Sadly there was no chance of performing live, as planned, with the wonderful children's choir from Archdeacon Cambridge's Church of England Primary School. However, there is at the opportunity to listen to a couple of tracks from our Christmas programme on our home Page. A smaller group also made a remote recording of Elizabeth Poston's 'Jesus Christ the apple tree' - also available on our home page.
The Big Picture Launch
Following the recording of Judith Weir's The Big Picture for Delphian label, back in January, the CD was released on Friday 25th September. There will be a virtual launch on 23 October where you’ll be able to hear extracts from the album, which includes music by Weir, McDowall and Chilcott, and interviews with composers and performers. Tickets are available as follows:
Live rehearsals are back
Following a detailed risk assessment in line with COVID-19 regulations and consultation with members we are delighted that live rehearsals are now taking place in St Michael & All Angels Church where the larger space allows strict adherence to social distancing rules. All rehearsals are live streamed via Zoom for those singeres unable to attend in person and are recorded.
Sadly, in accordance with government advice, Music Makers have cancelled rehearsals and concerts for the forseeable future. However, thanks to the technical wizadry of Music Director, Hilary Campbell and Accompanist, Liam Dunachie, we continue to meet weekly online. Work has been full steam ahead on our autumn programme featuring works from JS Bach and J Rheinberger, hopefully, for a performance at King's College Chapel on Saturday 17 October. Meanwhile we've been recording our first virtual choir effort, Arthur Sullivan's The long Day Closes which you can listen to below and plan a full visual rendition of Some Enchanted Evening to be released shortly.
Judith Weir Recording
In January, 16 altos and sopranos from Music Makers and friends joined forces with Bristol Choral Society for a recording of Judith Weir's The Big Picture for Delphian label, featuring SSAATTBB choir, piano and percussion.
Judith Weir is the current Master of the Queen’s Music and wrote The Big Picture to celebrate the completion of a major redevelopment and refurbishment to Aberdeen Art Gallery. To mark the launch of the CD there will be a public performance at Bristol Museum and Art Gallery on 23 October 2020.
Singing Workshop with John Rutter
A small group of our members recently attended a Singing Workshop led by John Rutter, one of the world’s most important living composers. Held in the glorious setting of Bath Abbey, with its stunning English Perpendicular architecture and famous fan vaulted ceiling, the acoustics were amazing.
The music was a mixture of choral, church and secular, old and new, with some of John's recent compositions and personal favourites added. He is a great raconteur and told some hilarious stories about his life, his family and the famous musicians and composers he has met over the years.
The accompanist was Huw Williams, Director of Music at Bath Abbey. Huw served until recently as Director of Music at Her Majesty’s Chapel Royal, St James’ Palace. Alongside his conducting work, Huw enjoys an international career as an organ recitalist and accompanist, and was principal organist at St Paul’s Cathedral for ten years.
Come and Sing - Vocal Workshop
Ever wanted to sing with a professional conductor? Would you like to learn important vocal techniques and warm up exercises? Would you like to sing along with one of London's top chamber choirs?
Come and join the renowned Music Makers of London Chamber Choir in a vocal workshop led by our Musical Director, Hilary Campbell. Starting at 11am (with registration and coffee at 10.30am) Hilary will lead us through a series of warm up exercises and vocal training techniques. She will then teach and rehearse extracts from two of John Rutter’s best loved pieces: Gloria and When Icicles Hang.
After breaking for lunch, we will work through until 4.30pm when we will perform an informal concert to which you are welcome to invite friends and family. All singers of all abilities are welcome - no prior experience is necessary. You are here to learn from the experts and to have some fun. All music will be provided.
Normansfield Theatre is a Grade II Listed Theatre which was built originally as an entertainment hall in 1877 and completed in 1879. The theatre is a rare example of a private Victorian Theatre containing original painted scenery and other ornate fixtures and fittings.
Hilary Campbell is also the founder and director of professional chamber choir Blossom Street, and MD of Bristol and Chiswick Choral Societies. She is conductor of several office choirs, including P&O Ferries, the group that won the BBC2 television series The Choir, and her guest work includes ensembles such as the BBC Symphony Chorus and BBC Radio 4’s Daily Service Singers.
Tickets are £20 in advance but will also be available on the door priced at £22 each.
Complimentary tea, coffee and squash will be provided throughout the day. Bring your own lunch.
There is plenty of free parking available nearby and the theatre is on bus routes 281, 285. Hampton Wick railway station is a five minute walk.
Music Makers to sing in York Minster
A small group of our singers are delighted to accept an invitation from one of our former tenors, Roger Boulton, to go and sing at his wedding in the Minster at the end of April. Roger moved to York last September where his wife-to-be, Ruth, found a new job – as head of HR at the Minster! It’s a kind of homecoming for Roger as he started his singing career as a chorister in York Minster.
For the wedding, we’ll be joining forces with Roger’s new choir, the Ebor Singers, to perform Whitacre’s This Marriage, Stanford’s Beate Quorum Via, Hadley: My Beloved Spake and Bairstow: Jesu, the very thought of Thee. We’re hoping to do Ruth and Roger proud!
Summer Concerts Confirmed
Voices of London Festival
The Music Makers are delighted to be taking part for the third year running in the now well-established choral festival the Voices of London in St James’s Church, Sussex Gardens, Paddington this summer. We’ll be joining other choirs on July 1 for a massed performance of John Rutter’s Feel the Spirit and Jonathan Dove’s The Passing of the Year.
Royal Naval College Chapel
Our last engagement this summer will be in Greenwich on July 16, when we’ll be the visiting choir performing a choral Eucharist in the 18th-century splendour of the Old Chapel of the Royal Naval College. Followed, we hope, by a picnic in Greenwich Park!
Composition Competition Winner Announced
The Music Makers were proud to perform a shortlist of six pieces in the Nick Edwards Composition Prize during our Christmas concert on 10 December in our regular venue of St Michael & All Angels in Barnes.
The pieces were all very different, from a challenging Rejos for Joy in medieval Scottish, by Alan Smith, to a hymn-like song, I Have Hope, by Swedish composer Ilian Lundberg.
Our judges were the composer Gabriel Jackson, and Patrick Russill, head of choral conducting at the Royal Academy of Music in London. They had a difficult job, but finally chose as the winner a beautiful setting of I Sing of a Maiden, by established composer Alison Willis. Alison is currently studying for a PhD in composing with Paul Mealor.
The runner-up prize went to Alex Campkin for his exhilarating setting of Holy Mary, Mother Mild. The other finalists were Huw Griffiths, with Cradle Song, and My Beloved Spake, set by Steve Locks. The competition received 75 entries from Britain and around the world.