Brighton Voices – Choirs & Concerts

Brighton’s talented amateur choirs and ensembles have recovered from their busy Christmas exertions (and avoided seasonal illnesses) and are now studiously rehearsing their Spring programmes. I have been bombarded with flyers, leaflets and posters for upcoming concerts and can share their news with you now:

BRIGHTON 16, a sixteen voice chamber choir of experienced choral singers, has been making a name for itself across Sussex. They aim to perform chamber choir works to the very highest standards – and this they certainly do! Their Eastertide programme of glorious choral motets by Carissimi, Scarlatti, Schutz, Kuhnau and Bach is at St Michael & All Angels on 23 March at 5pm..

THE BRIGHTON SINGERS will present A Spring Garland in Brighton’s old Parish Church of St Nicholas on Sunday 7th April – a bouquet of English madrigals and partsongs, featuring Britten’s Five Flower Songs, Op. 47, a set of five partsongs for a student choir, composed to celebrate the 25th wedding anniversary in 1950 of Leonard and Dorothy Elmhirst, the proprietors of Dartington Hall and renowned botanist and philanthropists. Three years later was they began hosting the Dartington International Summer School and Festival, which was managed from 1985 to 2010 by Brighton’s own Professor Gavin Henderson, CBE.

THE BAROQUE COLLECTIVE SINGERS are February’s featured choir are also offering A Spring Garland on Sunday 21 April, featuring Clement Janequin’s Le Chant des Oiseaux (1529) and another selection of English madrigals. Their Summer concert is J.S. Bach’s Mass in B minor.

EAST SUSSEX BACH CHOIR is performing Bach’s St John’s Passion in March, directed by John Hancorn. Operatic legend, the bass Sir John Tomlinson, is singing the part of Christus. Nick Pritchard, who has delighted the Brighton Early Music Festival (BREMF) with the clarity of his heroic tenor voice, will sing the Evangelist. Lewes based soprano Alexandra Kidgell and mezzo soprano Rebecca Leggett, who has often sung with this conductor, complete this starry list of soloists. This deeply moving work is always popular during Lent and I am told tickets are selling out fast.

ST. LAURENCE CHURCH, FALMER hosts a series of RECITALS through the Spring and the Brighton Fringe in May. Always scheduled carefully to avoid the football crowds, these events are given in the intimate acoustics of the small country church next to Falmer pond. I can warmly recommend baritone Simon Madge accompanied by Katy Friese-Green on the piano, and the programme of The Brighton Guitar Quartet looks very interesting too.

BRIGHTON ORPHEUS CHOIR will sing Faure’s Requiem and Dvorak’s Mass in D in March, conducted by their Musical Director Nicholas Houghton.

RESOUND male voice choir will be performing another mixed a capella programme in June. Their female accomplices THE REBELLES have yet to reveal their plans.

BREMF CONSORT OF VOICES (BCV) and BREMF COMMUNITY CHOIR (BrCC) no doubt will soon be releasing plans for their 2024 festival, so watch this page because I will update it as news comes in.

Andrew Connal – March 2024

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