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Our Christmas carol concert will be performed in St. John's Church,
Wentworth St, Wakefield WF1 2QU on Monday 18th December,
starting at 7:30 p.m.
For our Christmas programme this year we will be joined by local harpist Rhian Evans, for Benjamin Britten’s celebrated Ceremony of Carols. This is a true gem of seasonal choral repertoire, written for upper voices in 1942 and setting a collection of Medieval poems. Britten uses voices and harp expertly to convey a range of moods; from the jubilant “Wolcum Yole”, to the bellicose drama of “This little Babe”, to the chill of “In freezing winter night”. There are also a number of solos and duets, including the gentle “Balulalow” and the merry “Spring Carol”.
The Britten will be performed by sopranos and altos, and the tenors and basses have a few male voice carols of their own. These include an arrangement of “O holy night”, and a setting by Rutter of “Personent hodie”, which is taken from his cycle Dancing Day and also has harp accompaniment.
We have other carols from across the centuries for the full choir, two of which are by contemporary composers. “Noe noe” was written by David Bednall for Truro Cathedral Choir in 2010, and contrasts a loud and lively organ part with rhythmic and punchy choral sections. “The Heart-in-Waiting” by Bob Chilcott is an unaccompanied setting of a poem by Kevin Crossley-Holland, and words and music are at once mysterious and beautiful. There will be other more familiar favourites too!
Our Autumn concert took place at Wakefield Cathedral on 30 September 2017 and had a Baroque theme.
the theme of this concert was "light"
Our Spring concert was performed on Saturday 20th May 2017 at St. John's Church, Wakefield, starting at 7:30 pm
"Seek him that maketh the seven stars" - Jonathan Dove
"Stars" - Ēriks Ešenvalds
"Requiem" - Herbert Howells
"Hymn to theCreator of Light - John Rutter
"Te Deum" and "Benedictus" - Edward Elgar
Consort deputised for Wakefield Cathedral Choir on Sunday 19th February 2017
Mass in C (K258) - Mozart (Spaur-messe)
Gradual: I was glad - Henry Purcell
Communion motet: O sacrum convivium - Thomas Tallis
Magnificat & Nunc Dimittis (The Hereford Service) - John Sanders
Anthem: Seek him that maketh the seven stars - Jonathan Dove
The Spirit of Christmas 2016
Our annual carol concert took place at St. John's Church, Wakefield, on 14th December 2016 at 7:30 pm and was a joint concert with the amazing Austonley Brass.
Consort performed a programme on 24 September 2016 at Wakefield Cathedral at 7.30 pm which included Fauré’s Requiem, alongside a song cycle by contemporary composer Jonathan Dove called “The Passing of the Year”. This was an exhilarating and creative work for double choir and piano, setting seven poems that move through the changing seasons, from the first buds of spring to the frosts of winter. Dove’s effective setting of words may be likened to Benjamin Britten, and the piano accompaniment was a real tour de force for Tom Moore. The programme also featured shorter items, most notably “Cloudburst” by Eric Whitacre, in which the choir recreated the sounds of a thunderstorm, assisted by the piano and some percussion.
On the 9th July, 2016 Consort performed at the Garforth Music Festival at St Mary's church, Church Lane, Garforth, at 7:30 pm. The Music included:
All Creatures now - Bennet, The silver Swan - Gibbons, Now is the month of Maying - Morley,
The blue bird - Stanford, Music, when soft voices die - Parry, Full fathom five - Wood
For the beauty of the earth - Stopford, Autumn Leaves - Kosma arr A. Carter, I got rhythm - Gershwin arr C. Clapham, Let's do it - Porter arr D Blackwell,
A nightingale sang in Berkeley Square - Sherwin & Maschwitz, Blue Moon - Rodgers arr D Blackwell.
Our Spring concert was performed at St. John's Church, Wakefield on 21st May 2016 at 7:30 pm and was a celebration of music from the British choral tradition, both sacred and secular, and spanning about 500 years of history, right up to the 21st century.
Consort sang Henry Purcell’s majestic setting of the Te Deum. Written to be performed on St Cecilia’s Day (patron saint of music) in 1694, this work moves continuously between the imposing and the intimate, as the full choir is contrasted with sections for semi chorus. The alto solo “Vouchsafe, O Lord” is a particularly poignant moment.
The sacred choral tradition was further represented in works by Byrd and Harris. Civitas sancti tui is the second part of Byrd’s longer anthem Ne irascaris Domine, and exemplifies the composer’s skill in polyphonic writing. Harris’ anthem Faire is the Heaven is more chordal in texture, as the choir splits into two groups that sing alternately and together, with rich harmonies that make this piece an undoubted classic.
In keeping with my plan for more contemporary repertoire, James Macmillan’s Song of the Lamb was first performed in 2008. Setting words from Revelation, it is an exciting and innovative composition, with highly ornamented choral parts and colourful harmonies that show the influence of his teacher Kenneth Leighton. The organ part is also dazzling, and bears almost no relation to what the choir is doing!
The secular half of the programme included part-songs by a trio of eminent choral composers: Stanford, Parry and Charles Wood. In addition, there were two wordless songs by Delius, full of jazzy harmonies and written almost like orchestral pieces, entitled To be sung of a summer night on the water.
We concluded as we began, with a celebration of music itself. Vaughan Williams’ Serenade to Music (1938) sets words from Shakespeare, and was originally written for sixteen soloists and orchestra. Most of the accompaniment was supplied by the organ, but we also welcomed Nicholas Meredith on solo violin. This piece is both gentle and exuberant, and was the perfect ending to an evening of British choral music.
Services sung at Wakefield cathedral February 14th 2016
The Eucharist with Litany in procession;
Hymns: NEH 68; 62; 76
Setting: Collegium Regale – Howells
Communio9n anthem: Remember not, Lord, our offences – Purcell
Voluntary: Jesus accepta la souffrance – Messiaen
Hymns NEH 59(i); 64; 70(i)
Responses: Plainsong psalm: 119 verses 73-88
Canticles: Farrant in A minor
Anthem: Warum ist das Licht gegeben dem Muhseligen? – brahms
Voluntary: Allein zu dir Herr Jesu Christ Emans 27 – J S Bach
9th December 2015
The programme consisted of the usual mixture of seasonal music combined with readings and carols for audience participation.
A Somerset Carol - Arr. William Llewellyn
Adam lay y bounden -Boris Ord
Once in Royal David's City - Henry Gauntlett Arr. A.H. Mann, descant David Willcocks
Away in a manger - Arr. William Llewellyn
King Jesus hath a garden - Arr. William Llewellyn
The Holly and the Ivy - June Nixon
O little town of Bethlehem - Trad. Arr. Vaughan Williams, Descant Thomas Armstrong
3 Carol Anthems - Herbert Howells
Here is the little door
A spotless rose
O come all ye faithful - Wade Arr. David willcocks
Lully, lulla - Kenneth Leighton
Dormi Jesu - John Rutter
Hark! The herald angels sing - Felix Mendelssohn, descant Willcocks
Ding dong merrily on high - Arr. Mack Wilberg
We wish you a merry Christmas - Arr. Arthur Warrell
26th September 2015
Our Autumn Concert was performed at Wakefield Cathedral
The programme was centred around two Baroque choral masterpieces. We were delighted to welcome back Cathedral Strings who last performed with us when we sang Handel's Messiah at St. John's Church in December 2013 to celebrate our thirtieth anniversary. We were again be joined by organist Sachin Gunga.
Dixit Dominus was written in Rome in 1707, using the Latin text from Psalm 110 and set to music of exceptional brilliance. It is written in eight movements and is a showpiece for singers and players alike with exceptional demands on the choir.
J S Bach's motets are few and unique among his compositions. We will be performing Jesu, meine Freude one of his best loved choral works. Written in 1723 it comprises of eleven short movements.
Splendente te, Deus dates from the period between 1773 and 1780 and is the most popular of the choruses from the heroic drama "Thamos, King of Egypt" for which Mozart wrote the incidental music.
16 May 2015 (7.30pm)
Our Spring concert was performed at St John's Church Wakefield
This concert contained a mixed programme of sacred and secular music, including;
MIssa Brevis in B flat by Mozart and the splendid Purcell verse anthem "O sing unto the Lord" written in 1688.
Five Negro Spirituals from A Child of Our Time, an oratorio with an anti-war message, composed by Michael Tippett.
We also performed an arrangement of "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot" arranged by Dale Adelmann for St. John's College, Cambridge.
Further contrast was provided by a performance of three sparkling choral arrangements of popular songs from the Great American Songbook - Jerome Kern's "Smoke gets in your eyes", Cole Porter's "Let's do it" and "In the mood" by Joe Garland.
15th February 2015
Consort deputised for the Wakefield Cathedral Choir, singing Choral Eucharist and Evensong at Wakefield Cathedral
10th December 2014
This year our annual subscription carol concert was performed in the beautifully refurbished St. John's Church, St John's square, Wakefield - a more central venue which we hope was more appropriate for our audience.
This is the truth sent from above – Arr. Ralph Vaughan Williams
The Angel Gabriel – Arr. Theo Saunders
The Lord at first did Adam make – Arr. David Willcocks
Once in Royal David’s City – Henry Gauntlett, arr.A.H. Mann,
Frohlocket, ihr Volker auf Erden – Felix Mendelssohn
There is no Rose – Anthony Baldwin
My Lord has come – Will Todd
Silent night - Franz Gruber arr. Colin Mawby
Away in a manger – Arr. Bob Chilcott
Coventry Carol – Arr. Thomas Moore
Sans Day Carol – Arr. John Rutter
O come, all ye faithful – Wade arr. David Hill
Echo Carol – David Wulstan
See amid the winter’s snow – John Goss Arr. David Willcocks
Hark! The herald angels sing - Felix Mendelssohn, descant and verse 3 organ part David Hill
Deck the hall – Arr. David Willcocks
We wish you a merry Christmas – Arr. Arthur Warrell
On 27th September 2014 Consort performed "Gloria" at Wakefield Cathedral
The celebratory theme, Gloria, was reflected in the selection of four very contrasting pieces with that title. Francis Poulenc's exuberant Gloria, written for solo soprano, choir and orchestra, was first performed in Boston, Massachusetts, in January 1961 two years before his death.
The second of our four Gloria pieces was taken from "Missa Sancti Nicolai", one of Joseph Haydn's famous Masses. A contrast to the Haydn was provided with the grandeur of the "Gloria in Excelsis" by Charles Villiers Stanford, which was first performed at the coronation of HM King George V in June 1911. Such was the popularity of the work that it was also included in the orders of service for the coronations of HM George VI in May 1938 and HM Queen Elizabeth II in June 1953.
The fourth choral item, completing the celebratory theme for the concert, was the Gloria by the highly popular English composer John Rutter.
We were delighted to be joined for this performance by Austonley Brass who also played Susato Suite - Tylman Susato, and Tonight & America from West Side Story - Leonard Bernstein. Austonley Brass is one of the North of England’s premier brass ensembles.
On 14th June 2014,
the full "Missa Papae Marcelli - Palestrina
and also the Tudor Anthems
"This is the record of John" - Gibbons
"Alleluia. I heard a voice" - Weelkes
"When David heard" - Weelkes
"When David heard" - Tomkins
"If ye love me" - Tallis
On the 9th March 2014
Consort visited St Giles Church, Market Place, Pontefract to sing Choral Evensong
16th February 2014
Consort once again deputised for the Wakefield Cathedral choir at the
11 o'clock and 3.30 pm services.
Missa Papae Marcelli - Palestrina
Laudate - M Dupre
Responses - B Rose
Magnificat & Nunc Dimitis (St. Paul's)- Howells
Exsultate Deo - Palestrina
30th Anniversary performance 2013
On Wednesday December 11th at St John's Church Wakefield - our 30th Anniversary celebration event was a performance of Handel's Messiah with only twenty singers, a small orchestra and soloists, using the smaller forces Handel wrote the work for, and used for its first performance in Dublin in April 1742. It was a splendid occasion which was well received. The accuracy and precision of the chorus work prompted a number of very generous compliments, including "passionate", "fantastic", "completely amazing", "poignant", and "perfect".
From The Wakefield Express "superb in all respects"
and "an evening of musical excellence"
(see reviews and comments page for full review)
performed on 28th September 2013 at 7.30 pm
in the recently refurbished Wakefield Cathedral
Featuring a tribute to Benjamin Britten
Jubilate Deo in C - B. Britten
Te Deum in C - B. Britten
Listen sweet dove - G. Ives
Celebration of life - A. Wills
Salve Regina - F. Poulenc
Choral Dances from Gloriana - B. Britten
O God enfold me in the sun - K. Leighton
It is a thing most wonderful - P. Moore
The evening primrose - B. Britten
Second Organ Sonata P. Hindemith
Lebhaft; Ruhig bewegt; Fuge Massig bewegt, heiter
Ride on in majesty - G. Ives
Antiphon - P. Moore
On Saturday 4th May at 7.30 p.m. in St. John's Church, Wakefield the following programme of French music was performed;
Psalm 150 – César Franck
Cortège et Litanie – Marcel Dupré
Daniel Justin – Organ
Messe Solennelle – Louis Vierne
Four motets – Maurice Duruflé
Ubi caritas; Tota pulchra es; Tu es Petrus; Tantum ergo
Ave Maria – Louis Vierne
Tantum ergo – Louis Vierne
Trois chansons de Charles d’Orléans – Claude Debussy Dieu! Qu’il la fait bon regarder!
Quand j'ay ouy le tabourin
Yver, vous n'estes qu'un villain
Hamburger Totentanz – Guy Bovet
Daniel Justin – organ
Hymn à la Vierge – Pierre Villette
On Sunday 17th February 2013, Consort sang the services at Wakefield Cathedral:
Common Worship (Traditional language) s
ung by St Peter’s Consort
Hymns: NEH 333, 65, 74
Setting: Missa Aeterna Christi Munera - Palestrina
Gradual: Ave Maria - Lindley
Communion anthem: Hear my prayer, O Lord - Purcell
sung by St Peter’s Consort
Hymns: NEH 64, 357, 67
Canticles: Naylor in A
Anthem: Faire is the heaven - Harris
Events in previous years
A Christmas concert
December 10th & 12th 2012
Saturday, 22nd September 2012, 7.30 pm
at St John's Church, Wakefield
and Saturday 15th september 2012 at St. John the Baptist church, Adel
Sunday 12th February 2012- Services sung at Wakefield Cathedral
Monday 12th December 2011- Carol concert in aid of MacMillan Cancer Support at Dewsbury Baptist Church
Wednesday 14th December 2011- Subscription Carol concert at St. Mary's Church, Horbury Junction.
Saturday 24th September 2011 - Wakefield Cathedral
Alongside The Consort pieces were a series of piano and organ duets and trios, starring Tom Moore, Daniel Justin and Tom Leech. (Daniel is our regular accompanist and Tom is an organist for the Roman Catholic Dicese of Leeds). These included:
"An English Country Garden", Horseguards Parade", and The Hebrides Overture".
Saturday 14th May 2011 - St John's Church, Wentworth Street, Wakefield
Saturday 19th March 2011 - Concert at All Saints Church, Upper Poppleton
Sunday 13th February 2011- Services sung at Wakefield Cathedral
Choral Eucharist - 11.00 am
December 15th 2010
September 18th 2010
June 5th 2010
This venue was changed to St John's church Wakefield owing to mechanical problems with the Cathedral organ.
A CD of the full concert can be purchased
Click on the underlined title below to hear a sample.
C.V. Stanford—Ceolos ascendit hodie [1.51]
W. Byrd—Sing joyfully [2.38]
T. Tallis—If ye love me [2.03]
T. Luis deVictoria—Ave Maria [2.00]
H. Howells—Finzi’s Rest (Solo organ Daniel Justin) [4.24]
F. Schubert—Psalm 23 (arranged for ladies’ voices) [5.37]
S.S. Wesley—Ascribe unto the Lord [13.39]
G. Finzi—Lo, the full final sacrifice [14.42]
S.S. Wesley—Choral song and Fugue (solo organ Thomas Moore) [7.37]
Anon.—De animals a-coming (arranged for men’s voices) [1.40]
Anon.— Joshua fit de battle of Jericho (arranged for men’s voices) [1.34]
A. Carter—Two for the price of one [2.08]
H. Parry—Blest Pair of Sirens [10.45]
April 10th/11th 2010
A group of Consort members, together with some invited guests, travelled to Bristol to sing in St Mary Redcliffe Church, Bristol, and Downside Abbey.
Saturday 10th April: Evensong 4.00 pm St Mary Redcliffe Church.
Sunday 11th April: Mass 10.00 am Downside Abbey
Music: Sumsion responses, Bairstow in D canticles,
Ye Choirs of new Jerusalem-Stanford. Schubert mass in G.
Concerts and Services sung during 2009
Sunday, 15th February Services sung in Wakefield Cathedral
Music by Ireland, Rheinberger, & Byrd,
Consort members at lunch between services
Music by Rose, Naylor, & Stanford