Saturday 9 December 2017, 7.30pm, St Mary’s Church, Kippington, Sevenoaks
Our next concert is on Saturday 9 December at St. Mary’s Church, Kippington, Sevenoaks. This is a Christmas concert including John Rutter’s Magnificat, and music by Poulenc, Bach, Mendelssohn and more. The Magnificat is an uplifting piece, combining many colourful styles, from sections full of lively energy to moments of peaceful reflection; and it includes the lovely setting of the old English poem ‘Of a Rose’. Robin Walker will conduct and our organist for the evening will be Riccardo Bonci.
The centrepiece of our summer concert was the Solstice of Light, Peter Maxwell Davies’ Cantata for tenor, choir and organ. Its fourteen movements form a poetic history of Orkney with beautiful melodic moments and some wonderful harmony. This highly evocative piece was performed as the long light of June lasted into the evening making it a very special occasion.
We also be presented a wonderful setting of Shakespeare’s song from Cymbeline, Fear No More, by Jonas Magnussen, being performed for the first time in the UK, as well as two pieces by New Zealand composer Paul Newton-Jackson.
We were joined by special guests, tenor William Searle and organist Ian Shaw. William performed a beautiful selection of English solo songs as well as the tenor role in Solstice of Light. Ian played an organ solo during the first part of the concert as well as performing the fantastic, virtuoso solo sections in Solstice of Light.
Strawberries and drinks were at 6.30pm in the Churchyard and the concert followed at 7.00pm.
Saturday March 4th 2017 – St. Martin’s Church, Brasted.
The choir performed a capella music full of melody and luscious harmony by Mendelssohn, Elgar, Vaughan Williams and Britten, while our special guest soloist Philippa Mo played a range of pieces for the violin.
Two of Mendelssohn’s motets for eight-part choir opened the concert. Philippa then played two pieces for violin by German Romantic composer Rheinberger; she was accompanied on the organ by Robin Walker. Britten’s Five Flower Songs followed, fascinating settings of works by poets such as Herrick and Clare. Philippa then performed a new work by Frederick Frahm Grendel’s Soliloquy. Closing the first half was Sir Edward Elgar’s famous Nimrod, arranged for choir and set to the text Lux Aeterna.
The second half was a feast of Vaughan Williams, opening with The Lark Ascending. The choir then performed the composer’s Mass in G minor for double choir and soloists, a truly great work of the English 20th century choral tradition.
With guest conductor Riccardo Bonci and organist Iestyn Evans.
Our Christmas programme will feature carols, old and new. From Wassail song to Wishart, with Bach, Vaughan Williams and Rutter, and, of course, we hope you will join with us to sing our favourite carols together!
This year we are delighted to be performing with our very special guest soloist – Matilda Lloyd on trumpet. Matilda won the brass section of the BBC Musician of the year in 2014 and made her Proms solo debut this year with the BBC Philharmonic; she has also played with the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields for the Classic FM Live concert at the Royal Albert Hall and she has appeared on In Tune on Radio 3. She works with a variety of orchestras and she currently reads music at Trinity College, Cambridge and studies the trumpet with Mark David, Head of Brass at the Royal Academy of Music, London. She will be joining us to perform many well-known carols and she will be playing solo pieces including Bach’s Concerto in D Major after Vivaldi.
For a glorious, sparkling start to the Christmas season do come and join us!
Tickets are £15 including refreshment and are available at Sevenoaks Bookshop or online and by phone from Brown Paper Tickets on www.bpt.me and 0800 411 8881. They will also available from members of the choir.
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Ian Shaw studied at Cambridge, where he was Organ Scholar of St John’s College. He was also a John Stewart of Rannoch Scholar in Sacred Music at the Sweelinck Conservatorium in Amsterdam and at Goldsmiths College in London. He has been Sub-Organist at Durham Cathedral and Director of Music at St Peter’s, Eaton Square.
As a pianist, he has worked with many companies including Opera North, Northern Ballet Theatre, English National Opera, BBC SSO and Scotish Opera, where he was responsible for eleven national tours. He has been repetiteur for Music Theatre Wales, whose production of Mark-Anthony Turnage’s Greek won the 2011 Theatre Award UK for Outstanding Achievement in Opera.
Recent compositions include a song cycle for Rebecca Bottone, A Breath of Nothing, and a commission for Magdalen College, Oxford. His work has been described as ‘redoubtable’ by The Scotsman and ‘sometimes amusing’ by the Dean or Durham.
As a chorister at Sheffield Cathedral, Jemima Stephenson developed a fascination with the organ in choral accompaniment, the liturgy and solo performance. Now 23, Jemima is Assistant Director of Music and Sir George Thalben-Ball Memorial Organ Scholar at St Michael’s Cornhill whilst undertaking postgraduate studies at the Royal Academy of Music. This follows two years as Organ Scholar of Peterborough Cathedral, and three as an Organ Scholar at Queens’ College Cambridge.
Jemima currently studies organ with Susan Landale, having previously been a pupil of William Whitehead and David Sanger, and won prizes in both the Fellowship and Associateship diploma exams of the Royal College of Organists.
When not immersed in music, Jemima enjoys good food, good wine and taking other people’s dogs for walks.
Originally from west Wales, Iestyn was organ scholar of St Davids Cathedral before going up to The Queen’s College, Oxford where he read music. After graduating he was appointed Organ Scholar of Westminster Cathedral and subsequently of Westminster Abbey whilst completing a postgraduate performance course at the Royal Academy of Music.
Iestyn is now Assistant Director of Music at the Cardinal Vaughan Memorial School in Kensington and Organist of St Etheldreda’s Church, Ely Place and in January will be moving to St James’s Church, Spanish Place. He is also conductor of the Hill Singers Chamber Choir in Wimbledon.
Amongst his more eccentric performances was a complete cycle of the organ work of J.S. Bach within twenty four hours last year when he raised over £6,000 towards a school tour to America.
Riccardo Bonci, who played the organ for the Cantate Choir’s O Magnum Mysterium concert in December 2008.
Born in Terni, Italy, Riccardo graduated in Piano (1997) and Organ (2002) from the Conservatoires of Terni and Perugia, having studied with F. Mastroianni, M.T. Gregorini, C. Brizi and W. Van de Pol. He also trained as Repetiteur and was awarded an European Diploma by the Teatro Lirico Sperimentale in Spoleto.
Riccardo has attended several masterclasses and seminars with some of the world’s most distinguished musicians (A. Delle Vigne, G. Leonhardt, J. Van Oortmerssen, L. Lohmann, D. Titterington, N. Kynaston, H. Deutsch, D. Chorzempa, D. Ponsford, J. O’Donnell, S.-V. Chaucefer-Choplin, R. Börger).
Riccardo graduated from the Postgraduate in Performance Organ course at the Royal Academy of Music in London with Distinction and also the award of DipRAM for the outstanding final recital, studying with D. Titterington and S. Landale. The Royal Academy of Music awarded him the PIDEM Organ Fellowship for the academic year 2005-2006.
Riccardo is currently Assistant Organist at St. Barnabas’ Church, Dulwich, and Choir Director at Alleyn’s Junior School.
Nicholas, played organ for the Cantate Choir during it’s performance of Durufle’s Requiem in November 2011.
Nicholas O’Neill was born in Cheltenham in 1970, and currently lives in London, where he works as a composer and musician. In 1992 he was unanimously awarded first prize in the Norwich Festival Composition Competition. He won the Gregynog Young Composers’ Award in 1993, shared the Barbara Johnstone Composition Prize in 1995, and has been shortlisted for the Cornelius Cardew, Purcell, Oare String Orchestra, William Mathias and Vocalis composition awards. His music has been performed at the Leeds Festival of Contemporary Music, the Norwich and London Festivals of Contemporary Church Music and broadcast on Classic FM. He has recently been awarded the American Guild of Organists-Marilyn Mason Award 2012 for his Festive Voluntary.
Formerly head of Musical Techniques at Trinity College of Music, Organist to Brighton College and St. George’s RC Cathedral, Southwark, he is Associate Music Director of the Occam Singers, Chorus Master of the Parliament Choir and the Malcolm Sargent Festival Choir, President of Cantores Salicium and Associate Director of Music at St. Mary Abbots, Kensington. He also lectures for Birkbeck, University of London. Nick is a Fellow of the Royal College of Organists and an Honorary Fellow of the Academy of Saint Cecilia, on whose advisory panel he sits. He is also the Academy’s first Composer in Residence and has recently been appointed to the same post with the Parliament Choir.
By night Nick is keyboardist with rock band JEBO, who released their second album, Settle Up Or Settle Down last year. This and their critically acclaimed first album Sinking Without You are available from iTunes and Amazon.
Nicholas played with the choir during its two concert in March 2003.
Nicholas Shaw began playing the organ whilst a scholar at Wellington College, Berkshire, and has since held organ scholarships at Rochester and Westminster Cathedrals, and at Magdalen College, Oxford. He currently combines the post of Sub-Oganist and Keeper of the Songes to Her Majesty’s Chapel Royal with a busy freelance career in London.
Nicholas has appeared as soloist and accompanist on television and radio, including solo work on Radio 3’s In Tune programme and at the Enthronement Services for both the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Archbishop of Westminster. As a continuo player he has appeared with the Orchestre Philharmonic de Strasbourg in France.
After graduating from Oxford, Nicholas continued his studies as the Robinson Scholar at the Royal Academy of Music. Here he studied choral direction with Patrick Russill and graduated with a MMus in 2001. He has recently been appointed a Visiting Music Tutor at The King’s School Canterbury, where he conducts the 30-voice Chamber Choir.
Steven Grahl’s musical training began as a chorister at Derby Cathedral, where he was later sixth-form organ scholar. Following a similar gap-year position at Norwich Cathedral, he won the organ scholarship to Magdalen College, Oxford, combining reading for a music degree with playing for the daily chapel services. Whilst at Oxford, Steven played for several broadcasts, directed the chamber choir Musica Beata, and also conducted concerts given by the Academical Clerks of Magdalen College. Following his Final Organ recital, Steven was awarded the Betts Organ Scholarship for further study, and graduated with a 2:1 in Music in June 2001.
Having been Assistant Organist at St Marylebone Parish Church, Steven is now Director of Music there, where he has responsibility for the 10-voice professional choir and Rieger Organ. He combines this position with a postgraduate scholarship to the Royal Academy of Music, studying the organ with David Titterington.
In early 2002, Steven won the Limpus and Dixon prizes in his FRCO examination, and was recently awarded the Worshipful Company of Musicians Silver Medallion.
Steven has played in masterclasses given by Andrea Marcon, Kei Moito, and Marie-Clarie Alain, among others, and recent recitals have included St Michael’s Cornhill, Lincoln Minster, Bath Abbey, Norwich Cathedral and Westminster Cathedral.
Steven is much in demand as an accompanist on both the organ and the piano, and in addition to his freelance work is accompanist to The Chiltern Choir. Other interests include singing and jazz piano.
a Sevenoaks-based choral group seeking to achieve the highest possible standards of performance from the sung repertoire