bury  singing bach  since choir  1932
bury                                 singing bach                                 since  choir                                 1932

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03.11.2018
Bury Bach Choir
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Bury Bach Choir is active on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram To find out about joining the choir or coming to our concerts visit burybachchoir.co.uk
02.11.2018
Bury Bach Choir
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Welcoming back Valerie Reid. We’re delighted that our Co-President, Valerie Reid, will be singing with us at our concert on 10 November to commemorate the Armistice Centenary. Valerie, a mezzo soprano, will sing the gorgeous Pie Jesu from Duruflé’s Requiem. She says ‘This was one of the first pieces I learnt with my first teacher - Patricia MacMahon - at the Royal Scottish Academy. Although there is not a huge amount for the mezzo to sing it's the most beautifully written textural section of music in any requiem’. While studying singing at the Academy in Glasgow, Valerie won the Governor’s Recital Prize, two Caird Scholarships and the John Noble Award which, with further support from the Friends of Covent Garden, enabled her to undertake a year’s study at the National Opera Studio in London. She made her debut with English National Opera as Mercedes in the David Pountney production of Carmen, and this was followed by further appearances as 2nd Lady in Mozart’s The Magic Flute, 3rd Nymph in Rusalka, Maddalena in Rigoletto, The Lady in David Sawer’s acclaimed opera Morning to Midnight, Grimgerde in Die Walküre, which was also performed at the Glastonbury Festival, and Marcellina in The Marriage of Figaro. Other operatic appearances include Dorabella (Cosi Fan Tutte), Cherubino (The Marriage of Figaro), Charlotte (The Grand Duchess of Gerolstein) for Scottish Opera, Natasha in The Electrification of the Soviet Union for Music Theatre Wales, Carmen in Hong Kong, Rosina (The Barber of Seville) at the Festival de la Vézère in France, Krobyle in the Richard Strauss opera Des Esels Schatten with Sir Peter Ustinov at the Covent Garden Festival and Mrs Turner in Will Todd’s opera The Blackened Man at the Linbury Theatre, Covent Garden. Recent concert appearances include Mendelssohn’s Elijah in St Helier, Barbican Concert Hall, Truro Cathedral; Elgar’s Dream of Gerontius in Dunblane Cathedral, St Albans Abbey; Elgar’s Sea Pictures in Athens, Mahler’s 8th Symphony in Glasgow Royal Concert Hall and Midsummer Music with the English Sinfonia at Gibside. Valerie took the role of Glasha in David Alden’s production of Katya Kabanova at ENO and performed in Verdi’s Requiem in Birmingham and Mozart’s Requiem and Bach’s St John Passion in St Edmundsbury Cathedral. Valerie is Co-President of the Bury Bach Choir with her husband, renowned bass Graeme Danby, and they both sing with us regularly. She says ‘Being back with Bury Bach Choir means so much to me - Graeme will of course be with us in spirit from his Aida rehearsals in Dublin and I can report back about two of his pupils, Camilla [Jeppeson] and Tom [Asher]! The whole programme will warm the hearts of both audience and choir alike’. For tickets (priced at £25, £20 and £15) go to www.burybachchoir.co.uk or click here.
01.11.2018
Bury Bach Choir
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Listen to the choir as we prepare for 'War and Peace'. At a recent rehearsal we were visited by BBC Radio Suffolk, who recorded us as we prepared for our War and Peace concert in the Apex, Bury St Edmunds on Saturday 10 November at 7.30pm. To hear us, go to our website and click on the links near the top of the home page.  You'll learn more about the work we put in to prepare for our concerts, and the fun we have doing it.
29.10.2018
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Camilla Jeppeson sings with Bury Bach Choir on 10 November. Bury Bach Choir is delighted that Camilla Jeppeson is making a very welcome return to sing with us in the Apex at our "War and Peace" concert on 10 November, for the Armistice Centenary; she last sang with the choir in "The Glory of France", a concert of French music in St Edmundsbury Cathedral in June 2014. Camilla seems equally pleased: ‘I am very much looking forward to singing with the Bury Bach Choir again; they are a very welcoming choir and are such a pleasure to sing with’. Camilla will sing the hauntingly beautiful soprano solos in Vaughan Williams’ Dona Nobis Pacem – relatively short, but of pivotal importance to the piece. She says ‘The recurring plea for peace throughout the score is chameleon-like; at first ethereal, later sobering and solemn and ultimately heart-wrenching, especially so as we will be singing it on the eve of such a momentous anniversary’. Camilla studied as a pianist before training as a singer. After completing the Associated Studios Opera Course in London, she began studies with world-renowned bass Graeme Danby - the Choir’s Co-President, dubbed ‘the Great British Bass’ by BBC Music Magazine. Most recently, Camilla made her Italian debut as Lauretta in Gianni Schicchi, and her house debut at the Teatro del Giglio in Puccini's Tuscan home town, Lucca. Her operatic roles have included Blonde (Die Entführung aus den Serail), La Sagesse/Lucinde as part of the Grimeborn Opera Festival at the Arcola Theatre and Zerlina (Don Giovanni), for which Camilla received critical acclaim: ‘her “Batti, batti” was a highlight of Act 1’. Other engagements have included performances at the Royal Greenwich International Early Music Festival, an appearance with the Rameau Academy accompanied by Rob Howarth and performing as a soloist for Benslow Music's prestigious Baroque opera. Camilla enjoys chamber music, and this year has marked the inaugural UK tour of her voice and harp dup Voce47. The tour will culminate in a recital at St Bride’s Church, Fleet Street. Also in demand as an oratorio soloist and recitalist, Camilla has performed all across the UK including the Royal Festival Hall, Cadogan Hall, St Paul’s Cathedral and The Ritz. She says ‘Vaughan Williams' music has always struck a chord with me. I find his folk-like symphonic writings particularly peaceful and moving. Dona Nobis Pacem is no exception to this and I am thrilled to have the opportunity to sing the soprano solos for the Bury Bach Choir’. Other notable works Camilla has performed include Fauré’s Requiem, Mozart’s Requiem and Mass in C Minor, Rutter’s Magnificat and Jenkins’ The Armed Man. For tickets to "War and Peace" (priced at £25, £20 and £15) go to www.burybachchoir.co.uk or click here.
19.10.2018
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War and Peace – a concert to commemorate the Armistice Centenary. On 10 November the Bury Bach Choir will perform a concert for Remembrance weekend at The Apex, opening with Benjamin Britten’s Fanfare for St Edmundsbury, followed by Maurice Duruflé’s Requiem, and concluding, after the interval, with Vaughan Williams’ Dona Nobis Pacem. [see previous blog] Britten’s Fanfare for St Edmundsbury was composed in 1959 for the Pageant of Magna Carta in the grounds of the cathedral. It’s less than three minutes long, for three trumpets, which each play a short solo and then come together for an emphatic and thrilling finale. Because it is so short it is rarely performed, but its evocation of the Last Post, through the clarity of its trumpets, fits our theme beautifully. Maurice Duruflé Maurice Duruflé’s Requiem began as an organ mass during World War II, but after the death of his father, to whom it is dedicated, he changed it to a requiem mass, and it was published in 1947. Duruflé belongs to the tradition of French organist composers such as Widor and Vierne. He studied with Vierne at the Paris Conservatoire, and was his assistant at Notre Dame before becoming organist at St Etienne-du-Mont, one of Paris’s major parish churches, in 1930 - a position Duruflé held until his death in 1986. Duruflé was celebrated as a virtuoso recital organist – for example, he gave the première of Poulenc’s Organ Concerto in 1939 – and noted for his skills as an improviser. As a composer he was critical about his own compositions, publishing a few finely crafted works mainly for organ or choir, the longest and most famous of which is the Requiem. He wrote ‘I am incapable of adding anything to the piano repertoire, view the string quartet with apprehension and envisage with terror the idea of composing a song after the finished examples of Schubert, Fauré and Debussy.’ These composers, along with Ravel, were Duruflé’s main influences, and the Requiem, with melodies inspired by Gregorian chant to which the composer added his own luxuriant harmonies, evokes feelings of rest and peace, rather than the dramatic visions of hell and damnation inspired by other requiems. In a programme note written towards the end of his life, Duruflé commented that his Requiem ‘represents the idea of peace, of faith, and of hope’: very appropriate for a concert for Remembrance. At the performance on 10 November the Bury Bach Choir will be joined by our co-President, Valerie Reid (mezzo soprano), soprano Camilla Jeppeson, baritone Tom Asher and the Prometheus Orchestra. For tickets (priced at £25, £20 and £15) go to www.burybachchoir.co.uk or click here.
29.09.2018
Bury Bach Choir
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Vaughan Williams:  Dona Nobis Pacem On 10 November the Bury Bach Choir will sing Vaughan Williams’ hauntingly beautiful cantata Dona Nobis Pacem as part of our commemoration of the Armistice Centenary.   The concert is supported by the Vaughan Williams Charitable Trust. The cantata was commissioned in 1936 for the centenary of the Huddersfield Choral Society, and written amid growing fears of a new war in Europe.  The words come principally from the scriptures and the poetry of Walt Whitman, written during the American Civil War. Whitman’s poetry seems to have had a profound fascination for British composers in the early 20th century, including Delius (Seadrift), Vaughan Williams (A Sea Symphony) and Holst (Ode to Death).  In 1911 Vaughan Williams began to compose a setting for Whitman’s Dirge for two veterans, but perhaps because he felt it was insufficient on its own, he put it away for 25 years, when it emerged as the solemn fourth movement of Dona Nobis Pacem, describing the moonlit burial of a father and son killed in battle. Huddersfield Choral Society is one of the UK’s oldest amateur choirs, conducted at its centenary by Malcolm Sargent.  When Vaughan Williams discovered that Sargent was due to be touring Australia at the time of the centenary concert, he wrote saying that he would have to reconsider his decision to write the new work if anyone other than Sargent was to conduct it.  It seems Sargent talked him round, as DonaNobis Pacem was performed on 2 October 1936 with the Hallé Orchestra, conducted by Albert Coates.  Vaughan Williams was there, and according to the Society’s official history, he came on stage to acknowledge the applause ‘and counted it an honour to have it performed for the first time by such a distinguished company’. Bury Bach Choir has a direct link to that concert – the father of one of our current members was a member of the Huddersfield Choral Society and performed in the premier, and she is actually using his score for our concert!   Dona Nobis Pacem is performed less often than many other choral works, but received an acclaimed performance at this year’s BBC Proms, with the BBC Symphony Chorus and BBC Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Edward Gardner.   Its original orchestration is for a full orchestra and would be impossible to stage at The Apex, but in 2017 Jonathan Rathbone - formerly a choral scholar at Christ’s College, Cambridge and Music Director of the Swingle Singers, and currently director of several London choirs – composed a new arrangement for small orchestra, originally for King’s College, Cambridge, which we will perform on 10 November.  This has made the work accessible to many choirs while retaining all of its drama, power and beauty. For the other half of the concert we will perform Duruflé’s Requiem, another work of great beauty, which will be the subject of another post very soon; now published, click here to view. For tickets (priced at £25, £20 and £15) go to www.burybachchoir.co.uk or click here.
21.08.2018
Bury Bach Choir
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Calling all singers! If you love choral music, if you love singing, if you’ve just moved to the Suffolk and want to continue singing with a good choir, if you’ve never sung in a choir before but enjoy music, or can read music, or any combination of these, your time is now! The Bury Bach Choir will start rehearsals for our November concert on Wednesday 5 September at King Edward VI School in Bury St Edmunds.  We’ll be singing Vaughan Williams’ haunting Dona Nobis Pacem, which is new to the choir, and Duruflé’s Requiem, which the choir last sang in 2014.  Later in the year we will sing Bach’s St Matthew Passion and Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas. All you need to do is contact Linda, our New Members’ Secretary (see below), come along to two or three rehearsals to see if you like us, and if you want to join, you’ll be asked to do a short and simple voice check (no audition pieces, just scales and aural tests) with our Music Director, Philip Reed, mainly to ensure you sing in the correct section for your voice. We’re a friendly lot, with singers of all ages with busy lives – what brings us together is our love of singing, our enjoyment of the music and our desire to be the best we can be.  Our singing year is September to June, and we give four concerts a year at venues including The Apex, St Edmundsbury Cathedral, St Mary’s Church and Lavenham Church. Find out more from our website here, or contact our New Members’ Secretary, Linda Cleveley, on 01284 703348 or 07757 316553, or newmember@burybachchoir.co.uk.  We’ve already had several enquiries for this year, so you won’t be alone, and you will be very welcome!
26.05.2018
Bury Bach Choir
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Graeme Danby - the Great British Bass! We are delighted that Graeme Danby will join us at our performance of Haydn’s The Creation on 2 June, singing Raphael and Adam.  Widely recognised as one of Britain’s finest character basses, Graeme performs regularly in the major international opera houses.   It is our great privilege that he is also our Co President, with his wife Valerie Reid.  For the Royal Opera, Covent Garden, Graeme has sung:  Billy Jackrabbit, Charrington,  Gonzalo The Tempest, Second Armed Man, Casino Manager The Gambler and Il Sacristano Tosca. In over 200 appearances with English National Opera, Graeme has sung roles including Bartolo, Basilio, Collatinus, Dulcamara, Quince, Pistol, Pooh-Bah, Ribbing, Sacristan,  Sarastro; Snug and Somnus. Further UK engagements include Bartolo for Opera North and the Garsington Festival; Antonio for the Glyndebourne Festival; Collatus at the Buxton Festival;  Superintendent Budd (Albert Herring) for Opera North and Sacristan, Bosun (Billy Budd), Benedict (La Vie Parisienne) and Masetto for Scottish Opera. Graeme’s international engagements include Brag (Fairy Queen) at the Teatro Liceu; Somnus, Bartolo and Doctor Swallow with De Vlaamse Opera; Xuthus (Ion) at the Opera National du Rhin, Strasbourg; Snug (A Midsummer Night’s Dream) and the Big Boss/ Fyodor/Newspaper Seller (A Dog’s Heart) at the Teatro alla Scala, Milan and Parsons at the Palau Reina Sofia, Valencia. His recent engagements include: Carmen, The Passenger and Les Contes d’Hoffmann with English National Opera, Superintendent Budd (Albert Herring) and Ashby (Fanciulla del West) with Opera North and his debut with the LA Philharmonic.  He recently sang Quince in Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream in Tel Aviv and is currently appearing in the role in ENO’s production of the opera. Future engagements include Publio at the Salzburger Landestheater, Sacristan in Dublin and Don Magnifico (La Cenerentola) with Scottish Opera. Graeme Danby’s commercial recordings include: Lulu, A Masked Ball, The Magic Flute and Salome for Chandos’ Opera in English series; The Tempest for EMI and The Wandering Jew. The concert is on Saturday 2 June in St Edmundsbury Cathedral, Bury St Edmunds, starting at 7.30pm. Tickets are available from www.burybachchoir.co.uk and by phoning 01284 758000.
24.05.2018
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Christopher Turner - Tenor We’re delighted to welcome Christopher Turner back to Bury St Edmunds, singing the tenor role of Uriel in Haydn’s The Creation, which we are performing on 2 June at St Edmundsbury Cathedral. Born in Birmingham, Christopher read music at the University of Hull, furthering his studies with Barbara Robotham at the Royal Northern College of Music and at the National Opera Studio, where he was sponsored by the Scottish Endowment Trust and The Friends of Covent Garden.  He has received many prizes, including The Michael and Joyce Kennedy Prize for Singing Strauss, the Frederic Cox Prize, the Elizabeth Harwood Prize, and, most  recently, a Countess of Munster ‘Young Star’ Award and the Sybil Tutton Award from the Musicians Benevolent Fund.  He was also a major scholar of the Sir Peter Moores Foundation. Christopher made his professional début as Dr Blind Die Fledermaus for Scottish Opera On Tour before joining the Young Singers Programme at English National Opera, where his roles included Robert Wilson Doctor Atomic, First Armed Man/First Priest The Magic Flute, Beppe Pagliacci, Simpleton Boris Godunov, Spoletta Tosca, Pong Turandot and Messenger Aida. Since then he has sung Don Ottavio and Roderigo Otello (Opera North), Janek The Makropulos Case and Esquire Parsifal (English National Opera) Borsa Rigoletto and Pong Turandot (Scottish Opera), Dr Caius Falstaff (Opera Holland Park), Damon Acis and Galatea, Prunier La Rondine, and Iro The Return of Ulysses (Iford Arts), Albert Albert Herring (Mid Wales Opera) and Tebaldo I Capuleti e i Montecchi (Chelsea Opera Group).  His recordings include Aubrey Maria di Rohan and Keeper of the Tower of Siena Pia de Tolomei for Opera Rara. Christopher performs regularly in concert and his performance have taken him throughout the UK, as well as Europe and the Far East.  His repertoire includes Bach Christmas Oratorio, Magnificat and St Matthew Passion, Beethoven Symphony No. 9, Handel Jephtha, Judas Maccabaeus and Messiah, Haydn The Creation, Mozart Requiem and Rossini Petite Messe Solennelle. Recent engagements include Beethoven Symphony No. 9 with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra at the Royal Albert Hall and with the Philharmonia at the Lichfield Festival, and Mozart Requiem and Handel’s Messiah with the Orchestra of St John’s Smith Square. Plans include Ecclitico Il Mondo della Luna (English Touring Opera) and Apollo in Monteverdi's Orfeo (English National Opera) and Artemidoro in La Grotta di Trofonio (Bampton Classical Opera). The concert is on Saturday 2 June in St Edmundsbury Cathedral, Bury St Edmunds, starting at 7.30pm. Tickets are available from www.burybachchoir.co.uk and by phoning 01284 758000.
22.05.2018
Bury Bach Choir
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Sena Larard, soprano, sings Gabriel and Eve in The Creation Making a welcome return to the Bury Bach Choir for its performance of Haydn’s The Creation on 2 June, American soprano Sena Larard has always had a love of music making. Born in Charlottesville, Virginia,  Sena holds a Master’s degree in Vocal Performance from the City University of New York, where she studied with Patricia McCaffrey, and a Liberal Arts degree from Roanoke College with a cello major.  She has also studied vocal technique with Bill Schuman, Jonathan Papp and our own Graeme Danby – in this performance, she is singing Eve to his Adam, which will be a wonderful treat. If you can’t wait for the concert, you can hear Sena singing on the soundtrack of Mirette (towards the end of the trailer), a short film featuring Tom Conti and Miriam Margolyes, which has been selected as part of the 2018 Tribeca Film Festival and Nashville Film Festival.   Sena is also very proud of her young voice studio:  her most advanced students are singing in the Royal Opera House Children’s Chorus, The National Children’s Chorus and at Italia Conti School for the Performing Arts. Recent concert performances include Carl Orff 's Carmina Burana with the Conservatoire de Luxembourg, Haydn's The Creation at Cadogan Hall, Mozart’s Exsultate Jubilate, Haydn’s Nelson Mass, Schubert's Mass in E flat Major, Handel's Messiah and Mozart's Requiem in Ampleforth Abbey, Mozart's Coronation Mass in Newcastle, Brahms' Requiem with the English Arts Chorale, Bach's St John Passion in Arundel Cathedral and Handel's Dixit Dominus in Kingston.  Sena sang Purcell’s King Arthur with the Bury Bach Choir recently, and has also sung with the Ryedale Festival Orchestra, Essex Symphony Orchestra, and Suffolk Opera. Sena lives in London with her husband and two young children. The concert is on Saturday 2 June in St Edmundsbury Cathedral, Bury St Edmunds, starting at 7.30pm.  Tickets are available from www.burybachchoir.co.uk and by phoning 01284 758000.

Concerts

2018/19 Season

Saturday 15 December 2018

7.30pm

The Church of St Peter and St Paul, Lavenham

A Christmas Celebration

Tickets now on sale

Saturday 6 April 2019

6.30pm

St Edmundsbury Cathedral

Bach St Matthew Passion

Tickets now on sale

Saturday 15 June 2019

7.30pm

The Apex, Charter Square

Purcell Dido and Aeneas

Tickets now on sale

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