Reading Phoenix Choir to tour Kent

This June, Reading Phoenix Choir will travel to Kent for a weekend festival of music making. Performing at various locations across the county, the choir’s family friendly programme will introduce audience members to our unique choral style singing a selection of songs from ‘madrigals to jazz’ from memory and mostly a capella.

This weekend celebrates the end of the choir’s singing season and will include the final performances with Musical Director, David Crown who leaves the choir in July after six successful years.

David Crown, says:

“We are excited to be performing in a number of venues across Kent. The variety of locations and audiences for whom we will perform demonstrates the choir’s adaptability and compliments the diversity of our repertoire – highlighting why we are one of the top amateur choir’s in the country.’

The choir will be visiting Kent from 10-12 June 2016 and will be performing at the following locations:

  • 10 June, 7.30pm – St George’s Church, Church Street, Gravesend DA11 0DJ
  • 11 June, 12pm – Wealden Times Midsummer Fair, Hole Park, Rolvenden TN17 4JB
  • 11 June, 7.30pm – All Saints Church, Mill Street, Maidstone ME15 6YE
  • 12 June, 2pm – Whitstable Funday Sunday, Marine Parade, Whitstable CT5 2BE

Tickets are available via the choir’s website at www.readingphoenixchoir.com/kent.

Star soloists join Reading Phoenix Choir for Annual Concert

Choir breaks from tradition to perform Faure’s Requiem

After 48 singing seasons, Reading Phoenix Choir makes a break from the tradition of singing a selection of songs from ‘ madrigals to jazz’ to perform Faure’s Requiem as part of their Annual Concert. This concert is the celebratory event of the choir’s singing season. This year the choir will be joined by up and coming star soloists Morgan Pearse (Baritone) and Anna Sideris (Soprano), and accompanied by Organist Christopher Cromar.

The choir’s musical director, David Crown, says: “Following the success of singing ‘works’ at the choir’s annual Come and Sing events we have been encouraged to learn and perform Faure’s Requiem. We are always looking to try new things and to challenge ourselves, and have enjoyed this opportunity to explore a different area of musical history. It has been an exciting journey. We are now really looking forward to sharing our musical adventures with our Annual Concert audience.

Reading Phoenix Choir, one of the UK’s finest amateur choirs, was established in 1969. Its first performance was at the Morris Motors Music Festival in Oxford and it has since performed at venues worldwide, including the Royal Albert Hall, Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris and Reading’s Madejski Stadium as part of the London Olympic 2012 festivities. The choir competed at the prestigious Cork International Choral Festival 2015 in Ireland in May 2015 and at Christmas won a national competition to be featured on Classic FM’s Drive.

The choir’s Annual Concert takes place on Saturday 6 February at 7.30pm, at the Concert Hall, The Town Hall, Blagrave Street, Reading RG1 1QH. Tickets are available herehere and range from £9.50 to £19.50 (£6 for under 16s).

Anna Sideris – Soprano
Anna is studying on the Advanced Opera Programme at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, where she works with Janice Chapman. While studying for her undergraduate degree at Oxford University Anna sang in masterclasses with eminent singers, such as Renee Fleming, Toby Spence and Ann Murray. She obtained her Masters from the Royal Academy of Music, where she was generously supported by the Kohn Foundation, the Josephine Baker Trust and Help Musicians UK; and performed the following roles in scenes performances: Fiordiligi Cosi Fan Tutte (Mozart), Ellen Peter Grimes (Britten) and Ariane Ariane et Barbe-Bleue (Dukas)

Anna has recorded two Fauré songs for BBC Radio 3 Music Matters, and performed Cinq Melodies de Venise (Fauré) at Kings Place, London. Recent concerts include Boulez Improvisations sur Mallarmé with the Manon Ensemble for Aldeburgh festival, Strauss Vier letzte lieder with the Oxford Millennium Orchestra, Handel Messiah and Mozart Mass in C performed at St John’s Smith Square. Anna has been working for the charity Live Music Now! since November 2014.

Anna was an Alvarez Young Artist for Garsington Opera in the 2015 season, playing Resi Intermezzo (Strauss) and 1st Fairy A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Mendelssohn). Other operatic experience includes Lucy The Telephone (Menotti) for Salon Opera, Tamiri (cover) in Il Re Pastore (Mozart) for New Chamber Opera, Monica in The Medium (Menotti) & Eurydice in Orfeus and Eurydice (Gluck) for New Chamber Opera Studio. Anna has been involved in education projects for Glyndebounre Opera and Garsington Opera.

Morgan Pearse – Baritone

During the 2014/15 season Morgan joined Houston Grand Opera Studio where his roles included Papageno (The Magic Flute), Yamadori (Madame Butterfly), Anthony (Sweeney Todd) and the cover of Guglielmo (Cosi fan tutte). He went on to perform Figaro in Corigliano’s Ghosts of Versailles for Wolftrap Opera in Virginia.

This season Morgan returns to the UK and to English National Opera taking the role of Figaro (Barber of Seville) and appears at Wigmore Hall.

In 2013 Morgan was selected by YCAT and won the Gold Medal at the Royal Over-Seas League Competition. He subsequently took the title role in Owen Wingrave with Sydney Chamber Opera and made his debut with English National Opera as Pompeo (Benvenuto Cellini).

Born in 1988, Morgan Pearse studied at the Sydney Conservatorium & University and the Royal College of Music International Opera School, where he won the prestigious Lies Askonas Prize. He was selected by YCAT in 2013.

Christopher Cromar – Organist
Christopher Cromar was born in Scotland and was educated at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama, Chetham’s School of Music, the Conservatoire Superieur de Paris. He now works extensively as a conductor, pianist and organist on the concert platform and as a repetiteur and vocal coach for leading opera companies, choirs (including the BBC Singers and Halle Choir) and distinguished soloists. He regularly serves the vocal and opera faculties of several UK conservatoires.

Christopher has also pursued a career as a concert organist giving many recitals in Westminster Abbey, St. Paul’s Cathedral, Westminster Cathedral, King’s College, Cambridge, Notre Dame and in Germany, Holland, Greece and the USA.

As a pianist he has performed extensively throughout Europe and made his debut at London’s Barbican Centre in 2006.

Christopher has broadcast on BBC TV and radio, Channel 4 TV and Radio France and he features on several CD recordings. A disc of music by Jonathan Dove on the Naxos label was released in June 2011.

Reading Phoenix Choir wins national competition

Reading Phoenix Choir’s festive recording to feature on Classic FM this Christmas

Reading based music group Reading Phoenix Choir is delighted to announce that it will feature on Classic FM’s Drive this Christmas, with a special recording of Coventry Carol.

The group’s recording is one of five winning entries selected for Classic FM’s popular prime-time Drive slot by Classic FM and Making Music, the UK’s membership organisation for amateur music groups.

The five winning entries will be played in the week commencing 7 December, one entry per day. Reading Phoenix Choir’s carol will be played on Wednesday 9th December.

Following the success of the choir’s annual charity Christmas Concert at Reading Minster this recording was made as part of the choir’s Christmas CD ‘The Midnight Clear’. It was chosen as the entry for Classic FM because it highlights the choir’s warm and joyful sound – a perfect choice for spreading good feeling this Christmas. It was conducted by Musical Director David Crown and recorded in 2013.

This year the choir’s Christmas Concert ‘Carols at Christmas’ will be at 5pm on Saturday 19th December, Reading Minster.

Making Music’s Executive Director Barbara Eifler says: “We were delighted to receive 59 entries from across the UK, showing the breadth and variety of our member groups. All the entries were strong but these five represent the very best and show the UK amateur music scene to be in very good health – we are thrilled that Classic FM is recognising the wealth of talent that is out there this Christmas.”

With almost 5.5million listeners tuning in each week, Classic FM is one of the top three commercial radio stations in the UK. This is an exciting opportunity for Reading Phoenix Choir to reach an even wider audience across the UK, and spread some musical joy this festive season!

UK chart-topping pianist Ji Liu guests at Reading Phoenix Choir’s Annual Concert

Concert marks the choir’s 800th performance

 

Reading Phoenix Choir will be joined by UK chart-topping classical pianist Ji Liu at its Annual Concert on Saturday 16 May 2015, at Reading’s impressive Concert Hall.  The concert marks the choir’s 800th performance since its creation in 1969.

 

The choir’s musical director, David Crown, says:  “To celebrate our 800th performance, we wanted to invite a guest artist of international standing to this year’s Annual Concert.  I’m delighted that Ji Liu, who has played on some of the world’s most famous stages, has agreed to join us.  I think this will be a very special evening for Reading’s music lovers.”

 

Described by Classic FM as ‘…one of the most promising pianists of his generation’, Shanghai-born Ji Liu, 25, was the UK’s biggest-selling classical breakthrough artist of 2014.  His debut solo album Piano Reflections shot straight to Number One in the classical charts in February 2014, and his second album Piano Encores entered the charts at Number 2 in February 2015.

 

Reading Phoenix Choir, one of the UK’s finest amateur choirs, was established in 1969.  Its very first performance was at the Morris Motors Music Festival in Oxford and it has since performed at venues worldwide, including the Royal Albert Hall, Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris and Reading’s Madejski Stadium as part of the London Olympic 2012 festivities.  The choir was recently selected to compete at the prestigious Cork International Choral Festival 2015 in Ireland in May 2015.

 

The choir’s Annual Concert takes place on Saturday 16 May at 7.30pm, at the Concert Hall, The Town Hall, Blagrave Street, Reading RG1 1QH.  Tickets are available via the choir’s ticket page and range from £10 to £20 (concessions for under 16s).  The choir is offering a £5 discount on Annual Concert tickets if bought together with tickets for its Come & Sing event on Saturday 11 July 2015.

Reading Phoenix Choir selected to compete at Cork International Choral Festival

One of only 10 choirs selected from entrants worldwide

Reading Phoenix Choir has been selected to compete at the prestigious Cork International Choral Festival 2015 in Ireland. One of just 10 choirs chosen from entrants in 14 countries, the choir will be singing to win the Festival’s Fleischmann International Trophy, competing against some of the best amateur choirs in the world.

David Crown, the choir’s musical director, says: I am delighted that Reading Phoenix Choir will be taking part in one of the world’s most prestigious choral competitions. We’re going to be working our socks off in the next few months to make sure that we can give any choir a run for their money.  I’ve already felt the excitement among the members of the choir and I’m looking forward to seeing how we fare as we pit ourselves against some of the best choirs in the world.’

The choir will sing four unaccompanied pieces in the competition, lasting around 12 minutes in total. As one of the Fleischmann International Trophy participants, it has also been invited to perform at a number of the Festival’s other activities, including fringe concerts, its church interchange programme and informal public performances. The Festival takes place between 29 April and 3 May 2015.

Reading Phoenix Choir currently has vacancies in all voice parts, not least because of its very own baby boom – five of the choir’s female singers have had babies in the last year!

To audition for the choir in time to sing at Cork, singers are invited to email info@readingphoenixchoir.com.