Magical Reading – Living Advent Calendar

Reading Phoenix Choir are delighted to be taking part in Magical Reading’s Living Advent Calendar as part of our 50th Anniversary Season. Magical Reading is funded by the Reading BID, Reading UK and Reading Borough Council. We’ll be singing in John Lewis on Sunday 2nd December from 1-1.30pm. Why not come and listen to some beautiful Christmas carols while you do your Christmas shopping? There’s no need to book, just show up!

We’re behind the second door of the advent calendar – we’ve never been behind a door before – and there’s so much going on across the festive period. Find out who else is hiding behind doors at www.magicalreading.co.uk, and join with us in celebrating music-making, comedy and art across Reading.

You will also have the opportunity to buy tickets for the Living Advent raffle. All money raised will be split between three local charities:

Home-Start Reading

Home-Start Reading has been running since 1984. They support local families by providing them with a well-matched and trained volunteer, who offers up to 3 hours per week of non-judgemental support in the comfort of the families’ own homes.  These volunteers help families get out and about, register them or take them to the health services or appointments. They also gently role-model positive parenting, attachment and adult-child interactions. Homestart’s aim is to help these parents reach independence and good levels of coping for the benefit and life chances of their children. They are the only service of this kind left in Reading.

ReadiFood

ReadiFood is an independent Food Bank providing food parcels to those in severe need in the greater Reading area. They operate as part of and on behalf of the Churches of Reading to provide services which individual churches alone would not be able to provide.

Reading Samaritans

Every six seconds, somebody contacts the Samaritans. A free, confidential service, available 24/7 – no waiting lists, and no assessments. Reading has an active branch, made up of 150 dedicated volunteers who all play a vital part in supporting their callers – whether by phone, text, email, in person at our branch or at community events across Berkshire.

Celebrating 50 Golden Years

On 17th September 2018 Reading Phoenix Choir launch their 50th season and embark on a year full of musical events and activities.

To kick start celebrations for their 50th year and release the first track of the new CD Golden Phoenix, the choir invites past members to join them at this rehearsal on 17th September. This rehearsal will be a preview of the 50th season finale, the Gala concert in July 2019, when members and ex-members from the choir’s 50 year history will join together again. This Gala concert at the Great Hall, University of Reading, will include performances by present Phoenicians, former members and guest conductors to perform the top rated songs from the repertoire of the last 50 years.

Chris Hann, Musical Director says:

‘I am hugely excited about our 50th season. Not only does it give us the opportunity to reflect upon the many wonderful achievements of the choir over the past 50 years and re-connect with ex members, but also to look forward to what promises to be a very bright and exciting future.’

Over the course of the year the choir will also be celebrating its history of charitable giving, community involvement and first class music making by partnering with a number of different charities, creating a collaborative artwork with audience members, hosting a Come and Sing of Handel’s Messiah, and performing the winning piece from the inaugural Walter Hussey Composition Competition. This will take place at the Annual Concert in March 2019, at which Head Judge Kerry Andrew and her alt-folk group You Are Wolf will perform. Additionally further CD tracks will be released throughout the year.

The choir invites the people of Reading to join in our celebrations and help us gather as much Reading Phoenix Choir memorabilia, photographs, news stories and personal memories as possible to celebrate this milestone. This will be collated on our 50th anniversary website www.rpc50.com, live from 17th September.

For more information on the programme of events and activities for the 50th season join our mailing list at www.rpc50.com/email or for concert details visit www.readingphoenixchoir.com/concerts.

For interviews and more information contact Alice Watson on publicity@readingphoenixchoir.com.

Time for a ‘Right Royal’ Come and Sing!

Join Reading Phoenix Choir at our 6th annual Come and Sing to perform a selection of music that draws upon 230 years of choral music devoted to the Royal Family.

On Saturday 14th July 2018, Reading Phoenix Choir will take over Reading Minster to host a workshop and concert to celebrate the addition of two new members of the Royal Family. Participants will learn a range of pieces composed for royal occasions, from the well-known Zadok the Priest, commissioned to mark the coronation of George II in 1727, to the more recent Behold O God Our Defender, written to celebrate the Queen’s Golden Jubilee in 2002.

Reading Phoenix Choir Musical Director Chris Hann says

‘Our Come and Sing is one of the highlights of our singing season and this year’s Royal theme will make it extra special following the recent birth of Prince Louis and the Royal Wedding in May. We invite all singers to join us and take the opportunity to sing some of the most iconic choral pieces in the history of the English monarchy.’

An earlybird price of £20 is available for the Come and Sing workshop (including scores) until 31st May, after which they revert to full price at £25. Concert tickets are £5 on the door, unless purchased alongside a Come and Sing workshop ticket where a £2 discount will be applied when using the discount code ROYALC&S at checkout. The workshop runs from 1pm with the performance starting at 6.30pm.

All singers are welcome.

More details can be found here and tickets can be purchased here.

The full programme includes:

  • Zadok the Priest | Handel
  • I Was Glad | Parry
  • Blest Pair of Sirens | Parry
  • Thou Wilt Keep Him in Perfect Peace | Wesley
  • Behold O God Our Defender | Scott

 

Annual Concert leads the way to a Golden year

On Saturday 3rd March 2018, Reading Phoenix Choir will host their 49th Annual Concert, the highlight of their concert season and a precursor to celebrations for their 50th year.

This year’s Annual Concert ‘Gloria!’ will take place in the heart of Reading at the Concert Hall and will contain a varied choral programme representative of the choir’s recognisable style. The choir will perform Rutter’s Gloria with the Phoenix Brass Ensemble as well as highlights from Rachmaninov’s Vespers and Howells’ Requiem. This will be followed by a selection of lighter pieces from their repertoire including Whitacre’s Lux Arumque, and arrangements of Freddie Mercury’s Crazy Little Thing Called Love, and David Bowie’s Life on Mars.

Chris Hann, Musical Director of Reading Phoenix Choir, says:

‘The Annual Concert is a fantastic opportunity for supporters of the choir, both old and new, to experience the very best of Reading Phoenix Choir. It is the highlight of the season and offers a show reel of what we do best. If you go to any concert in Reading this year, this has to be it!’

Not only will this concert be a jam packed evening of fantastic music making but it will also provide the perfect opportunity for any budding choral composers, interested in entering our recently launched choral composition competition, to experience the choir in its full glory. The concert will enable potential competition entrants to realise what the choir, recognised as one of the best amateur choirs in the country, is truly capable of.

The Walter Hussey Composition Competition, launched in January 2018 and boasting a £750 prize and a line-up of top judges, is proving to be an exciting subject of discussion among the composing world. The momentum is building for the new competition with over 100 up and coming composers having registered interest in submitting an entry.

The theme of the inaugural competition is ‘Gold’ to coincide with the choir’s upcoming 50th season. Reading Phoenix Choir will perform the world premiere of the winning entry at their 50th year Annual Concert on 9th March 2019 at Reading Concert Hall.

‘Gloria’ is at 7.30pm on Saturday 3rd March at the Concert Hall, Blagrave Street, Reading, RG1 1QH. Tickets (full price: £20, £17, under 16s: £7.50) are available from the Reading Arts Box Office website or on 0118 960 6060.

Reading Phoenix Choir Launches Choral Composition Competition

On Tuesday 9th January 2018, Reading Phoenix Choir launches an exciting new international choral composition competition.

The Walter Hussey Composition Competition, with a £750 prize and a line-up of top judges, promises to become one of the leading choral composition competitions of our time.

The adjudication panel for the inaugural year will comprise of four time winner of the British Composer Awards Kerry Andrew, internationally acclaimed film composer Andrew McKenna, and award winning conductor and vocal coach Anthony Jenner, alongside representatives from Reading Phoenix Choir.

Kerry Andrew says

I am really excited to be judging Reading Phoenix Choir’s first composition competition! I’m looking forward to seeing some new choral music that both works for voices and feels exciting and new.’ 

The competition is named in honour of Walter Hussey, Dean of Chichester Cathedral from 1955 to 1977, who commissioned many choral works throughout his lifetime. It was at Chichester that choir member Howard Jenner, and his brother and competition judge Anthony Jenner, were choristers under the guidance of Hussey. Inspired by the commitment of Walter Hussey to support the work of composers, musicians and artists, financially as well as intellectually, the idea for a composition competition evolved.

Howard Jenner says

‘Since the initial discussions about where the choir could get their next piece of new music, the team have put together and executed a launch plan about which I am very proud and excited. A potential commission turned into an idea for a competition and I cannot wait to hear the completely new sounds that the composers will be creating.’

The theme of the inaugural competition is ‘Gold’ to coincide with the choir’s upcoming 50th season. Reading Phoenix Choir will perform the world premiere of the winning entry at their 50th year Annual Concert on 9th March 2019 at Reading Concert Hall.

During its history Reading Phoenix Choir have given first performances of more than 25 pieces written and arranged by composers from all over the world, including well-known names such as Bob Chilcott, Andrew Carter and Donald Swann. Most recently, in 2016, the choir were involved in the premiere of ‘The Voyage’, a joint project between Bob Chilcott and Age UK Oxfordshire.

Chris Hann, Musical Director of Reading Phoenix Choir, says

Reading Phoenix Choir has a long standing tradition of commissioning new music. What better way to build on this and discover new music than by holding our own composition competition. New music is the life blood of the music business so I am hugely excited about this competition and the new works we will discover.

The closing date for competition entries is 1st July 2018. Entrants must be aged 16 or over. The winner of the competition will be announced in March 2019.

For more information about the competition visit www.walterhussey.com.

Reading Phoenix Choir offers sanctuary at Reading Minster this Christmas time

Come in out of the cold to experience and enjoy the sanctuary of Reading Minster at Reading Phoenix Choir’s annual Carol Concert this Saturday!

On 16th December 2017, Reading Phoenix Choir will host a magical evening filled with Christmas music in aid of local cause Reading Minster Sanctuary. Every Saturday night the Sanctuary provides a place of refuge, recovery and refreshment for those in need – which everyone hopes to have at this time of year. Money raised from ticket sales will help to keep this service running.

The concert programme will be full of Christmas favourites – some sung by the choir, others for the audience to join in with – as well as a selection of readings. There will certainly be something for everyone, including some seasonal foody treats.

Over its 49-year history, Reading Phoenix Choir, which is one of the UK’s finest amateur choirs, has raised over £300,000 for a range of local and national charities. This charitable activity is close to the hearts of its members and is a core function of the organisation.

Reading Phoenix Choir Chair, Chris Riley, says:

‘We are delighted to return to Reading Minster for our annual Carol Concert. This concert is one of the highlights of our singing season and we are proud that every year we are able to use the proceeds to help fund services for the local community. This year we look forward to partnering with Reading Minster Sanctuary and to support their provision for vulnerable people in Reading.’

Reading Phoenix Choir’s Carol Concert is at Reading Minster, St Mary Butts, Reading RG1 2XH and starts at 5pm.

Tickets are available via www.readingphoenixchoir.org.uk/tickets, the Cards for Good Causes stand in Reading Minster, or on the door.

Armistice Day concert to raise money for ABF The Soldiers’ Charity

On Saturday 11th November, Reading Phoenix Choir will join together with ABF The Soldiers’ Charity to raise money for The National Charity of the British Army, who provide lifelong support to soldiers and veterans, as well as their immediate families, when they are in need.

Musical Director Christopher Hann says,

‘I am delighted that Reading Phoenix Choir is returning to Douai Abbey and we look forward to putting on a concert to commemorate Armistice Day. We are also immensely proud to be raising money for ABF The Soldiers’ Charity to support the vital work that they undertake to provide assistance to soldiers and veterans.’

Chairman of Berkshire ABF The Soldiers’ Charity, Brigadier (Retired) Peter Walker says,

‘We are delighted that the Phoenix Choir is going to perform at the Abbey to support the Charity for what will be a superb evening of music. We also wish to thank the Abbey for allowing this concert to take place in such a wonderful setting.’

The concert will take place at 7.30pm at the beautiful Douai Abbey in Upper Woolhampton. Performing the best examples of the choir’s extensive repertoire, the varied programme will include the hauntingly beautiful Howells’ Requiem, alongside Lotti’s Crucifixus and works by Tallis, Victoria, Brahms and Rachmaninov.

If you’ve never heard the choir before, then be prepared to be blown away by their quality and love of music-making. The choir demonstrates its excellence by singing predominantly unaccompanied and performs everything entirely from memory, allowing a real connection with the audience.

Tickets are £12 (£10 for concessions, £5 for under 16s) and are available to purchase from Newbury Corn Exchange (https://cornexchangenew.com/event/an-armistice-day-concert-in-support-of-abf-the-soldiers-charity)

Reading Phoenix Choir sings for a ‘Brighter Berkshire’!

On Saturday 21st October, Reading Phoenix Choir will join together with local community initiative Brighter Berkshire to raise money to support mental health services in Reading and throughout the country.

Following on from World Mental Health Awareness Day on 10th October, this concert supports Brighter Berkshire’s aim to reduce stigma around mental health and is one of Brighter Berkshire’s ‘2017 year of mental health’ events.

Reading Phoenix Choir Secretary and concert organiser, Rebecca Ranson said:

‘We are proud to be hosting this concert in aid of Brighter Berkshire as we believe it is such a fantastic way to support local mental health services. Choral singing is a proven way to improve wellbeing so we feel there is a natural link between the charity and us. The benefits of this concert are two-fold – we will not only be raising funds but also actively improving people’s mental health!’

Alison Foster from Brighter Berkshire said:

‘It doesn’t matter where we are when we speak about mental health, we always get someone so relieved we have opened the conversation and helped normalise talking about mental health. This is what this year is all about, hopefully the start of developing a more open and compassionate community in Berkshire when it comes to mental health. There are so many things we can all use around us to help mental health such as friends, music, sport, art and more, and this event is a great example of how powerful coming together for music can be.’

Reading Phoenix Choir will be hosting this concert in the heart of Reading at St Laurence Church, a beautiful 12th-dentury church on Friar Street. The choir will perform a varied selection of pieces from its extensive repertoire, introducing audience members to its unique choral style. The choir demonstrates its excellence through the performance of songs from ‘madrigals to pop’ from memory and mostly a cappella. From Brahms to Bowie, there really will be something for everyone.

Full details can be found here.

Preparations get underway for Spain tour

In April 2018, Reading Phoenix Choir will travel to northern Spain for the first time in its 49-year history for a spectacular week of music making.

Flying into Madrid, and working our way north then west, we currently have plans to sing at the Iglesia de la Asunción de Nuestra Señora in Melgar de Fernamental, Santuario de la Peregrina in Sahagún and Catedral Vieja in Salamanca.

This week saw our first meeting with the tour company and we can’t wait to share choir’s extensive repertoire across this region.

Our Musical Director Chris Hann says,

‘I am excited to bring Reading Phoenix Choir to mainland Spain for the very first time and perform in some of the most spectacular churches in Europe. We look forward to meeting our Spanish audiences and wowing them with our unique sound, varied repertoire and interminable professionalism.’

Tour preview: Join us in Sussex, this May!

Last year we enjoyed a wonderful mini weekend tour to Kent, performing across The Garden of England.

In fact, we had such lovely weekend, singing and socialising with our fellow choir members, we knew it was something we had to do again this year! We are therefore delighted to announce that this May we are making a trip down to the south coast for a mini tour in Sussex.

With two concerts booked, preparations are well under way to organise another successful tour.

Our first concert on Saturday 6th May will take us to St. George’s Church, Worthing, where we will be singing a rich and varied concert programme in aid of Worthing Churches Homeless Project.

This fantastic charity has been working extremely hard over the past 16 years with a vision that “Worthing and surrounding area is a community where no local person needs to sleep out and everyone has the opportunity to fulfil their potential”.

“Started in 1991 by four local Christians who took soup, blankets and sleeping bags to the seafront to local homeless people. From this small beginning, Worthing Churches Homeless Projects was born. Today this West Sussex Christian charity has grown to 56 staff members and over 200 volunteers and provides a range of services, which offer opportunities to regain independence.
 
Worthing Churches Homeless Projects believe that everyone has the right to a home, regardless of the difficulties and issues they may face in their lives. We believe in showing those who need our help, that the wider community are there to support them and to offer hope for a better future.
 
The work undertaken by Worthing Churches Homeless Projects is crucial, people who live in our accommodation receive the specialist support they need to ensure their recovery. We empower homeless or insecurely housed individuals to achieve sustainable independent living.”
 
On Sunday 7th May, our second will be part of the fabulous Brighton Fringe, England’s largest arts festival.

“Brighton Fringe is England’s largest arts festival and one of the largest fringe festivals in the world. We set out to stimulate, educate and entertain a diverse range of people through a diverse range of art forms. And all this in an iconic city with unique cultural heritage.
 
Brighton Fringe takes place every May (5 May – 4 June 2017)  This vast celebration of all things creative has grown out of and is inspired by, home-grown talent. More than 50% of participants are based in Brighton & Hove. We are committed to helping the arts flourish and are completely open-access, which means anyone can put on a Brighton Fringe event. No selection criteria are imposed on participants. This enables both new and established performers to try out new work and take risks. We also help artists develop professionally through a range of workshops, mentoring and bursary programmes. A wide array of critically acclaimed shows and performers also appear at Brighton Fringe each year, drawn by the huge number of appreciative audience members who attend every year.”
 
If you are going to be in Sussex, the weekend of the 6th & 7th May we would love it if you would join us for one of our fantastic concerts. We are looking forward to announcing our full concert programme shortly but in the meantime, further information and how to purchase tickets can be found HERE.

Meet our Annual Concert Soloists

We are gearing for our Annual Concert, the highlight of our concert season and thought now would be a great opportunity to introduce you to our concert soloists, who will be performing Brahms’ Ein Deutsches Requiem alongside the choir.

For full details on our Annual Concert, this February, Saturday 28th at 7.30pm at Reading’s beautiful Victorian Concert Hall and to purchase tickets, please CLICK HERE.

Soprano – Jessica Broad

Jessica Broad, soprano, graduated with BMus Hons and a Postgraduate Diploma in Opera Studies from The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. She now lives in London and continues her studies with Jenny Dakin.

Jessica is a regular performer on the opera and oratorio platform. She sings regularly with The Royal Opera House Chorus, English National Opera and Welsh National Opera. She has most recently been performing Oedipe with the Royal Opera House Chorus. Other recent opera chorus work has included: The Force of Destiny and Queen of Spades with English National Opera and Le Nozze di Figaro with The Royal Opera House. Her recent operatic roles have included: Marguerite in Gounod’s Faust; Micaela in Bizet’s Carmen and The Countess in Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro. She has sung chorus in Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin, Prokofiev’s The Love for Three Oranges (for which she understudied the role of Nicolette) and Prokofiev’s War and Peace.

Jessica is a founding member and manager of the professional vocal ensemble Dieci Voices. They perform extensively as an ensemble and also provide soloists for concerts and events. www.diecivoices.com

Future oratorio work includes: Bach’s St John Passion, Haydn Nelson Mass, Faure Requiem and Carr Requiem for an Angel. She will also be performing with Dieci Voices and recital partner Peter Yardley Jones. Please see her website for further details -www.jessicabroad.co.uk

Baritone – Robert Garland

Baritone Robert Garland is studying on the Opera Course at the Royal Academy of Music with Mark Wildman and Audrey Hyland where he also completed his Master of Arts. He is also a graduate of the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama where he studied with Janet Price. During his time at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama Robert was a Ley Clerk at Llandaff Cathedral and also sang with Classical Brit Award Winning Choir ‘Only Men Aloud!’.

Since moving to London Robert’s operatic roles include Bartolo in the Royal Academy of Music’s production of Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figao, Talbot in Donizetti’s Maria Stuarda, Figaro in Rossini’s Il barbiere di Siviglia, Guglielmo in Mozart’s Così fan tutte, Papageno in Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte and Belcore in Donizetti’s L’elisir d’amore. He has also covered the role of Papageno for Nevill Holt’s production of Mozart’s Die Zauberflote. He has performed the roles of Demitrius from Britten’s A Midsummer Nights Dream and Nardo from Mozart’s La Finta Giardiniera for the Royal Academy of Music’s Postgraduate Opera Scenes. Recent professional chorus work has included singing for Opera Holland Park’s Iris (Mascagani) and Grange Park Opera’s Peter Grimes (Britten), Pikovaya dama (Tchaikovsky), La Boheme (Puccini) and Samson et Dalila (Saint-Saens).

Robert has also worked with Northern Ireland Opera for Macbeth (Verdi) and Der fliegende Holländer (Wagner). He has sung in numerous oratorio performances most notably including; Brahms’s Requiem, Gounod’s St. Cecilia Mass, Rossini’s Petite Messe Solennelle and Vaughan-Williams’s Five Mystical Songs.

He is sponsored by the Josephine Baker Trust and his studies are generously supported by the Winship Foundation, the Split Infinitive Trust and the Mario Lanza Foundation.

Piano – Somi Kim

South Korean born New Zealand pianist, Somi Kim graduated from the Royal Academy of Music last year with an Advanced Diploma in Performance, receiving the HRH Princess Alice the Duchess of Gloucester’s Prize for exemplary studentship. In 2015, Somi gained her Master of Arts with Distinction, receiving a DipRAM and the Christian Carpenter Prize for the Best Recital. Somi is the winner of the Gerald Moore Award for Accompanists, AESS Patricia Routledge National English Song Accompanist Prize, Bromsgrove International Musicians Competition Accompanist Prize, Vivian Langrish Memorial Trust Prize, Thomas Art of Song Accompanist Prize, Major van Someron-Godfery Prize for Accompanists and the Concordia Serena Nevill Prize. Somi received the 6th Pettman/Royal Over-Seas League Arts International Scholarship in 2013 and had her debut with Chamber Music New Zealand last year.

Somi is sought after as a chamber musician, song accompanist and répétiteur. She is an artist for the Kirckman Concert Society, Park Lane Group, Concordia Foundation and is a Yeoman of the Worshipful Company of Musicians. Somi is a scholar on the Samling Artist Programme and Georg Solti Accademia and is a staff pianist at the International Holland Music Sessions. In recital, Somi’s recent and future appearances include Het

Concertgebouw, Slovak Philharmonic, Wigmore Hall, St. John’s Smith Square, Cadogan Hall, Bridgewater Hall and the Edinburgh Fringe, Ryedale, Kings Lynn and Oxford Lieder Festivals.

Piano – Corrado Valvo

Sicilian pianist Corrado Valvo obtained a Bachelor’s degree in piano at the Musical Institute Vincenzo Bellini in Catania with Maestro Corrado Ratto, and his Masters at the Conservatory Dall’Abaco in Verona under the guidance of Maestro Michela Forgione. Corrado has dedicated his study in orchestral conducting under the guidance of Maestro Marco Boemi. He worked in production of Puccini’s La Boheme with the Theatre of Spoleto and undertook a tour of Japan earlier this year. As a soloist, he is a laureate many piano competitions including the Competition of Barcelona, Vincenzo Bellini of Milo, G. De Vincenzi, Tuttarte of Nicolosi, Benedetto Albanese of Caccamo, Lions City of Viterbo. He received the “Lucio Stefano D’agata” prize of Acireale, and the Nuova Coppa Pianisti of Osimo.

He made his debut with the Philharmonic Orchestra of Lugansk in 2012, gaining critical acclaim. Corrado has performed at the Teatro Garibaldi of Enna, Philharmonic Theatre in Lugansk, Castello Ursino in Catania, the Modern Art Park La Verde-La Malfa of Catania, Cultural Centre of EXPO Pedara (CT), Nuovo Teatro Fenice in Osimo (AN), Montanari Hall of the Literary Society and the Camozzini Palace in Verona, Hall of the Ballet of the GAM in Milan, Teatro Nazionale of Opera in Rome, Sala Pegasus of Spoleto (PE) and Teatro Lirico G. Menotti of Spoleto (PE).

In April 2016 he was admitted to the George Solti Academy for repetiteurs and conductors. Here he is studying under renowned tutors such as Richard Bonynge, Pamela Bullock, James Vaughan and Jonathan Papp. He is also studying conducting technique at Conservatorio Santa Cecilia in Rome with the M° Maurizio Ciampi.

A warm welcome to our new Musical Director

We are delighted to announce the appointment of their new musical director for the start of 2017, Christopher Hann.

A highly accomplished choral conductor, Christopher currently works with a variety of Berkshire-based choirs, including Berkshire Youth Choirs. In addition to his conducting, Christopher is in great demand as a professional consort singer.

Commenting on his new role, Chris said:

“Reading Phoenix is a choir that I have admired and am delighted to be beginning my role as Musical Director at the beginning of the New Year. I look forward to working with the choir and joining them on a new chapter of their musical journey.”

The choir is looking forward to our first concert with Christopher on Saturday 28th January at St Michael at the North Gate, Oxford where they will celebrating 350 years since the birth of Antonio Lotti. The concert starts at 7.30pm and tickets (£10 per person) can be purchased at the door. Please CLICK HERE for further details 

This February, the choir will be performing Brahms Requiem and a selection of exciting, new repertoire at our Annual Concert on Saturday 25th February, 7.30pm at Reading Concert Hall. Tickets at from £6.00 and can be purchased HERE.

We look forward to welcoming you to our first concerts of the year and sharing with you, our repertoire we have been working on with Christopher.

Singing carols for The Newbury & Thatcham Hospital Rosemay Appeal

This Saturday, the 3rd December we invite you to join us for a carol concert at St. Nicolas Church, Newbury at 6pm in support of the Newbury & Thatcham Hospital Rosemary Appeal.

The Rosemary Appeal is raising funds for a new chemotherapy and kidney dialysis ward at Newbury hospital. At the moment patients needing these facilities who live in Newbury have to travel to Basingstoke, Reading or Oxford. To learn more about this wonderful charity and the work they are doing, visit their website.

We are delighted to be supporting such a wonderful cause and hope you can join us this Saturday to hear some fabulous carols. Full details of the concert can be found here.

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Reading Phoenix Choir Open Rehearsal

Monday 9th January, 7.45pm – 9.55pm
South Lake Primary School, Campbell Road, Woodley, RG5 3NA

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Wash away the Monday blues with an evening of singing at our first open rehearsal of 2017 with new Musical Director, Christopher Hann.

A mixed voice choir made up of approx. 50 singers from across Berkshire, North Hampshire, Surrey, and Oxfordshire, now in its 49th season, the Reading Phoenix Choir is one of the country’s finest amateur choirs and performs a varied repertoire, mostly a cappella and from memory to the highest standards. Representing Reading throughout the country and abroad the choir performs approximately 15 concerts per year raising thousands of pounds for charity. The choir tours often, most recently to Cork and Kent, and has enjoyed taking part major competitions.

We are currently welcoming all voice parts to the choir, by audition but in particular Altos and Tenors.

Why our members love singing with The Reading Phoenix Choir:

“Having just sent the last of my children off to university and decided that instead of sitting in the audience at concerts it was my turn to get back on the stage, my next decision was which choir? My priorities were quality and variety. The Phoenix choir appeared to me to fill these qualities. One rehearsal and I was hooked, the ‘buzz’ of group singing, loads of new tunes going round in my head. I very quickly realised another of the Phoenix’s qualities –friendliness.”

If you are interested in joining us for our next open rehearsal, please contact our Choir Secretary Rebecca Ranson via secretary@readingphoenixchoir.com 

We look forward to welcoming you to Reading Phoenix Choir!

Chadlington concert with the Male Voice Choir of Voronezh

It was with great pleasure that we welcomed the Male Voice Choir of Voronezh, Russia, last weekend when they joined us in a concert in the Oxfordshire village of Chadlington.

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Phoenix has had a long association with Vorenzh, first hosting the university choir in 1989. We then made a return visit to Russia in Easter 1990, performing in Moscow, St Petersburg and Voronezh, the most memorable concert being in the latter’s opera house where we had a two thousand strong standing ovation.

A number of us had kept in close contact with our Russian friends resulting in the visit of last week. They were here to celebrate the 300th anniversary of the Russian Orthodox Church in the UK and to remember the life of Anthony of Sourozh They started the week in Winchester with performances in Gosport, Portsmouth, Oxford and London. The last three days were spent with us.

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A joint concert in Chadlington, Oxfordshire, featured both choirs singing Bogoroditze Devo from Rachmaninoff’s Vespers and a John Rutter arrangement of Down By the Riverside. The powerful male voice sound, including a bass Octavist who could sing an octave lower than your traditional bass, felt like a giant wave as we reached the climax of the Bogoroditze.

“It was worth travelling the great distance to hear both the Reading Phoenix and the Voronezh Male Voice Choir at St Nicholas Church, Chadlington. Hearing a Russian choir again brought back fond memories from the 50s and 60s when I used to go to hear Russian music performed at the Royal Albert Hall and other venues in the capital. The concert gave us two distinct sides of the musical sphere and was a very moving experience and will live long in my memory.I hope the bonds of friendship between the two choirs will continue for many years to come. Memo to Voronezh Choir – Haste he back.”

Leslie Townsend -Friend of Phoenix.

Members of choir hosted the group and the following day was spent in Windsor followed by a concert shared with Occasion Singers in St Mark’s Church Binfield and finally a lunchtime concert in Reading Minster on Monday featuring their extensive repertoire of sacred, classical, folk and popular music. My favourites were The Wide Russian Steppes, Unsaddle the Horses, Lads and a beautiful arrangement of the Beatle’s Yesterday. They raised £250 for the Minster Organ Fund.

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Then it was a couple of hours of shopping before attending our weekly rehearsal. Hopefully, we will be making a return visit in Spring 2018 with concerts in Petersburg, Moscow and Voronezh. I can’t wait!

Gill Leishman – Reading Phoenix Chairman