Following the very successful visit of our French twinned choir at the beginning of July, and the marvellous concert we, and they, gave at the end of their week here, our new term begins on Saturday 8 September at Park Church, Wokingham Road, Reading at 10am. We will be beginning the preparation for our major concert next February when we will be singing some wonderful music by Haydn, Schultz and Rutter amongst others. After half term we will also be adding to our repertoire of Christmas music, ready to sing certainly at Reading Station (where we raise money for the hospice movement locally) and hopefully in the Oracle (where we raise money for the Air Ambulance). Do come and join us – we really welcome new singers 0f all ages and all levels of singing ability. Use the contact us link on this website to get in touch, or just turn up to a rehearsal!
Our next concert will be Friday 6 July at 7.30 in St James’ Church in The Forbury. We are thrilled that this concert welcomes our twinned French Choir, La Stephanelle, from St Etienne de Crossey, a lovely small town in the French Alps. We will be singing some fabulous songs, from madrigals to opera and show tunes. La Stephanelle have a marvellous a cappella repertoire for our delight from all sources. And together we will tackle some French classics from the thirties, forties and sixties.
Tickets are just £10, and are available from any choir member or from firstname.lastname@example.org
Our next Concert will be a joint performance with Reading Symphony Orchestra and South Chiltern Choral Society of the Verdi Requiem. This will take place In Reading’s marvellous Victorian Concert Hall on 24 March at 7.30pm. We will have four wonderful professional soloists. Tickets will be in short supply for this fantastic event; please contact any choir member to get one!
Our Christmas term events
We had a great time performing Beethoven’s Choral Symphony in Eton Hall with Windsor and Maidenhead Symphony Orchestra. It was a long wait until our Big Moment but so worthwhile when we saw the delight in the audience’s faces as the familiar theme emerged.
We gave two performances of a range of Christmas music in unusual venues in December. We sang first in The Oracle, Reading’s premier shopping mall where we have previously performed to considerable acclaim. We sang too in Reading Station, welcoming commuters home after their busy days at work. Both were great fun and provided needed support for two important local charities: Thames Valley Air Ambulance and Citizens Advice Reading.
Our fabulous July concert
Our wonderful audience, who made up in enthusiasm for what they lacked in numbers, were hugely enthusiastic about our concert. Martin Jones’ Suns and Skies and Clouds was sung with commitment, enthusiasm and a musicality the composer had only dared to hope for at our early rehearsals! John Rutter’s Sprig of Thyme is gorgeously written and we sang with all the sensitivity his beautiful settings of traditional songs demand. There was a particular bonus for everyone, choir and audience, in Martin’s solo piano playing and Matthew’s singing. It was a great night!
Our next concert is Saturday 25 November at Eton Hall – Beethoven 9th Symphony – ticket details will follow
We had a wonderful reaction from our near-capacity audience to our concert in February. The familiar music of the Vivaldi Gloria was beautifully sung by the choir and by our marvellous soloists, Harriet Kirk and Clare Young. Frances Jones added a special oboe line to Harriet’s solo, which was quite exquisite.
The choir’s singing of Rutter’s Psalmfest was as exciting and dynamic as even the composer would have wished. Harriet’s lovely mezzo voice was joined by the gorgeous tenor of Patrick Ashcroft, and the whole was accompanied by our very special instrumentalists – Simon Salisbury (flute), Barbara Salisbury (clarinet), Ben Hartley (percussion), Frances Jones (oboe) and of course Ian Westley (organ). Martin Jones played brilliantly throughout on piano in the first half and keyboard in the second. At times our director, Matthew Morgan looked as though he would explode from excitement, and the choir responded to his contagious enthusiasm. The audience loved it and their applause drew, unusually, an encore from the ensemble.
We can hardly wait for our next concert – 1 July – please put it in your diary now!
18 February sees our first major concert of the year. Under the direction of Matthew Morgan we will be singing John Rutter’s exciting arrangements of some well-known psalms Psalmfest and an old favourite Vivaldi’s Gloria.
With a strong line up of exciting professional soloists – Patrick Ashcroft, Harriet Kirk and Clare Young – and the choir in full voice, it will be an evening not to be missed! We will be performing at Caversham Heights Methodist Church, on Highmoor Road, at 7.30pm. For tickets, email Secretary@parenthesis.org.uk or ring 07968 728392. Just £10 each and free for under 16s
2016 saw our final concert with Valerie Hoppé. We sang Bob Chilcott’s St John Passion, and were joined again by Ian Westley as the Evangelist, John Rutter’s Gloria, and Howard Goodall’s Marlborough Canticles plus his arrangement of the 23rd Psalm. It was a very special occasion for the choir and for Valerie – everyone present found Chilcott’s St John Passion to be very moving, and the Rutter Gloria thrilling.
In the summer we had the new experience of singing in Reading’s Oracle centre. The choir emerged from the shoppers to Goodall’s The Lord is my Shepherd and proceeded with a selection of much loved songs, to the delight of passers-by. We hope to repeat the experience on 3 September. Do come along at around 10.30!
This Christmas will see us singing for the supper of some very good causes, mostly for the Duchess of Kent Hospice and Sue Ryder. You can find us at Reading Station and at Sainsbury’s in Calcot. We will also be singing for specially invited audiences at their various seasonal celebrations.
Our concert in April 2015, at Caversham Heights Methodist Church, was ambitious and wonderfully successful! We sang a large selection of movements from Handel’s Messiah in the first half, linked with a narration drawn from the texts that inspired each one. Our two female soloists, Clare Young and Linda Sprague, sang breathtakingly well and the audience was very appreciative.
In the second half we sang Howard Goodall’s Eternal Light. Though new to most of the audience it proved to be powerful and moving. The choir loved it, and that showed in the performance which achieved heights we had only dared to hope we might reach. Our lady soloists were joined by Ian Westley, who was magnificent. Martin Jones accompanied us beautifully throughout.
Early in 2014, we presented a concert at Caversham Heights Methodist Church. We sang John Rutter’s Magnificat, and some specially arranged spirituals for tenor soloist and choir. Our tenor soloist was Ian Westley and our soprano soloist was Nicola Wydenbach.
In May 2014, we gave two concerts in France, with our twinned choir.
In June 2014, we held an informal supper concert, for an invited audience, at the Crescent Centre in Earley, where we sang a selection of English, French and American popular songs.
In December 2014, we performed in Farnham with Voices Together, a large community choir, where we sang some new jazz carols as well as Randall Thompson’s Choose Something like a Star, and Berlioz Shepherds’ Farewell. We also performed twice for Sue Ryder and the Duchess of Kent hospice, at Reading Station and at SavaCentre.