About the Choir
City of Birmingham Choir – performing great choral music for 100 years
It is our Centenary in 2021. 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 has continued to rehearse and record performances online. We are looking forward to rehearsing and performing together again in the autumn of 2021.
Read about the choir’s history: History and 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 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.
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 The 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 in 2017), 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, 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. June 2015, saw us in jazz mode, performing the popular Zimbe! and a new composition, The Rain Queen, by our own composer, John Barber.
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.
The Choir is committed to supporting choral music making and has participated in Making Music’s Adopt-a-composer 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.
The City of Birmingham Choir
The Lord Mayor of Birmingham
President Hugh Carslake
Musical Director Adrian Lucas
Accompanist Colin Baines
Contact the choir here.
Board of Management 2020-2021
|Chairman||Michael Toolan (bass)|
|Deputy Chairman||Tricia Bowden (alto)|
|General Secretary||Teri Siggins (alto)|
|Concerts Secretary||Sue Ward (soprano)|
|Treasurer||David Pannell (tenor)|
|Marketing Manager||Su Whale (alto)|
|Membership Secretary||Jill Taylor (soprano)|
|Development Forum Manager||Victoria Wilcher (alto)|
|ex-Chairman||John Ellis (tenor)|
Other roles, not members of the Board
|Tickets||Janet Fleming (soprano)|
|Librarian||Susan Franklin (alto)|
|Recruitment||Georgina Hardy (soprano)|
|Presentation||Colin Hutcheson (tenor)|
|Supporters/Patrons||Hannah Day (soprano)|
|Voices from the City of Birmingham Choir||John Franklin (tenor)|
|Vocal Training Administrator||Gillian Bullock|
|Dresses Administrator||Ann Peach (soprano)|
|Concert Programmes Editor||John Ellis (tenor)|
|Annual Review / Archivist||David Baxendale (bass)|
|Making Music Delegate||Gwyn Williams (bass)|
|Website Editor||Mark Lawrence (bass)|
|Website Creator||Matthew Somerville (bass)|
All officers of the choir give their time voluntarily.