Join the famed choir for their 2019 Come and Sing workshop.
Birmingham Bach Choir kick-start their centenary year with an open invitation to their annual Come and Sing! event on Saturday 2nd February at Selly Oak Methodist Church.
Offering singers from across the West Midlands a rare chance to rehearse with one of the UK’s leading choirs, the workshop sees the choir – under the direction of celebrated conductor Paul Spicer (pictred) – explore Edward Elgar’s The Music Makers. Commissioned for the Birmingham Triennial Music Festival, the much-loved work is based on a poem by Arthur O’Shaughnessy.
The son of a local music shop owner and piano tuner, Elgar was born in 1857 in Broadheath, just outside Worcester. A multi-instrumentalist, despite no formal training, by the late 1800s he’d established himself as one of the country’s most promising and accomplished composers, with an ear for romantic yet bold and colourful tunes.
Among them are the popular Enigma Variations, from 1899, the oratorio The Dream of Gerontius, which came the following year, and his five Pomp and Circumstance Marches (which includes the tune known as Land Of Hope And Glory).
O’Shaughnessy’s ode begins “We are the music-makers, And we are the dreamers of dreams …” and declares artists are the makers of history and society, a sentiment Elgar agreed with. Cleverly quoting some of his earlier pieces, Elgar’s completed work was premiered at the Birmingham Triennial Music Festival in 1912.
With their centenary celebrations looming, Birmingham Bach Choir is one of the West Midlands’ oldest and most distinguished musical groups. Regularly performing at major concert venues in the area, their repertoire spans works from the early medieval period through Baroque, to contemporary and modern pieces.
Choir chair Heather Gay, who organises the day, says: “We always look forward to our annual Come and Sing! event. It’s a lovely chance to meet other singers and for them to really get their teeth into a piece of music which, in this case, has strong connections to the region.
“The afternoon will be led by Paul Spicer, who is one of the country’s most respected choral leaders, and – of course – we’ll also be serving tea with the choir’s famed home-made cakes, which all makes for an inspiring and enjoyable afternoon.”
The workshop, which concludes with an informal concert performance, takes place on Saturday 2nd February at Selly Oak Methodist Church, Langleys Road, Selly Oak, Birmingham B29 6HT from 2pm. Tickets £14 (or £16 with music hire). Prior booking recommended. For more details, see: www.birmingham.bachchoir.com