The sacred works we have performed in the Easter concert span nearly 500 years, from the 17th to the 21st centuries. From Monteverdi, through the Baroque masterpieces of Vivaldi and Bach, into the Classical world of Haydn and Schubert Masses, and Mozart’s Requiem and Mass in C Minor, through the larger Romantic choral works of Mendelssohn, Brahms, Rossini, Gounod, Puccini, Fauré and Bruckner, they have also included pieces by such 20th century composers as Poulenc, Tavener, Gorecki, Rutter and Jenkins. The choir’s repertoire is extremely varied and is always presenting its members with new challenges, such as the 2013 concert, in which we sang the World Première of Stephen Godward’s Requiem and in 2016 the second-ever performance of Michael Walsh’s Requiem. A full list of major works performed since 1983 is shown in our archive.
Our summer concert allows the choir to ‘let its hair down’ and perform lighter music from a wide range of sources. Selections from the most popular shows and musicals often take centre stage, e.g. Oklahoma, Carousel, South Pacific, Fiddler on the Roof, Les Miserables, The Sound of Music, the King and I, Jesus Christ Superstar, West Side Story, Phantom of the Opera, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat, Cats and Oliver have all delighted audiences over the years. Operetta excerpts have included the Merry Widow, Fledermaus and Orpheus in the Underworld, and Gilbert and Sullivan choruses are regularly enjoyed. Opera choruses have also featured on the programme: from Mozart, Mascagni and Bizet to Verdi, Wagner and Puccini.
Popular music is also part and parcel of the summer concert, from Lennon and McCartney to Burt Bacharach, from jazz and swing numbers to folk songs, spirituals and close harmony arrangements. There’s also a chance to offer your party piece – as a soloist, duet, barbershop quartet, etc – basically, anything musical goes!
Our Christmas concert is essentially a carol concert, so Christmas carols and other appropriate pieces from all ages and many countries are performed. But the programme often includes more substantial works, such as Handel’s Coronation Anthems and extracts from the Messiah, Parry’s Blest Pair of Sirens, Bruckner’s Motets, Mendelssohn’s Magnificat, and works by Duruflé, Holst, Vaughan-Williams, Haydn and Beethoven.