The College Choir return from a wonderful tour of Ireland

Following the end of Lent Term 2014, the College Choir travelled to Ireland for a seven-day tour of Belfast, Dublin and Limerick. In what proved to be a busy week, the Choir performed several concerts in St Patrick’s Church Belfast, Trinity College and the Writer’s Club Dublin and in St John’s Cathedral and the Irish Academy of World Music and Dance Limerick. In addition, the Choir sang in St Peter’s Cathedral, Belfast, in St George’s Church Belfast and took part in workshops with school pupils at Methodist College Belfast and Glenstal Abbey School. The social media team were overwhelmed with positive responses throughout the tour with the ensemble being hailed as 'sublime' and having a 'fantastic sound' and the Choir enjoyed standing ovations and a warm reception from capacity audiences.

Despite the busy schedule, there was still time to take in the sights of each of the three cities we visited. We enjoyed a fascinating tour of Belfast as well as being fortunate enough to visit the Giant's Causeway, a fantastic coastal site home to equally fantastic legends. There are many memories of a wonderful week, including a lunch accompanied by traditional Irish music in Belfast, an evening discovering the joys of Temple Bar in Dublin and our stay in the beautiful monastery at Glenstal, where we were treated to the legendary hospitality of the Benedictine community. Participating in a variety of musical performances, as well as visiting cultural sites, and sampling a 'real' pint (or two) of Guinness, made for an exciting, albeit very tiring, end to a busy Lent term.

Blogs written on each of the three legs of our tour can be found here.

Posted on 10 April 2014

Jesus Choir and Britten Sinfonia perform St Matthew Passion to packed audiences in Bury and Cambridge

On 18 March, Jesus College Choir and Britten Sinfonia came together again under the direction of Mark Williams to perform Bach’s incredible St Matthew Passion. With professional soloists as well as step-out soloists from the choir, it was set to be an exciting event. Three hours later, the audience (and performers!) emerged, emotionally drained and physically exhausted, but elated; the work was loaded with an even greater intensity in the smaller, more intimate surroundings of Jesus College Chapel. Two days later, with a new Evangelist, soprano soloist and a seemingly new Britten Sinfonia, the Passion was heard a second time in the glorious St Edmundsbury Cathedral to another extremely appreciative audience.

We owe an enormous thank you to all our soloists – especially those who stepped in at short notice – sopranos Kate Manley and Gillian Keith, mezzo Madeleine Shaw, tenor Evangelists Nicholas Mulroy and Andrew Staples, and bass Matthew Brook. We also owe our thanks to Britten Sinfonia for allowing us to create such wonderful music, and to Charles Rawlinson, as this incredible concert would not have been possible without his generous benefaction and support.

You can read an interview conducted before the performances by choral scholar Amatey Doku with soloist Madeleine Shaw, chorister Harry Shapiro, and Senior Organ Scholar Ben Morris here.

Posted on 3 April 2014

Jesus College Choir to tour Ireland in March 2014

At the end of the Lent Term 2014, the College Choir will be undertaking a 7-day tour to Ireland with performances and educational workshops in Belfast, Glenstal, Limerick and Dublin. The Choir will begin their tour in Belfast, home of two of our choral scholars, where they will be performing a candlelit concert in St Patrick’s Church on Saturday 22nd March. Further highlights will include performing in Dublin as part of @TheDrawingRoom Festival, and in Limerick as part of its City of Culture 2014 celebrations. For more information about the tour please click here. You can see the confirmed schedule of concerts on our concerts page.

Posted on 11 March 2014

Mark Williams announced as one of the judges for the London International A Cappella Choir Competition

The London International A Cappella Choir Competition is produced by St John's Smith Square in association with Peter Phillips and the Tallis Scholars and will take place in April this year. This inaugural event is being staged in memory of Sir John Tavener, who had hoped to take part as a judge for the Grand Final. Sir John's music will be heard throughout the week, with participating choirs making a selection from a range of his choral works, alongside that of other contemporary composers including Harvey, Pärt and Skempton, Renaissance pieces from Byrd, Lhéritier and Palestrina, and one piece in their native language.

The Tallis Scholars open proceedings in style on Monday 21 April, with a concert designed to reflect the Competition’s aim of promoting new choral music alongside the masterpieces of renaissance polyphony. Joining Peter Phillips for the final judging on Saturday 26 April will be Director of Music at Jesus College Cambridge Mark Williams, former Jesus Organ Scholar and current Organist and Master of the Choristers of Westminster Abbey James O’Donnell, and soprano Emma Kirkby. More information about the competition can be found here.

Posted on 27 February 2014

Jesus College Choirs and Britten Sinfornia perform Bach's St Matthew Passion

Following their sell-out performance of Handel's Messiah in 2013, the acclaimed Choirs of Jesus College Cambridge and Britten Sinfonia come together once again under the direction of Mark Williams, with a glittering line-up of soloists - Katherine Manley, Madeleine Shaw, Andrew Kennedy and Matthew Brook - to perform Bach's St Matthew Passion in March 2014. The St Matthew Passion is one of the towering masterpieces of Western art. Moments of deep introspection combine with jubilant choruses and stunning arias to create a work that is both profound and beautiful. There will be two performances of this celebrated work, the first in Jesus College Chapel, Cambridge on Tuesday 18th March, and the second in St Edmundsbury Cathedral on Thursday 20th March.

Tickets for the performance in Cambridge can be bought here.

Tickets for the performance in Edmundsbury can be bought here.

Posted on 1 February 2014

Choir Newsletter

The latest Choir newsletter may be downloaded here.