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

 

Reading Phoenix Choir and the Tour of Spain

There are many reasons why choir tours are so enjoyable. Musically they are an opportunity to master a set of pieces, to really gel as a choir and to perform at our best in impressive venues to responsive and large audiences. Socially, it gives us time together. Old friendships can be nurtured and watered with alcohol. New bonds form and more recent members are integrated into the group.

All of these qualities were present on our recent tour to Spain. But also a tour is like watching, or even being in, a film that carries you away psychologically. Normal responsibilities and concerns fall away to be replaced by a focus on the choir, on singing and on playing our part in the wider, bigger story.

All of which waffle is an explanation for the section headings below, which are taken from an analysis of classic Hollywood films. So sit back and enjoy ‘Reading Phoenix Choir and the Tour of Spain’ as told by Simon Wellings, Tenor 1.

The Setup

We start with a montage introducing you to the characters. Some sit bleary-eyed in a car on the still-dark M25 quietly listening to the cricket. Others are sipping Buck’s Fizz and learning rude Spanish on the 06:34 from Reading to Gatwick.

Our flight to Madrid was uneventful, save for some noisy babies, a smelly cat and Rebecca being told to keep her clothes on for safety reasons. At Madrid airport we were met by Pilar, our tour rep whose friendly efficiency was unfailing throughout the tour. Next we boarded a nice modern coach that didn’t smell at all of alcohol for a trip across the cold and gloomy Spanish countryside. Late afternoon we arrived at Burgos, our base for the next 3 nights.

Burgos is a lovely town, but that evening we mostly saw its bars and restaurants, notably Bar Victoria which kept an electronic running total of how many glasses of Vermouth it had served. The choir tour WhatsApp group was lively, and for a while resembled foodie Instagram as choir members shared pictures of their dinner. Meat and chips featured heavily – vegetables less so.

The New Situation

Like most days, we had the morning to ourselves, starting with a group breakfast. The spirit of the film ‘Carry on Abroad’ hung in the air most mornings as we poor Brits in Spain sought and failed to find a decent cup of tea. Jason had planned ahead and brought his own tea bags and Marmite, but properly hot water or nice milk were not to be found, let alone a pre-warmed tea-pot with a knitted cosy. I sought to project a sophisticated Spanish air by eating bread with olive oil, stewed tomatoes and ham, but let myself down eating it by pouring oil down my sleeve. We took solace in attempting to tell the difference between machine Cappuccino (weak coffee plus frothy milk) and Cafe con Leche (frothy milk plus weak coffee). Gill needed six to get the day fully started.

Burgos was lovely, if cold. Its highlights include beautifully intertwined pollarded plane trees, a castle on a hill, a museum and the cathedral. This last was large but somewhat cluttered with side chapels. An extremely comprehensive audio guide pointed out the many features but was most proud of the coffin of El Cid, a local hero / brutal mercenary / sophisticated man of many cultures. The coffin is rather short and has locks on the side, implying some concern he might burst out again. In my patchy hand-written notes from tour I have written ‘attacked by an eagle’ next to El Cid’s coffin. I now have no idea why.

The baritones were particularly drawn to the Museum of Human Evolution and its displays of primitive men. It contains impressive specimens of early humans, including the ‘Elvis Pelvis’ which was part of a skeleton found – all shook up – in a nearby cave. Suspicious minds might think they were buried by a hound dog, but apparently not.

Progress

Burgos cathedral contains an undisclosed piece of Thomas Becket, a holy relic of the meddlesome priest murdered in Canterbury cathedral. This link to medieval Christendom is a reminder of the time when believers from Britain would go on pilgrimages across Europe. Both Burgos and our first two concert venues sit on the road to Santiago de Compostela, a route still in use today.

Our first concert was on Wednesday in the Iglesia de la Asunción de Nuestra Señora, Melgar de Fernamental. The church itself is large with a good acoustic, but sits in a small village that seemed deserted when we arrived. The rehearsal blew away some cobwebs and reminded many of us of the tricky corners we’d not yet learnt properly; there had been a lot of copies of the Lauridsen Soneto and Morales being studied on the coach and plane.

We then moved into a nearby cinema where we changed and snacked, wondering if we’d get an audience. We’d been told that concerts in Spain don’t start on time. The published time is a guide, after which we wait for about 10-15 minutes until the organisers judge no-one else is going to turn up. Walking into this church was a pleasant surprise as it was pretty full. Somehow the empty streets had delivered an audience.

A really keen audience too. We got a standing ovation before we’d sung a note and a smiley man near the front gave us all a double thumbs up. Buoyed by their enthusiasm we sailed through some choppy waters to deliver a pretty good concert. We moved someone to tears in Ca’ the Yowes, and not in a Town Hall sort of way either. There was some intrigued nudging of neighbours in the Soneto, suggesting it was recognisable Spanish. We got a standing ovation at the end as well and happily filed back into the coach for a late return.

Thursday morning saw more time to get to know Burgos, or to track down the perfect churros and hot chocolate. On the coach again, we were travelling further on the pilgrimage route towards Sahagún.

Our venue was the Santuario de la Peregrina which has a gorgeous acoustic, the sort where when you stop singing you get to hear what the choir sounds like from a distance. We were sounding good.

Before the concert we had a group meal, in an otherwise deserted local restaurant. Rice with vegetables (controversially called paella) was followed by meat, except for vegetarians who were given a special card to guide the restaurant. There were two waiters, one big, one small, who gave out portions in proportion to their size. Wine was taken and there was a relaxed energy to the room. There’d been fewer copies on the coach – we were mastering the new pieces and we knew it.

Some walked back to the church and were awarded by an encounter with a large flock of sheep passing through the town. Once again there was a large friendly audience. The local informality went a little too far as some guys taking photos carried on talking during a quiet piece. Chris H had to deploy his sideways death stare while conducting; Paddington Bear would have approved. Another good concert, with fewer rough edges and some audience dancing during Chili. They saved their standing ovation for the end, but it was no less appreciated.

There is documentary evidence of these concerts, thanks to the tour HAGS (Husbands And Girlfriends) who skillfully wielded smart-phones and provided familiar faces in every audience.

By now we were mastering the pleasures of tour. First is poorly translated English menus such as: Cheese Goat; Roasted Bend; Thistles in Sauce; Smashing potatoes. Another favourite is drinking on the coach after a concert. When we first started doing this Pilar calmly pointed out that the driver didn’t want us to do this. But, having done her duty she left us to get on with it. At the front of the bus things were civilised: Howard used his cork-screw and provided plastic cups. Towards the rear things were more about plastic cartons of ‘Don Simon’ for €1.50 and gin in water bottles.

Complications and Higher Stakes

Within any good story, you know our heroes will triumph in the end but there has to be some trials and tribulations first. Think of 1940-41 in World War Two, or Luke Skywalker losing his wing-man attacking the Death Star. Was our day in Ávila like Pearl Harbour, our darkest-before-the-dawn moment?

Of course not. But we were a bit tired by then, so let’s just go with the analogy.

With no regard for dramatic structure, Friday was sunny and warmer. So far we’d been shivering until leaden skies, wondering where the Spanish sunshine had got to. But on our coffee stop from Burgos to Ávila we actually got to sit in the sun and turn a little pinker.

En route we assuaged a mother’s guilt and all sang Happy Birthday via a video link to Rebecca’s youngest. For added drama, Chris had to quickly sit down while conducting as we were about to pass some police cars who apparently don’t like that sort of thing (the standing, not the conducting).

We arrived in the walled medieval city of Ávila, left our belongings in the Auditorio de San Francisco, a deconsecrated church and went to find lunch. Some of us ended up in the house of Tomás Luis de Victoria, whose music we were singing on tour. He was out, but we still ate in his restaurant which had an enjoyably hard to translate menu.

Next sightseeing. Ávila has extensive walls and a cathedral famous for its use of blotchy red ‘bloody stone’ (deeply altered granite from a Mesozoic weathering front, I know you were wondering). We enjoyed wandering around, but the walls were long and decent food for a pre-concert meal hard to find.

The venue was a little bare and had an acceptable acoustic, but we’d been spoilt. We got a decent audience but they sat far away and seemed less engaged, a little slower to give a standing ovation at the end. As the final notes of our last piece fell silent an enthusiastic voice shouted ‘round of applause!’. Show, not tell, we thought to ourselves.

We had a 90 minute trip to Salamanca after the concert where we drank and sang. Even the booze turned against us. A bottle of prosecco opened explosively, getting several damp. Some gin fell on Angela and Ávila’s carton of Don Simon was €1.70, a steep increase. Some enthusiastic singing of musicals (from A-Z) raised spirits and got us through to Salamanca, where we could see grand majestic buildings flood-lit before us. We were singing in the cathedral that sat imposingly in view out of the bus window. Were we up to it? Would we have the energy to win over a discerning university audience in a venue where choirs have sung for 900 years?

Such thoughts were running through our heads as we readied for sleep that night (for me alongside annoyance that the tune from Phantom of the bloody Opera was stuck in my head).

The Final Push

Salamanca is impressive. Site of the western world’s third oldest university (beats Cambridge) and a UNESCO world heritage site, it was well worth the walking tour on Saturday morning. We learnt that the cathedral is actually two, new and old nestled together. We were to sing in the old cathedral, in front of its gorgeously decorated Apse topped by a depiction of the end of the world. Local traditions around receiving a doctorate from the University include a final oral exam where if successful the candidate holds a bull-fight and writes their name in blood on the walls of buildings (I fell off a punt just before mine, not quite as stylish).

There was a festival in the town that day. In our hotel and around town we saw ladies in amazing wide and gorgeously patterned dresses. The men were also in bright traditional dress. I’m told the choir uniform sub-committee was taking notes. Raucous bands, with drums and brass filled the streets and led general dancing, everyone was having a great time.

By the time we were walking up from the hotel to the cathedral, we were feeling quite tired and a little nervous. Would we do ourselves justice? Would anyone really leave the vibrant bustle of the streets and squares to come and see us?

We got there to see a queue stretching halfway around the building, quietly waiting. Must be for evening Mass or something… As we assembled in our back-stage room (which was bigger than many of our normal venues) we got confirmation that they were actually coming to see us. All of them.

On time for once, we walked on for the concert (past Charlie Steer’s smiling Spanish twin) into an audience of around 450 filling the cathedral and sitting close around us. Any tiredness was swept away by a huge wave of adrenaline.

It was an amazing and emotional concert. The audience was warm and appreciative and we responded by really going for it – no need to save our voices any more. A loud man just behind Rebecca shouted Bravo after the Bog and Lotti and we knew they liked us throughout. The audience had started to prepare to leave after the final advertised piece, so by the time we spread out for the final Tebye the boundary between audience and choir was very blurred. We were just fellow members of a mass of humanity, all sharing the same intense musical experience.

I always think you could do an interesting video, comparing a choir before a concert, nervously pacing and grimacing at sheet music with the chattering, grinning loons afterwards, spinning around the room and excitedly sharing the joy of a great gig, riding the endorphin rush together.

Like this we spilled onto the streets of Salamanca back to the hotel, being spotted and congratulated by audience members on the way. A quick change and out into a bar. We wanted drink and we wanted to be together and so found a bar for some dancing. Slowly those with less energy, or with fewer moves like Jagger broke from the Status Quo and drifted back to bed.

What remains of a night like that are flashes of the choir’s memory, sudden vivid images. Running towards fireworks at 1am, of Chris Hann doing press-ups in a square, but facing down slope and nobody knowing why, not even him. Karaoke? Really? (checks photos, oh yes indeed there was). We have evidence from social media of a small band of revellers greeting the dawn, riding the performance rush all the way to the end.

The Aftermath

Travelling home is always bitter-sweet, but our journey back was pleasant enough. A scenic drive and calm efficiency saw us back to England. Howard left his trusty corkscrew in hand-luggage and so it was sacrificed to the gods of security. Choir were able to replace it at his birthday soon afterwards.

We were tired but happy. Angela looked liked she’d been attacked by gin again, this time from the inside, (she was not alone in this).

Structurally, these final moments of a film reflect on the emotional journey the characters have been on and maybe set the stage for a sequel. In real life we did this on WhatsApp, as on Monday at work we shared how unreal our real lives now seemed, how lacking in the intensity and sense of common enterprise a good choir tour gives us.

This trip was indeed a really great choir tour and there will surely be a sequel. This is a franchise that should run and run, a story that deserves to be retold over and over.

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.

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.

Dates for your diary

We are half way through our summer term now and thought you might like to take note of a few dates for your diary, that will complete our wonderful 2016/17 season at Reading Phoenix.

Saturday 10th June – Concert at Wokingham Methodist Church

From 7.30pm

Tickets – £10 per person

Set In the heart of Wokingham, our concert at Wokingham Methodist Church is in aid of the MORS Charity Fund which supports local and national charities.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Saturday 24th June – A Concert to celebrate Midsummer’s Evening, St. John’s Hartley Wintney

From 7.30pm

Tickets – £12.00 per person and £5.00 for under 16s

Located in the beautiful village of Hartley Wintney in Hampshire, our midsummer’s concert at St. John’s Church will be held in partnership with the Phyllis Tuckwell Hospice, with whom all proceeds will be shared.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

At both our June concerts we will be performing a wide range of repertoire with our Musical Director Christopher Hann. Beautiful excerpts of works by Brahms, Rheinberger and Herbert Howells; a 6-part, and an 8-part, Crucifixus by Antonio Lotti; and some magnificent and powerful excerpts from Rachmaninov’s Vespers. On the lighter side, madrigals, the delightful ‘My Spirit Sang all Day’ (Finzi), works by the Kings Singers, ‘Queen’, and David Bowie; even one piece called Chili Con Carne!!

Saturday 15th July – Come & Sing, Reading Minster

Rehearsal from 11.00am – 5.30pm, Concert at 7.00pm

25.00 per person (includes score) – EARLY BIRD TICKETS £20.00 (Available until 31st May)

At our 2017, annual Come & Sing we are looking forward to learning two settings of Gloria by Vivaldi & Rutter. We will be rehearsing throughout the day at Reading’s historic Reading Minster and invite your family and friends to join us for a performance of both in the evening.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The choir are currently enjoying a short break over Half Term but are looking forward to all three of these dates and we do hope you will be able to join us.

Concert review: St Bartholomew’s, Lower Basildon

Over the last weekend of March, we enjoyed a concert at the beautiful St. Bartholomew’s church in Lower Basildon, West Berkshire.

The concert was a lovely way to welcome the start of spring and we enjoyed performing to a packed church, by candlelight.

The choir rehearsing at St. Bartholomew’s before the concert

 

We also received some lovely feedback that we just had to share with you:

“Magic from start to finish. The choir are in a class of their own. The evening was both enchanting and moving the singing reaching into every corner of our historic church.Your new Musical Director was obviously thrilled with the evening’s performance. The programme delighted the audience it was a memorable event for us all.The Friends of St Bartholomew’s also raised sustainable funds towards the restoration work at the church.We are looking forward to 2019 when we will welcome the choir to Lower Basildon once again.”

Lynn Thorn – Concert Organiser and Friend of St. Bartholomew’s

“Your concert last night was wonderful, I am so glad to have heard your choir sing at last and I love hearing concerts in Church too.  You are all amazing to learn all the music and songs by heart.”

Friend of Reading Phoenix 

If you didn’t manage to join us for this concert but would like to in the future, we have a packed diary for our summer term, with concerts in Worthing, Brighton, Wokingham, Hartley Wintney. Finally, we will be finishing on a high with our Come & Sing at Reading Minster in July. 

We hope to see you there!

Concert venue sneak peek! Saint Bartholomew’s Church, Lower Basildon

This Saturday 25th March the choir is looking forward to performing a lovely rural church, tucked away in the heart of West Berkshire.

Saint Bartholomew’s Church dates to the 1280s’& is in the English style of flint & stone, local materials, a country church built by its people for its people. A fine brick tower was added in the 1730s’ & during the Victorian period the interior was re-furbished & the north aisle & porch added. It is listed Grade 1 by Historic England.

St. Bartholomew’s served its community for over 700 years but as the population moved up the hill to Upper Basildon where a new church was built, the old country church closed for regular worship in 1976; six services a year are now held here.

In the 1990s’ the church came into the care of The Churches Conservation Trust. The Trust have repaired & maintained the fabric & graveyard ensuring that St Bartholomew’s continues as a place of worship, an attractive historic church for its many visitors from home & overseas & a place where people can enjoy new experiences.

Jethro Tull, agricultural pioneer was baptised & finally buried here in 1741; as are the ‘great & the good’ from nearby Basildon House, the Sykes, Morrison’s & Ferdinando’s.

St Bartholomew’s is supported by a small & proactive group of ‘Friends’. Their aim is to organise an active calendar of activities to generate funds that ensure that St. Bartholomew’s is always a welcoming & attractive environment for worship, visitors & events & that it will be here to play a role within its community in future years.

The proceeds from this concert will contribute toward enabling the church to have a ‘voice’ again through the refurbishment of our striking clock & for repair to the ancient chancel door.

We would be delighted if you can join us for what is set to be a fabulous concert with a varied programme from Rachmaninov to Bob Chilcott! The concert starts at 7.30pm and full details, including ticket information can be found HERE

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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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

Welcoming Libby Burgess as Reading Phoenix Choir guest conductor

Reading Phoenix Choir are delighted to welcome Libby Burgess as guest conductor for the start of our 2016/17 season.

Libby joins the choir for the current Autumn/Winter term and has already enjoyed success at our first concert of the season on the 24th September, St. Laurence’s Church, Reading.

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Libby primarily works with singers – as pianist, vocal coach and conductor and has worked with choirs ranging from the BBC Singers to the King’s Consort. CLICK HERE to read Libby’s full biography.

Fans of Reading Phoenix Choir can look forward to hearing Libby conduct the choir at their next concert on 15th October, 2016, St Nicholas Church, Chadlington. 

Further details are available via the choir’s website at www.readingphoenixchoir.com/concert/chadlington/