THE WESSEX CHAMBER CHOIR
Come & Sing
The Spire Church, Farnham, Surrey
Provisionally rebooked for 26th September
The Wessex Chamber Choir invites you to join us for the chance to rehearse and perform Motart's Coronation Mass, Haydn's Insanae et Vanae Curae and Motart's Ave Verum the former United Reformed Church, now The Sprire Church in Farnham. The event is open to all and will conclude with an informal performance at which friends and family are welcome. Tea, coffee and home made biscuits will be provided. Tickets to sing are £15 including music if required and for the audience £5.
14th December 2019
The Choir presented their much-loved annual Christmas concert at The Spire Church in Farnham. The well-constructed and varied musical programme included 16 pieces sung by the choir and three rousing carols for the audience to sing as well. Accomplished organist Oliver MacFarlane treated them to two short but interesting organ solos by Bach and Dupre. The readings were chosen and delivered with warmth, humour and skill by William Whymper. Richard Stevens hosted the evening with his customary charm and humour; his energetic and expressive conducting of the singers adding so much to the experience. All of this and a jolly reception afterwards with drinks and nibbles made for a wonderful festive evening.
Come & Sing
9th March 2019
More than 50 singers gathered at the Spire (URC) Church in Farnham in the afternoon to rehearse Parry’s I Was Glad, Handel’s Zadok the Priest and Vivaldi’s Gloria with a break for tea and home-made biscuits. The evening performance was greatly appreciated by the audience. The organist, Simon Earl played a beautiful arrangement of Debussy’s Clair de Lune and The Wessex Chamber Choir sang Morley’s Nolo Mortem Peccatoris from the gallery. Soloists for Vivali’s Gloria came from the Choir: Emily Hart, Lesley Tuson and Elizabeth Collins could have been professional singers and were applauded enthusiastically by the choir and the audience at the end of the performance. It was a relaxed and friendly event making music together and making new friends.
22nd to 26th August 2018
The Wessex Chamber Choir has recently returned from singing the services at Hereford Cathedral – five evensongs, Sunday Matins and Cathedral Eucharist. The Dean, the Very Rev. Michael Tavinor, hosted a drinks reception for the choir that was much appreciated and the whole cathedral community was most warm, friendly and helpful. The repertoire included cathedral fare by Herbert Brewer, S S Wesley, Henry Purcell, John Blow, Charles Wood, Kenneth Leighton, Herbert Sumsion, John Stainer and Charles Villiers Stanford. Two works new to the choir were also performed. Timothy Parsons, a former organ scholar at Hereford and now assistant organist at Exeter Cathedral, composed a special introit for the Eucharist and Alan Thurlow, former organist at Chichester Cathedral, donated copies of his Lord’s Supper for the motet at Sunday Eucharist. Simon Earl, Director of Music at Christchurch priory, was our accompanist and played a stunning Toccata by the French-Canadian composer Dennis Bedard at Sunday evensong. All in all we had a thoroughly enjoyable and worthwhile five days in delightful surroundings. The Three Counties Hotel is recommended to anyone looking for somewhere to stay in Hereford.
21st June 2018
On 21st June The Wessex opened the doors of our usual rehearsal venue at Robert May's School to potential new members. We welcomed eight guests to our Open Rehearsal, who came to sing with us and enjoy a chat and nibbles.
The evening was extremely successful with everyone who attended expressing an interest in joining the Choir either very soon or at some point in the future. We would like to thank all those who came to sing with us, making it a thoroughly enjoyable evening.
RMAS Heritage Day
17th June 2018
Once again the Wessex Chamber Choir had great pleasure in joining The Choir of the Royal Memorial Chapel, Sandhurst at the Military Acadamy's Heritage Day. The two choirs sang a full Choral Evensong comprising;
Responses: Hugh Blair in B minor
Psalm 89 vv 1-19 chant: Stanley Vann
Canticles: Hugh Blair in B minor
Anthem: Ascribe unto the Lord (Samuel Sebastian Wesley)
Voluntary: Chorale Improvisation 'Nun Danket, alle Gott' (Siegfried Karg-Elert Op 65) played by Simon Dinsdale
Many thanks to the Chapel Choir for giving the Wessex the opportunity to sing with them in this facinating and historic building.
ABOUT THE WESSEX CHAMBER CHOIR
The Wessex Chamber Choir was founded in 1990 under the musical direction of Nicholas Woods, who established the choir as a versatile and accomplished vocal ensemble. After many successful years with Nicholas, we are now delighted to have Richard Stevens as our musical director.
The choir consists of 25 to 30 mixed voices. Members come from a variety of musical backgrounds and live in Hampshire, Surrey and Berkshire. We meet weekly near Basingstoke to rehearse throughout the year and perform in a variety of venues across the region. In addition, we visit cathedrals around the country several times each year to take part in services in the absence of their resident choir.
Richard Stevens studied at the University of Durham where he was a Choral Scholar in the Cathedral Choir under the legendary organist, Dr Conrad Eden. He subsequently sang with the choirs of Guildford Cathedral and H. M. Chapel Royal before joining the Choir of St. Paul's Cathedral.
Richard divides his time between singing, conducting and adjudicating and has been musical director of the Wessex Chamber Choir since February 2009. He has sung with many leading vocal ensembles and solo engagements have taken him to many venues, including the international festivals at Bath and Aldeburgh. He directs the Thomas Sutton Singers at the London Charterhouse, and with actor Ian Cullen, founded Ayres and Graces, an ensemble of musicians and actors who present recitals of music and readings on cultural themes in historic venues.
Richard has a passionate enthusiasm for all forms of rail transport and is a working volunteer on Hampshire's steam railway the Watercress Line.
JOIN THE WESSEX CHAMBER CHOIR
We are a friendly bunch and get real pleasure from singing and socialising together. We currently have some vacancies and will welcome enquiries from singers with a reasonable ability to sight read. New members will be required to do a basic audition. If you would like to find out more please get in touch.