Latest news

Messiah – the Centenary Performance

2nd December 2021, by Mark Lawrence

Following our hugely successful educational concert, Messiah – the Inside View, we are delighted to perform the full Handelian epic.  Join us with the CBSO and exceptional soloists at Symphony Hall on Friday 10th December at 7 pm for HANDEL’S MESSIAH.

This is our Centenary Year. The choir’s first concert took place on 28th November 1921.  Our third concert, on 18th December 1921 in Town Hall, was our first performance of Messiah.  Subsequent performances of Messiah took place in 1935 and 1936 and then, from 1943, it was sung between one and three times every year until now.  The only exception was in 2020 (owing to COVID-19 restrictions).  How delighted we are to be back again this year!

Please book tickets via this LINK or by visiting the B:Music box office online or in person.

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One Hundred Years Ago

3rd August 2021, by Mark Lawrence

This 28th November at 2.30 pm, 100 years to the day, in the Town Hall, join us for MESSIAH – The Inside View: A fun-filled family event where you can get to know Handel’s masterpiece in an easy and accessible way.  Cameras and a big screen will let you see what the orchestra and players are up to.  Tickets are just £5 and there’s even a family ticket for £15.


Here is the programme from the very first concert of the City of Birmingham Choir, 28th November 1921, given in the Town Hall.


Celebration of the Centenary

21st March 2021, by Mark Lawrence

Tonight, we webcast the Haydn@Home recordings of Haydn’s Nelson Mass which we recorded remotely in the autumn, preceded by a discussion between Conductor Adrian Lucas and Accompanist Colin Baines, and followed by a group of members talking about their experiences of being in the choir (ranging from 1 year to 50 years).

After this, members joined a Zoom Social to raise a glass or two to the choir.

Today (21st March) marks the 100th Anniversary of the first rehearsal of the then brand new City of Birmingham Choir on 21st March 1921.

21st March – Centenary begins

15th March 2021, by Mark Lawrence

On the 21st of March 1921, the newly formed City of Birmingham Choir gathered for the first time under the watchful eye of Director of Music Appleby Matthews to begin rehearsals of Rutland Boughton’s nativity opera ‘Bethlehem’. 100 years on, we cannot be together in person, but we will be marking the  occasion with a stream of our Haydn@Home performance. Please join us Sunday evening 21st March just before 7pm on Facebook.

Centenary starts…

8th March 2021, by Mark Lawrence

The start of the 1920’s was a milestone in Birmingham’s musical history when, in 1920 the City of Birmingham Orchestra (later the CBSO) gave their very first concert conducted by Sir Edward Elgar. Then, in 1921 the City of Birmingham Choir was formed to perform choral concerts with the orchestra as well as pursuing their own programme. 100 years later, both organisations are still going strong, despite having their relative centenaries disrupted by a global pandemic! How history repeats itself….

New year, new repertoire!

31st January 2021, by Mark Lawrence

Vaughan Williams

We have started rehearsing remotely again, marking our Centenary Year by rehearsing two works by Ralph Vaughan Williams which we have not performed in living memory. In Windsor Forest is an adaptation of Shakespeare songs from RVW’s opera Sir John in Love.  Paired with this is the more well-known Serenade to Music, written to celebrate Proms-founder Sir Henry Wood’s 50th anniversary as conductor.

We are enjoying getting to grips with this new territory and intend to bring you some performances in due course, as we did with our Haydn@Home and Carols for a Lockdown Christmas projects.

Happy Christmas from the City of Birmingham Choir

21st December 2020, by Mark Lawrence

We have enjoyed wonderful rehearsals and togetherness online this term. Although we have had no live concerts, our series of recordings of Haydn@Home and Music for a Lockdown Christmas is there for you on YouTube

We will be singing music by Vaughan Williams  starting in January. Maybe you would like to join the choir?
Until then, have a safe and restful Christmas. We hope your new year will be brighter as vaccines begin to filter through.  Eventually, we will perform live for you once again

Haydn@Home and Carols projects

14th December 2020, by Mark Lawrence

We have greatly enjoyed singing and recording movements from Haydn’s Nelson Mass, accompanied by orchestral players and all compiled by our conductor and recording engineer/producer, Adrian Lucas.

We are currently recording Christmas Carols for your delight.

You can find our recordings on our YouTube Channel at  City of Birmingham Choir – YouTube.

Happy Christmas from the City of Birmingham Choir!


Haydn@Home rehearsals start

31st August 2020, by Mark Lawrence

We are delighted that our Haydn@Home project starts on Tuesday 1st September. City of Birmingham Choir members will all return… to the new normal! We will rehearse online to produce an online concert on Saturday 7th November of music from Haydn’s Nelson Mass.

We will give you more details of the concert in due course.

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.