Latest news

An Update

15th March 2020, by Mark Lawrence

In Symphony Hall…

We gave an excellent performance of Carmina Burana yesterday in Symphony Hall with the London Concert Orchestra and soloists directed by our conductor Adrian Lucas. Our choir was somewhat fewer in numbers than expected owing to illness and the general COVID-19 situation. However, those present really stepped up to the mark and sang their hearts out.
We have our friends in mind who were unable to be there.

We will post updates to the future programme on this page.

In the meantime, we wish all of our choristers, supporters and friends good health. Take sensible precautions to preserve your health and that of those around you. Keep enjoying music by listening to BBC Radio 3 or Classic FM or the many online apps. Do support those who make their living from music as they are approaching a very difficult few months.

Happy New Year!

6th January 2020, by Mark Lawrence

A happy new year 2020 – the 99th year of the City of Birmingham Choir.

Look out for our exciting events in 2020. If you would like, come to our Welcome Rehearsal on Tuesday 7th January. 2020-01_WelcomeRehearsal

We have the high-energy Carmina Burana coming up on 14th March in Symphony Hall. At the same time, we will be preparing for our tour to Prague, performing Handel’s Messiah and taking part in a Sunday mass.

Then on 9th May,  at the Elgar Concert Hall, a truly wonderful programme of British and European choral mini-masterpieces from Monteverdi, Byrd, Handel, Mendelssohn, centred round two absolute classics by William Harris – Faire is the Heaven and Bring Us, O Lord God at Our Last Awakening.

Check back soon for ticket details.

Happy Christmas

24th December 2019, by Mark Lawrence


All of us in the City of Birmingham Choir would like to wish you a very happy Christmas. Following our busy autumn of concerts including last weekend’s Christmas Cracker with Aled Jones, we have one more concert in 2019. Beethoven’s Ninth is on Monday 30th December at 7.30 pm.

Then a happy new year 2020 – the 99th year of our choir.

Look out for our exciting events in 2020. If you would like, come to our Welcome Rehearsal on Tuesday 7th January. 2020-01_WelcomeRehearsal

Magnificent Mass in Blue and Fab Freedom!

17th November 2019, by Mark Lawrence

Call Me Al quintet with Alexander and Joanna Forbes L’Estrange, backstage at the Mass in Blue concert

An exuberant and exhilarating concert today with Alexander and Joanna Forbes L’Estrange and their band, ‘Call me Al’, saw the City of Birmingham Choir under Adrian Lucas perform Will Todd’s Mass in Blue and the L’Estranges’ Freedom: the Power of Song. Tremendous instrumental playing and soprano vocals added to the children’s choir and the City Choir. A great afternoon hugely enjoyed by the audience.

Now we want to remind you of HANDEL’S MESSIAH, also featuring our orchestral friends, the CBSO. Be there for your baroque treat on Friday 6th December.

A CHRISTMAS CRACKER is our Christmas concert with guest presenter ALED JONES on Saturday afternoon, 21st December. Our final Symphony Hall concert of 2019 will be BEETHOVEN’S NINTH, in conjunction with our friends in Birmingham Choral Union.

Visit or CONCERTS page to see more and to book online.

Jazz, Spectaculars and Glorious Handel!

30th September 2019, by Mark Lawrence

What a fine and varied music autumn the City of Birmingham Choir’s CONCERTS are presenting this year!

Our tradition of SPECTACULAR CLASSICS returns for two performances of much-loved music on Saturday 9th November in Symphony Hall.

Sunday November 17th sees our jazzy afternoon at the wonderful Elgar Concert Hall featuring the highly popular MASS IN BLUE by Will Todd as well as the new FREEDOM! by Alexander and Joanna Forbes L’Estrange (who will be performing with us).

Symphony Hall is also the setting for our annual and wonderful HANDEL’S MESSIAH, also featuring our orchestral friends, the CBSO. Be there for your baroque treat on Friday 4th December.

A CHRISTMAS CRACKER is our Christmas concert with guest presenter ALED JONES on Saturday afternoon, 21st December. Our final Symphony Hall concert of 2019 will be BEETHOVEN’S NINTH, in conjunction with our friends in Birmingham Choral Union.

Visit or CONCERTS page to see more and to book online.

Autumn Tickets now on Sale

18th July 2019, by Mark Lawrence

We are delighted that all our autumn 2019 concert tickets are now on sale. Our own wonderful concerts include the renowned, uplifting, jazzy Mass in Blue by Will Todd, paired with the new cantata Freedom! by Alexander and Joanna Forbes L’Estrange. Then we welcome you to Handel’s Messiah with the CBSO – which we are the experts at performing. We have a track record of nearly 100 years of performances of this masterpiece, yet always keeping our concert fresh and vivacious.

Head to our CONCERTS pages for more details and how to book tickets.

We are also pleased to perform in Spectacular Classics, Christmas Cracker and Beethoven’s Ninth.

If you fancy joining the choir, come along to our rehearsal on Tuesday 3rd September and find out more.

Have a lovely summer!

14th May 2019, by Mark Lawrence


Visiting the Royal Festival Hall on London’s Southbank, we partnered with London Philharmonic Choir, the outstanding Philharmonia Orchestra, superb soloists and conductor Andrew Nethsingha. We were blown away by Federico Colli’s performance of Rachmaninov’s 2nd Piano Concerto and then, according to audience members, gave a performance of Carmina Burana worthy of a standing ovation.
Now we have a rest until our first rehearsal on Tuesday 3rd September. Have a lovely summer!

Royal Festival Hall, here we come!

6th May 2019, by Mark Lawrence


We are delighted to be singing in the Royal Festival Hall on Friday 10th May, along with distinguished partners the London Philharmonic Choir, Trinity Boys Choir and the wonderful Philharmonia, all under the baton of our good friend Andrew Nethsingha.
We had a great rehearsal with Andrew last week and are looking forward to the concert.
There are a few tickets left for Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana and Rachmaninov’s 2nd Piano Concerto.

After ‘Ruht wohl’ comes ‘O fortuna’!

7th April 2019, by Mark Lawrence

Thank you to our wonderful audience at Tewkesbury Abbey on Saturday evening for supporting our marvellous concert of Bach’s St John Passion. Our efforts at mastering the German text and singing with lightness of touch were put to good effect with the splendid players of the Westminster Chamber Orchestra along with organ, cello and theorbo continuo and guest viola da gamba player.  Our team of soloists, led by Bradley Smith as a most impressive high tenor evangelist, were absolutely first rate. Well done to our musical director, Adrian Lucas, for bringing together all these performers in such a successful way.

Now in a quick turnaround, we focus our attention on our forthcoming visit to the Royal Festival Hall for Carl Orff’s ever -popular Carmina Burana on Friday 10th May. We hope to see you there.

Bach’s St John Passion

13th January 2019, by Mark Lawrence

Tickets are on sale for Bach’s marvellous St John Passion, which we will perform in Tewkesbury Abbey on Saturday 6th April.

Adrian Lucas

Our Musical Director, Adrian Lucas, writes:
‘The elegant sophistication of Bach’s music reached its peak in his two great settings of the passion – the story of Christ’s betrayal, imprisonment and crucifixion. While the St Matthew Passion is of truly massive scale in terms of resources and sheer length, the St John Passion is more modest in its conception, yet it contains some of the most beautiful and lyrical moments of his entire output. Read the rest of this entry »