Join us for the Summer Concert, Saturday 10th June, 7.30
31/10/16 - Appointment
NEW ARTISTIC DIRECTOR
We have a new artistic director! Neil Taylor is a well-known choral director and organist who lives in Macclesfield.
Neil says he is very much looking forward to working with KBC from January, when rehearsals begin for his first concert with us on 8 April.
From 1997 to 2016, Neil was Organist and Director of Music at Sheffield Cathedral. During his tenure, the cathedral choir toured both at home and abroad, and broadcast frequently on BBC Radios 2 and 3. CD recordings include Music for a Millennium (a Classic FM Magazine CD of the Year award winner) and nine CD recordings with the cathedral choir, all receiving high critical acclaim.
Neil is Music Director of St George’s Singers, Manchester, and appears frequently with the BBC as Musical Director and Organist on BBC Daily Service and Sunday Worship.
As solo organist, he has played at many major venues in the UK. He is in demand as a piano and organ accompanist and continuo player and has worked with the Hallé, the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra and the Royal Northern Sinfonia.
Neil describes himself as a keen cook and an enthusiast of real ales and good wines.
We are very happy that Neil is joining us, and look forward to getting to know him better.
07/01/16 - Join us
Tenors and Basses
The great search continues: if you fancy trying us out for a few weeks next term, come to Keele Chapel on Thurs evening at 6.15.
Subscriptions apply. Free to those in full time education.
If you have any queries beforehand then contact us via Facebook or Twitter, or use the form on the website.
Praise for Bach’s St John Passion, March 2016
‘Truly moving … and got better and better as the performance went on. Thank you to all for the work, effort and skill to make a truly spiritual experience.’
‘Great concert this evening, Keele. Thank you.’
‘Enjoyed the St. John Passion – love the baroque sound of the flute in the duet with voice in Part 1.’
‘Triumphant 40th Anniversary concert.’
‘Thanks, Keele Bach Choir, for a lovely Johannespassion.’
Christmas Concert 2015
Keele Bach Choir’s 40th anniversary started with a real bang! Our November concert featured the rousing Carmina Burana and a specially commissioned Fanfare and Meditation: To Music by Richard Norris.
This was a rich musical feast which covered the whole gamut of emotion from angelic to zesty! We were delighted to be joined by children from two local schools who sang like angels in Carmina Burana. Another treat was provided by Keele music students who delivered exhilarating brass and percussion in both works (we particularly liked the buzzy-bee castanets!). Our accompanist Peter Durrant threw himself into Carmina’s propulsive rhythms and massive chords with his usual enthusiasm and flair. The fantastic professional soloists David le Prevost, Jennifer Rust and Matthew Minter wow’d us with their vocal prowess. And finally, respect to Matt Hamilton who succeeded in uniting all these disparate elements in a coherent whole.
It was also a privilege to give the first ever performance of Richard Norris’s Fanfare and Meditation: To Music. The talented Richard, our Composer-in-Residence, sings bass in the Choir and wrote the piece to celebrate our Ruby Anniversary. Huge congratulations to the four soloists from our very own ranks! If you missed Fanfare first time round, there’s another chance to catch it in our summer concert. And for those of you who were at the première: it just keeps getting better each time you hear it!
Matt moves to the Hallé
We’re sorry to say that the Carmina Burana/Fanfare and Meditation concert was Matt’s last outing with us: he’s off to take up the position of Choral Director at Manchester’s Hallé Choir. Our loss is the Hallé’s gain: like us, they’ll benefit from his immense professionalism, exceptional musical talent, academic erudition, humour, energy and enthusiasm. Well done, Matt, and the very best wishes of KBC accompany you as you embark on this new phase of your career. Sincere thanks from us all for your immeasurable contribution to our Choir.
However, turning to the future, we’ve been extremely lucky to have secured the services of Christopher Cromar, who’ll be directing us for the rest of the season. Welcome, Chris! We’re very much looking forward to getting to know you better and making beautiful music together!
26/05/15 - The past year….
Notes written by Richard Norris giving an insight into the music for our June 2015 concert.
Brahms and Rheinberger – tender and wistful romanticism
Our first concert of the season featured music exclusively written in the 20th century, while for the second concert we went “back to baroque”. Now we move forward to the romantic and present a series of works composed in the late 1800s; indeed, three of these works were composed within a ten-year period.
Brahms needs no introduction. But who was Josef Rheinberger? Not only was Rheinberger an almost exact contemporary of Brahms, he was in his time almost as widely known and respected as Brahms.
In the latter part of the 19th century, Germanic composers divided into two mutually hostile camps, the Brahmsians and the Wagnerites. Rheinberger, while officially neutral and occasionally showing influences of Wagner in his music, was intellectually and emotionally inclined towards Brahms in his stylistic approach. Thus, while their respective music has its own imprint, similarities between them are evident, especially the music in this concert, in which strains of a tender and wistful romanticism can be heard.
04/05/15 - Bethesda Chapel Welcomes KBC Singers
As part of the Hanley Cultural Quarter Open Day on Saturday 2 May, members of Keele Bach Choir visited the Bethesda Chapel to see this impressive local restoration project and to sing a mix of folk tunes, spirituals and some well-known sacred pieces.
Bethesda Methodist Chapel first came to national attention in the BBC Restoration series in 2003. This vast, handsome place of worship in the centre of Hanley deteriorated rapidly after its final service in 1985. A £2.5million repair and upgrading scheme started in 2007 and has restored much of the building, including the celebrated tiered galleries and the impressive front elevation and colonnade. However, there is much more to do to restore it to its former grandeur.
The chapel is at Albion Street, Hanley ST1 1QF, with open days on the second Saturday of each month.
22/03/15 - KBC on Radio Stoke
Keele Bach Choir’s concert Back to Baroque on 21 March was featured on BBC Radio Stoke that same morning. We were very excited to hear our voices on the radio – the choir rehearsing Scarlatti and Purcell, plus some of our members explaining just why they like singing with KBC.
If you missed it, here’s a link to the audio clip: