pillars creating a wonderful space for choral music.
Our concert comprises a beautiful selection of sacred and secular English choral music:
Elgar, Give Unto the Lord Elgar, Songs from the Bavarian Highlands Bairstow, Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence Stanford, Blue Bird Parry, Blest Pair of Sirens Tallis, O Lord, give thy Holy Spirit Tallis, If ye love me Purcell, Hear My Prayer Chilcott, Londonderry Air Chilcott, Irish Blessing
A selection of Folk Songs: Afton Water (arranged by Willcocks), The Oak and the Ash (arranged by Bairstow), The Turtle Dove (arr Vaughan Williams), Keel Row (arr Byrt), Ca’ The Yowes (arr Vaughan Williams)
Piano/organ: Kevin Gill Conductor: David Wynne
Click here for tickets to ‘The English Choral Tradition’.
The friendly Birmingham choir singing the world's best choral music.