About the Choir

City of Birmingham Choir – great choral music for 100+ years

Dream of Gerontius, Town Hall, 1945

It was our Centenary in 2021 and 2022.  Since 1921, the City of Birmingham Choir has entertained audiences with a wide and adventurous repertoire.  Performing in historic Town Hall and in magnificent Symphony Hall, we have enjoyed a warm musical partnership with the city’s outstanding orchestra, the CBSO.  Even during the COVID-19 pandemic, the choir continued to rehearse and present performances online.  We have enjoyed rehearsing and performing together again as well as giving live concerts in Symphony Hall, Town Hall and Tewkesbury Abbey.

Read about the choir: History and Concert Archive.

Our Conductor and Musical Director is Adrian Lucas.  Adrian brings a wealth of experience as one of the country’s leading choral directors and conductors.

Composer, teacher, conductor and all-round versatile musician, Colin Baines is our Accompanist.

We have sung the major choral works as well as challenging newer compositions and a wide range of smaller scale music.  The standard of our performances draws consistent praise.

In Symphony Hall…

As well as the CBSO, we have worked with the Philharmonia, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, the Orchestra of the Swan, BBC Concert Orchestra, Birmingham Philharmonic Orchestra and Westminster Chamber Orchestra.  We joined the CBSO Chorus and CBSO for the much-praised centenary performances of Elgar’s Dream of Gerontius, The Apostles and The Kingdom.

We have performed some of the more intimate choral repertoire in ‘out of town’ venues such as Tewkesbury Abbey and Gloucester Cathedral.  Easter 2017 saw our second hugely successful and enjoyable overseas tour – singing Handel’s Messiah in the Stephansdom in Vienna – following a tour to Paris in April 2015.

A highly acclaimed performance of James MacMillan’s Seven Last Words from the Cross, our stylish annual Handel’s Messiah performances, collaborations with Birmingham Schools Symphony Orchestra (Walton’s Belshazzar’s Feast), Monteverdi’s Vespers of 1610 with period instruments – these are some highlights.  Amongst our 90th birthday celebrations was the ground-breaking Equinox concert bringing together musicians from many cultures. A Christmas Treats CD was recorded in the same year.

Exploring both more familiar territory (Handel, Bach, Monteverdi, Brahms, Mozart, Haydn, Elgar, Vaughan Williams, Holst, Britten, Finzi), and less well-known, (such as Samuel Wesley, Howells, Rautavaara, Kenneth Leighton and Jonathan Dove), we continue to plan enterprising programmes. In jazz mode, we enjoyed performing the popular Zimbe! and a new composition, The Rain Queen, by our own composer, John Barber.

Paris Tour 2015 - Notre Dame, Sunday am

Paris Tour 2015 – Notre Dame, Sunday am

We also perform for other organisations, including Raymond Gubbay – Spectacular Classics, Christmas Classics, Beethoven’s 9th, Mozart’s Requiem, Carmina Burana and Karl Jenkins conducting his own music to a packed Symphony Hall.

Conductor, Adrian Lucas

The Choir is committed to supporting choral music making and has participated in Making Music’s Adopt-a-music-creator scheme as well as running singing competitions and workshops for people of all ages.

We are proud to be an independent organisation promoting and financing major choral concerts with professional orchestras and soloists.

Thank you for coming to our concerts. We value your continued support.

The Choir is a member of 

The City of Birmingham Choir

Founded 1921. A company limited by guarantee. Company Registration Number 2081252 England. Registered Charity Number 1049684.

Honorary Patrons

The Lord Mayor of Birmingham

and Dr Christopher Robinson CBE CVO

President    Hugh Carslake

Musical Director Adrian Lucas

Accompanist   Colin Baines

Contact the choir here.

Board of Management 2022-2023

President Hugh Carslake
Chair Tricia Bowden
Deputy Chair Stella Thebridge
General Secretary Teri Siggins
Concerts Secretary Sue Ward
Treasurer David Pannell
Marketing Manager Aisling Maciver
Membership Secretary Jill Taylor
Past Chair Michael Toolan
Minutes secretary Kathy Carter

Other roles, not members of the Board

Tickets Janet Fleming
Librarian Dan Campbell
Christina Cooper
Recruitment Georgina Hardy
Presentation Colin Hutcheson
Supporters/Patrons Hannah Day
Voices from the City of Birmingham Choir John Franklin
Vocal Training Administrator Gillian Bullock
Dresses Administrator Janet Fleming
Concert Programmes Editor John Ellis
Annual Review / Archivist David Baxendale
Making Music Delegate Gwyn Williams
Social Media Editor Aisling Maciver
Website Editor Mark Lawrence
Website Creator Matthew Somerville

All officers of the choir give their time voluntarily.