We put on two public performances a year, at the end of our spring and autumn terms, usually accompanied by a small orchestra. The evenings are informal and great fun but it’s real music done well.
In addition to our two major concerts we have a social evening in the summer where we eat, drink and do some singing. Many choir members take part in an annual evening of carol singing in Hampstead, raising money for the children’s Christmas party at the Royal Free Hospital.
You can see and marvel at all we’ve sung in the last many years:
Autumn 2017: Saturday 9 December 2017 at St Mary Brookfield. We performed Mozart’s Coronation Mass alongside Christmas carols by John Rutter and local composer Philip Godfrey, and JS Bach’s Jesu, joy of man’s desiring.
Summer 2017: Friday 16 June – our informal social for friends and family. Following a fantastic spread of food brought in and shared by choir members, we sang a range of popular and folk music arranged for soprano, alto, tenor and bass (SATB) voices.
Spring 2017: On Saturday 1 April at St Mary Brookfield we sang Dvorák’s Mass in D; Mascagni’s Easter Hymn and Mendelssohn’s Hear My Prayer. Our soloists also sang a selection of songs from the Romantic period. Soloists were: Sarah Probert (soprano), Aino Konkka (mezzo soprano): Simon Walton (tenor); and Max Loble (bass).
Autumn 2016: on Saturday 17 December 2016 at St Mary Brookfield we sang Vivaldi’s Gloria with soloists Felicity Hayward (soprano) and Aino Konkka (mezzo-soprano); and Vaughan Williams’ Fantasia on Christmas Carols with soloist Tom McKenna (baritone). And there were carols from the choir and for audience participation.
Summer 2016: at our usual summer social event:
- One Day Like This: Elbow’s song.
- A couple of songs from the show Les Miserables.
- Sondheim’s Send in the Clowns.
- Always Look on the Bright Side of Life by Eric Idle (of Monty Python). A happy finale from Monty Python’s Life of Brian.
Spring 2016: on Saturday 19 March 2016 at St Mary Brookfield we sang Mendelssohn’s Elijah.
Autumn 2015: on Saturday 5 December 2015 at St Mary Brookfield we sang Britten’s St Nicolas, Handel’s Let Thy Hand be Strengthened and Fauré’s Cantique de Jean Racine, with carols from the choir and carols to sing along with.
Summer 2015: short pieces performed before family and friends on Friday 5 June 2015:
- If ye Love Me: gospel words set to a tune by Tallis.
- Maria: song from West Side Story (Bernstein/Sondheim).
- I got rhythm: jazz standard by George and Ira Gershwyn, arranged by Christopher Clapham.
- Climb Ev’ry Mountain: from The Sound of Music (Rodgers & Hammerstein).
- Panis Angelicus: Thomas Aquinas’ words set by Cesar Franck.
- She is Far From the Land: 1920s Irish republican ballad by Frank Lambert, arranged by Philip Godfrey.
- The Best of Bond: choral medley of James Bond theme songs arranged by Ned Ginsburg.
Spring 2015: on Saturday 28 March 2015 at St Mary Brookfield we sang Handel’s Messiah (parts 2 and 3). You’ve got to do Messiah now and again…
Autumn 2014: on Saturday 6 December 2014 at St Mary Brookfield we sang Puccini’s Messa di Gloria and the Polovtsian Dances from Borodin’s Prince Igor. Our large, loud and rather good orchestra performed the Overture from Verdi’s opera Il forza del destino, which let us get our breath back.
Summer 2014: short pieces performed before family and friends on Friday 13 June 2014:
- The Winner Takes it All — Abba
- Lean on Me — Bill Withers
- Like a singing bird — Bob Chilcott. Robert Burns’ My Love is Like a Red, Red Rose to a well-known tune is mashed up with an original setting of A Birthday by Christina Rossetti. We may be inciting Scottish independence…
- Sure on This Shining Night — poem by James Agee, set by Morten Lauridsen. We sang Samuel Barber’s arrangement of the same poem two summers ago. Both are rather wonderful.
- Streets of London — Ralph McTell, in a choir arrangement.
Spring 2014: before a record-breaking audience we sang the Mozart Requiem with Haydn’s Insanae et Vanae Curae on 29 March 2014 at St Mary Brookfield.
Autumn 2013: Rutter’s sequence of spirituals, Feel The Spirit and Finzi’s In Terra Pax for our pre-Christmas concert on 14 December 2013 at St Mary Brookfield .
Summer 2013: short pieces for the summer social. Rutter’s For the Beauty of the Earth, Samuel Palmer Sure on this Shining Night (just gorgeous), Sit Down, You’re Rocking the Boat, Funiculi, Funicula (written by Mark’s great(-great?)-grandfather); and then a setting by Ian adapted from one of his student’s, Dynamite.
Spring 2013: we performed Bach’s St John Passion accompanied by the Linden Baroque orchestra and some wonderful soloists on 23 March 2013 at St Mary Brookfield .
Autumn 2012: on 15 December 2012 at St Mary Brookfield we performed Poulenc’s Gloria and Bruckner’s Te Deum, with the usual December carols.
Summer 2012: light pieces at our summer social. The Bear Necessities, What a Wonderful World, Shenandoah, an Oklahoma! medley and I Do Like to Be Beside the Seaside. Back to serious stuff next term…
Spring 2012: on 17 March 2012 at St Mary Brookfield we performed:
- Vaughan William’s Toward the Unknown Region, a setting of a poem from Walt Whitman’s poetry sequence Leaves of Grass. The poem itself is Darest Thou Now, O Soul.
- Felix Mendelssohn’s Hymn of Praise, originally his choral 2nd Symphony, but here performed in a shortened, purely vocal version.
Autumn 2011: on 10 December 2011 at St Mary Brookfield we performed:
- “Nelson” Mass, Haydn: his most famous choral work, this dynamic mass mixes military motifs with quieter harmonies.
- Song of the Ship, Philip GodfreyPhilip Godfrey: a newly-composed Christmas piece dedicated to the North Camden Chorus.
And here are some photographs from the Autumn 2011 concert, too.
Summer 2011: light pieces at our summer social:
- Fauré’s Cantique de Jean Racine: a printable score (the one we used) is at the volunteer-run Choral Public Domain Library.
- Come Live With me and Be My Love (the Shakespeare sonnet where the shepherd fails to convince his sceptical girl-friend) in a setting by George Shearing.
- The well-known theme tune to Neighbours arranged by our own Mark Denza.
- Close to You by Bacharach and David, best known in the Carpenters’ 1970 recording (those of you as old as me might remember a 1965 recording by Dionne Warwick). Apologies to the arranger, whose name I’ve forgotten…
Spring 2011: on 26 March 2011 at St Mary Brookfield we performed:
- Requiem Fauré: a justly famous piece, balanced between the late romantic and modernity. Soaring and moving.
- Magnificat Pergolesi: rather more obscure, this piece of baroque church music proved relatively easy to learn (perhaps we’re getting better?)
- Two folk song arrangements by Percy Grainger: The Gipsy’s Wedding Day and Seventeen Come Sunday. It was the 50th anniversary of Grainger’s death, and we learnt these songs as part of a celebration at the Kings Place. Grainger’s arrangements are full of life, rhythmically and melodically faithful to the his original singers idiosyncracies.
Autumn 2010: Saturday 4 December at All Hallows: we sang pieces which go well with a brass accompaniment
- Jubilate: Bob Chilcott’s setting, modern but tuneful
- Te Deum, John Rutter: varied setting, good to sing
- Hodie christus natus est Giovanni Gabrieli: a splendid uprising of seasonal joy
- Ecce Sacerdos, Bruckner: a suitably brassy piece with lots of impact
- Carols and Christmas songs
Summer 2010: we learned and sang to each other a number of contemporary pieces:
- The Panther and The Firefly: very short humourous poems by Ogden Nash set to music by Eric Whitacre
- Yo Le Canto Todo El Dia: (“I sing to him all day”) a popular choir song with a Venezuelan feel written by David L Brunner
- Bohemian Rhapsody: Freddie Mercury’s wonderfully over-the-top mock-operatic song shortened into an SATB arrangement
- Hallelujah: Leonard Cohen’s most famous song, with several somewhat-explicit verses suppressed as found in Shrek.
- Over the Rainbow (Harold Arlen): shortened but in a suitably jazzily-harmonised form.
Spring 2010: we learned Brahms’ German Requiem in an English translation: a challenging sing, but exhilarating.
Autumn 2009: we sang two pieces. The first was Elgar’s Spirit of England. This is wonderful music, setting words by Laurence Binyon.
Our second work was Philip Godfrey’s delightful Christmas Cantata. Philip is a local composer and musician who often helps out with our rehearsals when either Ian or Mark are unavailable.
Summer 2009: we performed a medley of songs which span more than 400 years and three continents:
- Pastyme With Good Companye (c 1510): a part song composed by Henry VIII.
- Now is the Month of Maying (1595): a five-part madrigal by Thomas Morley.
- The Blue Bird (c 1900), a composed part song by Charles Stanford to words from Mary Coleridge.
- Blue Moon (1934), Rodgers and Hart standard, in a choral arrangement.
- Siya Hamba (c. 1950): an arrangement of a gospel song in the Zulu language Xhosa. Wikipedia records an interesting history, starting as an Afrikaans hymn.
- Goodnight, Sweetheart, Goodnight (1954) by Carter and Hudson (not the WW2 song Goodnight Sweetheart which older choir members may remember).
- Mamma Mia (1975) from Abba.
Spring 2009: Orff’s Carmina Burana. Our first concert at All Hallows Church, Savernake Road, NW3 2JP.
Autumn 2008: Haydn’s Te Deum and the Vaughn Williams Fantasia on Christmas Carols, Górecki’s Totus Tuus and some carols.
Summer 2008: a mix of short pieces from an Elizabethan motet to a King’s Singers version of a pop song.
Spring 2008: Finzi’s Lo, the Full, Final Sacrifice; Mark Denza directed Rutter’s song cycle Psalmfest.
Autumn 2007: Part I of Handel’s Messiah, Buxtehude’s Das Neugeborne Kindelein.
Summer 2007: Verdi Triumphal Scene from Aida, a setting of the Gershwins’ S’Wonderful, Gilbert & Sullivan A British Tar from HMS Pinafore, and a folksong setting, The Waters of Tyne.
Spring 2007: Vivaldi’s Gloria and some other pieces.
Autumn 2006: Mozart’s Requiem.
Spring 2006: Vaughn Williams’ Five Mystical Songs and a Bach cantata.
Autumn 2005: “Five Spirituals” from Child of our Time by Michael Tippett, and Duruflé’s Requiem.
Spring 2005: Britten’s Rejoice in the Lamb, and Purcell’s Come Ye Sons of Art.
Autumn 2004: Rutter’s Gloria, and Four folk songs by Vaughn Williams.
Spring 2004: Handel’s Messiah.
Autumn 2003: Schubert’s Mass in C, with Christmas songs by Rutter, Warlock and others.
Spring 2003: Mozart’s Coronation Mass and Ave Verum Corpus, the Easter Hymn from Mascagni’s Cavalleria Rusticana, and some unaccompanied part songs by Elgar and Finzi.
Autumn 2002: Britten’s St Nicholas, Fauré’s Cantique du Jean Racine and some Christmas music by John Taverner, including The Lamb.
Spring 2002: Handel Zadok the Priest and Poulenc’s Gloria
Autumn 2001: Charpentier Messe de Minuit pour Noel, Rutter Five Childhood Lyrics
Spring 2001: Janacek Our Father, Haydn Little Organ Mass, Brahms Lieberslieder Waltzes.
Autumn 2000: Vivaldi Magnificat, Britten A Ceremony of Christmas Carols.
Spring 2000: Bach St Matthew Passion
Autumn 1999: Britten Choral Dances (from Gloriana), Haydn Te Deum
Spring 1999: Fauré Requiem
Autumn 1998: Handel’s Ode On St Cecilia’s Day, Poulenc ‘s Quem Vidistis Pastores Dicite Hodie Christus Natus Est.
Summer 1998: Haydn’s The Creation.
Autumn 1997: Purcell’s Ode To St Cecilia, Finzi’s In Terra Pax.
Spring 1997: Mozart’s Requiem.
Autumn 1996: Handel’s My Heart Is Indicting, Let Thy Hand Be Strengthened, Vaughn Williams’ Fantasia On Christmas Carols.
Spring 1996: Orff’s Carmina Burana.
Autumn 1995: Britten’s Saint Nicolas.
Spring 1995: Purcell’s King Arthur.
Autumn 1994: Vivaldi’s Gloria, Carols.
Spring 1994: Phyllis, Bateson’s Farewell, Rutter’s Blow Blow Thou Winter Wind, Finzi’s My Spirit Sang All Day, I Will Give My Love An Apple, Shenandoah.
Autumn 1993: Bach’s Christmas Oratorio (Excerpts), Carols.
Spring 1993: Poulenc’s Gloria.
Autumn 1991: Handel’s Messiah (Excerpts), Carols.
Summer 1990: Purcell’s Come Ye Sons Of Art, Britten’s Rejoice In The Lamb, Handel’s The King Shall Rejoice.
Spring 1990: Alis & Galatea.
Autumn 1989: Vivalidi’s Gloria, Carols.
Summer 1989: Summer Is Icumen In, Morley’s Sing We And Chant It, Gibbons’ The Silver Swan, Morley’s Now Is The Month Of Maying, Mozart’s Ave Verum Corpus, Verdi’s Chorus Of The Hebrew Slaves, Shenandoah, Come To The Fair.
Spring 1989: Rutter’s Requiem, Gardner’s Five Hymns In Popular Style.
Summer 1988: Vaughn Williams’ Five Mystical Songs, Bernstein’s Chichester Psalms.
Spring 1988: Faure’s Requiem.
Autumn 1987: The Way You Look Tonight, Over The Rainbow, Let’s Call The Whole Thing Off, Oh Why, I’m On My Way, Summertime, I Can’t Sit Down.
Autumn 1987: Rutter/Grant’s The Wind In The Willows, Carols.
Summer 1987: Orff’s Carmina Burana.
Spring 1987: Bizet’s Carmen.
Autumn 1986: Handel’s Messiah (Part 1), Britten’s A Ceremony Of Carols.
Summer 1986: Rossini’s Petit Messe Solemnelle.
Spring 1986: Bach’s St John Passion.
Spring 1985: Vivaldi’s Magnificat.
Spring 1984: Durufle’s Requiem, Britten’s Rejoice In The Lamb.
Autumn 1983: Handel’s Zadok The Priest, Handel’s The King Shall Rejoice, Handel’s Let Thy Hand Be Strengthened.
Spring 1983: Monteverdi’s Beatus Vi, Faure’s Requiem.
Autumn 1982: Fanshawe’s African Sanctus.
Spring 1982: Mozart’s Coronation Mass.
Autumn 1981: Britten’s Saint Nicolas.