The Cheltenham Bach Choir is to hold a special Spring Festival, the ‘Festival of the Baroque’, next year as part of the celebrations of the choir’s 70th Anniversary. The three day festival focused on Baroque music will be held at various venues in Cheltenham between 31st March and 2nd April 2017, with a performance of Bach’s St. Matthew Passion as its centrepiece. The festival will also include a new competition for young professional singers of Baroque music, and a performance of Bach Partitas for solo violin.
Susan Gargett, Chair of the choir, said “The Cheltenham Bach Choir has much to celebrate this year as it reaches the seventieth anniversary of its foundation. The Spring Festival will provide a wonderful opportunity to mark the anniversary with three days of outstanding Baroque music making.”
David Crown, Music Director of the Cheltenham Bach Choir added “The Singing Competition is an exciting new venture for the choir. It’s aimed at young professional singers of Baroque music from around the country, and will give the audience in Cheltenham an opportunity to hear some of the best of the UK’s newest voices”.
The full programme for the choir in this its 70th Anniversary Season is:
• November 20th 2016 – Mozart Requiem and Handel Dixit Dominus. At Cheltenham Town Hall. Soloists: Llio Evans (soprano), Kate Woolveridge (mezzo-soprano), Robin Bailey (tenor), and John Savournin (bass). With the Regency Sinfonia.
• December 17th 2016 – Christmas Concert with the Onyx Brass Ensemble. At Cheltenham College Chapel.
• March 31st- April 2nd 2017 – Spring Festival of the Baroque.
o Singing Competition for young professional singers. At the Prince Michael Hall, Cheltenham.
o Bach St Matthew Passion. At Cheltenham Town Hall. With Nick Pritchard (Evangelist), and the Musical and Amicable Society Baroque Orchestra.
o Bach Partitas for solo violin, performed by Benjamin Baker. At the Prince Michael Hall, Cheltenham.
• June 24th 2017 – 70th Birthday concert. A programme of Bach and more. At Christchurch, Cheltenham.
All the choral concerts will be conducted by David Crown, the Cheltenham Bach Choir’s Director of Music.
For more information visit the choir’s website www.cheltbachchoir.com .
Note for editors:
The Cheltenham Bach Choir (CBC) was founded in 1946. It is one of the foremost choral societies in the South West of England, with a wide-ranging repertoire covering music from the 16th to the 21st centuries. The choir performs regularly in Cheltenham, Gloucester, Tewkesbury, and at venues in the surrounding area. Thanks to its reputation, the Cheltenham Bach Choir has been invited to take part in many prestigious events further afield, including Carmina Burana at the BBC Proms, an Opera Gala in Symphony Hall, Birmingham with the Hallé Choir, and regular appearances at the Cheltenham International Music Festival. It also holds regular exchange visits with the Göttinger Stadtkantorei in Germany. The choir’s patron is HRH The Princess Royal.
David Crown is the Music Director of the Cheltenham Bach Choir; he is also Music Director of the Oxford Bach Choir, and Oxford’s vOx Chamber Choir. After studying in Cambridge, where he was a choral scholar at King’s College, David embarked on a career as soloist in opera and oratorio winning several competitions and working with some of the world’s foremost musicians. He has also built a considerable reputation as a singing teacher and now teaches at Oxford University. David was Director of Music at Somerville College, Oxford from 2006-2015 building the choir to one of the most highly regarded mixed choirs in the university, gaining many accolades for their performances in the UK and abroad. As Music Director of the Reading Phoenix Choir he took them to the finals of both the BBC Choir of the Year and the Cork International Choral Festival.