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!

Join us at our Annual Concert for Brahms’ Requiem!

Choir member Carla Battelli talks about our upcoming Annual Concert.

“Reading Phoenix Choir is thrilled to organise once again its Annual Concert at Reading’s Town Hall, performing Brahms Deutsches Requiem alongside a selection of pieces from our repertoire, sung from memory, as it is in the tradition of our normal concerts.

This will be the choir’s third performance of Brahms’ Requiem, having sung it last year, but this particular work is such a rich collection of lovely music that preparing for it again has been a great adventure. We need to sustain a shifting singing style, with a focus on a variety of emotions, some focused on the fragile human condition, where the music requires a sustained piano part, making it very deep and moving (I have tears in my eyes at this point), while some other passages are invigorating and full of enthusiasm, requiring so much energy and full lung power that the end of the movement leaves me filled with a feeling of euphoria… The extra oxygen flowing through my blood maybe? You wouldn’t think a “Requiem” could be so thrilling, but this one definitely is and we will do our best to share its greatness with the public as best as we can. An experience not to be missed!”

We are busy preparing for our performance of Brahms’ Requiem and are delighted to share this short snippet with you:


For further details on our Annual Concert at Reading Town Hall, Saturday 25th February and to purchase tickets, please CLICK HERE.

Search for a new MD commences

Reading Phoenix Choir (RPC) has begun its search for a new music director to replace David Crown, who is leaving after six very successful years to succeed Nicholas Cleobury as music director of Oxford Bach Choir.

Since his appointment in spring 2010, David has directed the choir in dozens of concerts, led RPC on tours of Yorkshire, Cardiff and Cork, and guided the choir in new initiatives including workshops with young choirs, the carol service in Reading Minster and the annual Come and Sing.

David commented:

Reading Phoenix Choir is without doubt one of the finest amateur choirs in the UK and I am extremely sad to be leaving them after six exciting and stimulating years. They are a wonderfully friendly group of hard working singers, performing a wide range of repertoire to universal acclaim. I cannot say how much I have enjoyed my time at the helm of this tremendous group.

Gill Leishman, chair of RPC added:

The choir has benefited enormously from David’s appointment as our music director six years ago. Although we are sad to see him go, we are looking forward to the next stage of the journey and are excited by the idea of a new leader to continue the development of this amazing choir.

Applications are invited from accomplished conductors with a strong track record in directing adult mixed-voice choirs. They will be inspiring and energetic, engaging and committed, and excited by the prospect of leading this excellent group of singers.

The full job description can be downloaded here. The closing date for applications is Monday 23 May. Auditions and interviews will be held in June and July.

For further information about RPC, visit Questions regarding the vacancy can be sent to

Here, There and Everywhere: From Bach to the Beatles

Reading Phoenix Choir is thrilled to return to Reading Concert Hall for its annual concert, this year welcoming as its guests rising stars from the Young Classical Artists Trust Philip Higham (cello) and Alasdair Beatson (piano).

This highly-acclaimed choir will take you on an exciting musical journey ‘here, there and everywhere’, through different genres, eras and nations, offering something to music-lovers of all backgrounds and ages.

Reading Phoenix is one of Reading’s most accomplished choirs, performing across the country in concerts, competitions and festivals. The choir is in its 45th season and is delighted to be marking this achievement in such a beautiful local venue.

Cellist Philip Higham has been described as having ‘all the qualities of a world-class artist’, and is rapidly emerging as one of the most prominent young cellists from the UK. He is accompanied by pianist Alasdair Beatson who is highly regarded as a distinctive and vibrant musician.

The concert will take place at 7.30pm on Saturday 17th May at The Concert Hall, Reading Town Hall, Blagrave Street.  Tickets range from £10-£20 with discounts available for under 16s.  You can book tickets directly through our website, calling 07783 222993 or emailing

Don’t miss out on this fantastic event!

A Carol Concert in Reading Minster

A Carol Concert with Reading Phoenix Choir and Daisy’s Dream

Reading Phoenix Choir is performing with Reading Minster Boys’ Choir for a Christmas carol concert at Reading Minster of St Mary the Virgin on Saturday 14th December at 5pm.

Entry is free and there will be a collection in aid of Berkshire children’s charity Daisy’s Dream and the Reading Minster Organ Fund.  Daisy’s Dream supports children and their families throughout Berkshire and the surrounding areas who are affected by life threatening illness and bereavement.

There will be plenty of opportunity for everyone to join in with well-known favourites such as ‘Once in Royal David’s City’ and ‘Hark the Herald Angels Sing’. In addition, Reading Phoenix and Reading Minster Boys’ Choir will be performing pieces from their festive repertoire.  Reading Phoenix Choir will also be selling its latest album, ‘The Midnight Clear’, which features family favourite Christmas carols.