Latest news

Wonderful Town Hall concert

16th June 2015, by Mark Lawrence

We had a great concert… (14th June, Town Hall)…

Follow our Twitter and Facebook pages for more details.

Summer holiday now, but an exciting SEASON 2015-2016 to come.

Jazzy Joyfulness and World Premiere

26th May 2015, by Mark Lawrence

the rain queenWe are enjoying our jazzy rehearsals, and you will love our next concert on Sunday 14th May in Town Hall at 2.30 pm. We are rehearsing the delightful harmony of George Shearing’s Songs and Sonnets from Shakespeare, the popular and exciting Zimbe! by Alexander L’Estrange, and John Barber’s tuneful brand new commission, The Rain Queen.

john barber1When John Barber was 14 years old, he won a competition to compose a carol for the choir’s Christmas concert. It was the start of a long lasting relationship with the choir and John has been a choir member for many years. John is a professional pianist, composer, music teacher, and choral director. READ MORE.

And all that jazz…

17th May 2015, by Mark Lawrence

You will not fail to enjoy the exuberant Zimbe! Come sing the songs of Africa by Alexander L’Estrange. The City Choir, children’s choir, jazz ensemble and vocalist Joanna Forbes L’Estrange will fill the Town Hall with music on Sunday 14th June at 2.30 pm.
Also in that concert will be the delightful Songs and Sonnets from Shakespeare by jazz legend George Shearing, as well as the world premiere performance of The Rain Queen, specially composed by Birmingham musician and City Choir member, John Barber.
Buy your tickets now – don’t delay!

Thrilling Trumpet and Choral Splendour

4th May 2015, by Mark Lawrence

BUY YOUR TICKETS!
Only a short time to go now until our concert at Tewkesbury Abbey on Saturday 16th May!
The City of Birmingham Choir and organist Paul Carr, fresh from our recent tour to Paris, will be joined by renowned trumpet soloist Crispian Steele-Perkins for a splendid evening of music which you will enjoy.

Crispian Steele-Perkins

Crispian Steele-Perkins


Be it Bach’s Cantata 149 (with the famous chorale: Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring), Ralph Vaughan Williams’ wonderful Mass in G Minor, stirring organ and trumpet solos, or other fine choral works by Benjamin Britten, Orlando Gibbons or Samuel Wesley – there is a rich feast of music to delight in.

Buy your tickets on line until a couple of days before the concert, or via the Abbey shop or on the door on the day.

Our Paris Tour

8th April 2015, by Mark Lawrence

We have had a hugely successful and enjoyable tour to Paris (8th – 12th April). Follow our Twitter feed for the very latest comments.
Sunday 12th update… At Notre Dame
IMG_0736
Saturday 11th update… Soon to rehearse in Notre Dame.

Notre Dame

Notre Dame

In performance at St Germain des Pres

In performance at St Germain des Pres


Friday 10th update
Wow! What a concert! Everyone pulled together to make a glorious sound at St Germain des Pres with organist Paul Carr and conductor Adrian Lucas.

Pre-concert…
Many a City Choir chorister sitting in the small garden next to St Germain des Pres… Eating a picnic… Avoiding the pigeons…

Another resonant church, but this time the gothic architecture seems to focus and blend the sound more than at La Madeleine.

Rehearsal at St Germain des Pres

Rehearsal at St Germain des Pres

Thurs 9th update
A successful and well-attended free concert today at the impressive Parthenon-inspired La Madeleine church. An enormously resonant building! Plenty of applause from the appreciative audience.

Wed 8th update.
Well, the choir has arrived by Eurostar and settled into our hotel. Having sought a tasty evening meal, and the odd glass or two, we are girding our loins for our first concert tomorrow afternoon at the Madeleine church.
……….

Here is a link to more information about the tour.

16.00hrs Thursday 9th April 2015 – Eglise de La Madeleine
20.30hrs Friday 10th April 2015 – Abbaye St Germain des Pres
11.30hrs Sunday 12th April 2015 – International Mass – Cathedrale Notre Dame de Paris

Countdown to the Paris tour

4th April 2015, by Mark Lawrence

We are very excited by our forthcoming tour to Paris (8th – 12th April).

A large party of singers and supporters will set off to enjoy Parisian delights and to make fantastic music in the Madeleine and St Germain des Pres churches and the Cathedrale Notre Dame de Paris.

Notre Dame de Paris at dusk, people on docks

Here is a link to more information about the tour.

City of Birmingham Choir
Adrian Lucas – conductor
Paul Carr – organ

16.00hrs Thursday 9th April 2015 – Eglise de La Madeleine
20.30hrs Friday 10th April 2015 – Abbaye St Germain des Pres
11.30hrs Sunday 12th April 2015 – International Mass – Cathedrale Notre Dame de Paris

Our tour to Paris

15th March 2015, by Mark Lawrence

We are very excited by our forthcoming tour to Paris (8th – 12th April) which will include two concerts and Sunday morning mass in Notre Dame.

More details to follow, but here are the music programmes. Maybe you would like to whizz over to Paris and join the audience?

PROGRAMMES
Adrian Lucas – conductor
Paul Carr – organ

16.00hrs Thursday 9th April 2015 – Eglise de La Madeleine
O Clap your Hands – Gibbons
Kyrie – Mendelssohn
Organ: Impromptu from Pièces de Fantaisie – Vierne
Mass in G Minor – Vaughan Williams
Organ: Allegro giocoso: from Seven Improvisations – Saint-Saëns
Te Deum in C – Britten
Lord of the Dance – arr Willcocks

20.30hrs Friday 10th April 2015 – Abbaye St Germain des Pres
Te Deum in C – Britten
Christus Resurgens – Philips
Sanctus – Mendelssohn
Organ: Pièce d’Orgue BWV 572 – Bach
Mass in G Minor – Vaughan Williams
Organ: Choral Song and Fugue – SS Wesley
Ecce Ancilla Domini – Paul Drayton
In Exitu Israel – S Wesley
Lord of the Dance – arr Willcocks

11.30hrs Sunday 12th April 2015 – International Mass – Cathedrale Notre Dame de Paris
Ecce Ancilla Domini – Paul Drayton
Sanctus and Agnus Dei – Mass in G minor – Vaughan Williams
Christus Resurgens – Philips

Marvellous Messiah!

13th December 2014, by Mark Lawrence

2014-12-12 20.38.50Also read Birmingham Post. Struck by the prevailing bugs, I could not sing in Messiah but repaired to the Grand Tier. (I was last in the audience for a City Choir Messiah in 1984 whilst a student, so it was a rare opportunity to see what the paying public gets.)
What a fine performance! Throughout, delicacy, precision of tuning and diction, lightness of touch, agility, dynamic range, good balance between players and singers. Of course, Messiah is a marvel – Handel has written no “dud” numbers in this piece. There was good contrast between main themes and accompanimental semiquavers. The control of tempo and diminuendo at the moment of “the iniquity of us all” was very moving. My favourite moment, “If he delight in him” with staccato – which brought me to the choir in the first place – was consistently applied by all the voices. Even the semitone ascension that is “Since by man came death” stayed in tune.
When you know the work inside out, you also know to look for the pitfalls. I am delighted to say that this performance avoided them, with the exception of a lack of “sync” by fine soprano soloist Rhian Lois in her final aria. James Oxley, tenor, played a dramatic continuity role with movement and gesture (and excellent singing, mostly without a copy) helping to glue the “story” together. Bass George Humphreys also provided excellent recitative and arias (together with the Sound of a first rate Trumpet). Catherine Hopper, contralto, completed this good team. The small CBSO band, with continuo keyboard from Thomas Trotter and Alexander Mason, played with sensitivity and warmth.
Fine work by Adrian Lucas, choir, orchestra and soloists, deserving the warm and immediate applause after the final “Amen” from a very good sized audience in Symphony Hall. Pencil in your diary for Friday 4th December 2015 – don’t miss it.

Packed Symphony Hall twice in one day

22nd November 2014, by Mark Lawrence

WP_20141122_22_01_52_ProSpectacular Classics saw the City Choir and CBSO with conductor / compere Anthony Inglis entertain not one but two full houses.

Sitting in the cafe after the first performance, there was a happy hum of audience as well as the choir – refuelling for the evening performance.

Lasers, maroons, fireworks and streamers added to the excitement at the close of the 1812 Overture. Great feedback on Twitter. Also, super photos thanks to Dan Morrissey.

WP_20141122_22_02_27_ProAfter the evening concert… If anything even more warmly received by the audience. Great fun for all concerned.

Book now for our fabulous performance of Handel’s Messiah on Friday 12th December.

Choir celebrates Karl Jenkins’ 70th to a packed Symphony Hall

1st November 2014, by Mark Lawrence

unnamedWith the conductor and composer on the rostrum, the City of Birmingham Choir and Manchester Concert Orchestra celebrated Karl Jenkins’ 70th birthday in style. A rapturous audience applauded the popular programme of this composer’s works. The concert included movements from Adiemus, The Armed Man, Requiem, Stabat Mater and orchestral movements from the lyrical euphonium concerto played with panache by David Childs. The finale, Song of the Plains, received an encore of the final section. Read the review.

Book now for our superb performance of Handel’s Messiah.