The Lancaster Singers held a joint concert with the NW Honour Children’s Choir at Ripley St Thomas’ School Chapel Lancaster 12th June 2010 at 7.30pm.
Lancaster Singers Conductor Marco with Bob Chilcott and the Abcd Northwest Children’s Honour Choir:
About the Abcd NW Children’s Honour Choir
The choirwas formed for the Association of British Choral Directors’ (Abcd) Annual Convention in 2007, drawn through publicity and then a simple audition from all around the North West Region of the UK. The choir sang to great acclaim at the Convention Gala Concertin Chester Cathedral and many among the choir expressed a wish to continue. The current membership of 48 is a healthy mix of past members and new singers. This concert is the end result of three full day rehearsal workshops giving the youngsters the opportunity to work on vocal training and musicianship under the expert guidance of Bob Chilcott and James Lewis. As well as structure and discipline emphasis is also placed on commitment, enjoyment and singing as a life-long passion. The opportunity to work with composer Bob Chilcott on his music is a special privilege.
Described by the Observer newspaper as “a contemporary hero of British Choral Music”, Bob Chilcott has worked tirelessly over the past twelve years as a full-time composer and choral conductor. He has been involved in choral music for most of his life, having been a chorister and Choral Scholar at King’s College, Cambridge, and a member of the vocal ensemble The King’s Singers for twelve years. Since 1997 he has been a full-time composer, and has over 100 works published by OUP.
His work has been embraced by many choral organisations and festivals worldwide including the Association of British Choral Directors, the American Choral Directors Association, Europa Cantat, Festival 500 in Newfoundland, and the Song Festival in Tallinn, Estonia. In 2009 he returned for the second consecutive year to conduct his work at the ‘Golden Week’ choral workshop of the Japan Choral Association, and makes return visits to Germany, Canada, and the United States.
Salisbury Vespers, the first of three large-scale new works to be premièred over the next two years was performed at the opening concert of the Salisbury Festival by more than 600 locally-based choral singers and players in the Summer of 2009. In 2010 his Requiem will be premièred in Oxford by The Oxford Bach Choir and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. Austin, Texas, will later host the first performance of a new commissioned Christmas work.
For seven years, from 1997 to 2003, Bob Chilcott conducted the choir of the Royal College of Music in London, and in 2002 he was appointed Principal Guest Conductor of the BBC Singers. He has also conducted many distinguished choirs worldwide including the RIAS Kammerchor in Berlin, the World Youth Choir, Jauna Musika in Lithuania, Orphei Drangar in Sweden, the Taipei Chamber Singers, the Tower New Zealand Youth Choir, and the Vancouver Chamber Choir.
(Abcd) The Association of British Choral Directors
ABCD is a registered charity, founded in1986 and the only organisation in the UK that is devoted entirely to the interests of those leading choral music- both professional and amateur – and welcomes anyone from all sectors of choral activity who leads singers or sings. Teachers have been invited to observe the recent workshops with the Honour Choir as we consider it part of our work to encourage young singers and those who work with them.
1. Gloria in Excelsis Deo Weelkes
2. O Nata Lux Tallis
3 Mi’kMaq Honour Song
3. All Creatures now are merry minded Bennet
4. The Silver Swan Gibbons
5. Animals make Counterpoint Banchieri
6. Ducks’ Ditty Ronald Corp
7. Day by Day Philip Godfrey
8. Ave Maria Bruckner
9. Panis Angelicus Franck
10. Cantique de Jean Racine Faure
11. Orpheus with his lute MacFarren
12. The Lily and the Rose Chilcott
13. Full Fathom Five Charles Wood
14. Wayfarin’ Stranger arr Unterseher
15. Red boots on Chilcott
16 S’wonderful Gershwin
Singers & Honour Choir together
17 Like a singing bird Chilcott
(This is the first performance of a new arrangement for mixed voice choir and children’s voices – dedicated to the NW Honour Choir and the Lancaster Singers.)
Songs by the children:
Mi’kmaq Honour Song
This is a song of greeting. The name Mi’kmaq derives from a word in the Native North American language “nikmaq” meaning my kin friends or brothers.. The drum was traditionally used to call people together for a ceremony and as such is considered very important being thought of as being like the heartbeat of creation.
The song begins with the “hum of life” and the sound of the wind and is punctuated by animal and bird calls. The greeting chant starts gently accompanied by a steady heartbeat on the drum, builds to a climax and then subsides again finishing as it began with gentle humming.
Ducks Ditty – Ronald Corp
This lively little song captures beautifully the carefree atmosphere of a walk by the river and the busy ducks bobbing around. It was composed in 2008 to words by Kenneth Grahame. Ronald Corp is one of the UK’s most popular conductor-composers. He is the founder of the New London Children’s Choir and is a busy composer and workshop leader.
Day by Day- Philip Godfrey
A lovely 2 part setting of the Prayer of St Richard of Chichester. Written in 2003 it has already been warmly received by a number of choirs. Philip Godfrey lives in North London and divides his time between composition of choral, orchestral and theatre music with teaching.
Wayfarin’ Stranger – arranged Reginald Unterseher
An Appalachian folk hymn has the same message as the negro spiritual where the journey through hard times to the “bright land” is a metaphor for a life journey to the eventual joy of heaven – “Goin’ over home.”
Red Boots On – Bob Chilcott
This funky song written in 2007 and loved by the choir, uses jazzy rhythms and harmonies to bring Kit Wright’s text alive.
Like a Singing Bird – Bob Chilcott
Was commissioned through Chorus America’s 2007 Conference by a number of American choirs and one Scottish choir thus the Scottish folk tune which weaves its way so magically into the lovely Christina Rossetti words the children sing. This new arrangement which adds the extra colour of a mixed voice adult choir to the Scots melody receives its first performance as the choirs combine this evening.