The Singers joined forces with Michael Horner and his trio for a concert of fresh arrangements of old favourites including The Teddy Bears’ Picnic, I do like to be beside the seaside, My love is like a red, red rose and arrangements of folk songs for choir and jazz trio by Bob Chilcott.
An enthusiastic audience filled St Andrew’s Church in Melbourne for this light summer event and went away full of good tunes, sumptuous singing and pre-concert chat and drinks, as Singers’ concerts are more than just musical occasions!
The choir sounded on top form with bright and fulsome blend, and tackled some challenging repertoire with aplomb; in ending with Bob Chilcott’s Irish Blessing we paid tribute to our departing accompanist, Matthew Kelley, as he completes two years with us and Chelmsford Cathedral.
Saturday 1st July 2023 St Andrews Church, Melbourne, CM1 2DT
An evening of light music for a Summer’s evening performed by The Chelmsford Singers and the Michael Horner Trio featuring Jazz Folk Songs by Bob Chilcott and a feast of familiar tunes in varied arrangements – it promises to be fun!
The Chelmsford Singers recently took a brief visit to the Bavarian Highlands courtesy of Edward Elgar who set poems by his wife Alice following a holiday in the area: the songs give the choir an excellent opportunity to show their range and skill and the Singers brought them off with style and panache, accompanied very capably by their accompanist Matthew Kelley.
Attractive partsongs by Gustav Holst, setting largely unfamiliar texts, formed part of the programme along with imaginative folk-song arrangements by John Rutter, giving opportunities for each voice part to have solo lines and the other parts accompanied effectively and sensitively.
Two rarely-heard works by Armstrong Gibbs completed the choral offering: ‘How Happy the Lover’, a setting of words by Dryden in a pastiche contemporary style was followed by the ballad ‘Keith of Ravelston’ a dramatic miniature with demanding parts for the choir despite its brief length. Poems by John Clare and Arthur Shearly Cripps, read by choir members, offered a change of texture and organ solos by Amstrong Gibbs, played by James Davy, rounded out this evening of music for spring, sending the enthusiastic audience away with a light step!
Our next concert will be on Saturday 1 July, featuring music for choir and jazz trio including works by Bob Chilcott, John Rutter, and a feast of favourite songs in arrangements for a light-hearted Summer’s evening. Tickets available soon.
We begin rehearsals for our Spring Concert on Tuesday January 10th 2023. Looking forward to seeing you all ! It’s really good to see how we are progressing as a choir and James, our Music Director, is really looking forward to working on new repertoire in the new year, when we will be learning and rehearsing secular works by Rutter, Holst, Elgar, and Gibbs.
After four years without a major orchestral concert to prepare for, the Singers gave a sparkling and joyous account of A Time to Dance, an hour-long cantata by Alec Roth featuring the Chelmsford Singers, Chelmsford Cathedral Choir, four outstanding soloists and the Chelmsford Sinfonietta. Coupled with choral works by Herbert Howells (A Hymn for St Cecilia) and J S Bach (the rarely-heard Missa in F) the most recent item on the programme was a huge hit with audience and performers alike, all the more wonderfully for being an unfamiliar to nearly everyone involved – the presence of the original bass soloist added a connection to the work’s first performance in 2012. A triumphant evening that opened with a brass fanfare by Benjamin Britten, and passed through choral and vocal movements with stunning instrumental solos, ended with all of the singers downing their scores to sing and dance in a celebration of the return of music-making after the strictures of the pandemic.
Christmas is coming . . .
The next concert that the Singers will host is a programme of Christmas music, celebrating Ralph Vaughan Williams in his 150th anniversary year, featuring his Fantasia on Christmas Carols, along with choral classics and audience favourites with something for everyone. Do join us for that if you can!
Save Saturday 10th December . . .
Summer is coming to an end. The weather has been good. Holidays have been varied for many, with some members of Chelmsford Singers attending song schools, workshops and trips with different choirs. Some took part in the lighting of a beacon in Chelmsford to celebrate the Queen’s Jubilee, whilst others sang in Chelmsford High Street during the Chelmsford Fringe Festival. Other members have had a more relaxing summer break, enjoying the weather at home, spending time with family and friends, or just chilling in their space.
The thing that brings us together is our choir and for us all that starts again very soon, with rehearsals starting again on Tuesday, 6th September and we are looking forward to an exciting, and challenging start to the new singing year.
If you think you’d like to sing with us, why not come along to our rehearsal on Tuesday, 6th September at 7.30 at The Cathedral School, Victoria Road, Chelmsford.
Rehearsals for our Summer concert Music for Monarchs are coming on apace – we’ve been enjoying revisiting some old favourite pieces, including Britten’s Choral Dances from Gloriana, Parry’s coronation anthem I was glad, as well as less familiar works including a setting of Psalm 100 by HRH Prince Albert, and a brand-new arrangement of Greensleeves written for this concert by our musical director James Davy.
The mixture of music from the 16th century to the 20th is challenging but very rewarding and the concert will also feature pieces for organ and piano, including piano duets written for HM the Queen and her sister Princess Margaret. We hope that you can join us to hear the results!