Birmingham singers head south of the border

CBSO Chorus swaps Birmingham for Mexico.

The CBSO’s celebrated Chorus are to travel to Mexico City in September 2015 to take part in a large-scale performance project with a massed Mexican chorus and the London Philharmonic Orchestra.

The CBSO Chorus members will participate in the project as part of the 2015 Dual Year of the UK and Mexico, a year-long celebration of cultural, educational and business exchange between the two nations. The project, which will be led by the CBSO’s Chorus Director Simon Halsey CBE, will see Chorus members travel to Mexico’s capital in September where they will be joined by British and Mexican soloists for seven days of rehearsals and two performances of Mahler’s Second Symphony at the Palacio de Belles Artes and Auditorio Nacional.

Simon Halsey said: “The Chorus is uniquely positioned as one of the leading forces in this particular work, having most recently performed it with Sir Simon Rattle and the Berlin Philharmonic. This is simply an outstanding opportunity for us to share our excellence that has been made over 40 years of choral tradition in Birmingham. I’m delighted that we have been invited to travel to Central America for the first time in the Chorus’ history to partner in this very special event and look forward to it immensely”.

Whilst in the city the participating CBSO singers will also share their expertise and experience with the local choir of the Palacio de Bellas Artes. CBSO Chorus Committee Chair, Alan Winwood explains: “There are 24 chorus members taking part in the trip, all of whom have sung the choral parts of Mahler’s Second Symphony up to five times this season alone. We’re all really looking forward to working with and sharing our knowledge with the local choir and making sure that this large-scale work really has the wow factor when it’s performed at the end of our stay”.

CBSO Director of Learning & Engagement Lucy Galliard said: “As ambassadors for singing and for Birmingham, we are very proud of the standard of our Chorus’ performances and are thrilled that we have been invited to work with our Mexican counterparts as part of these concerts to celebrate this special year of working together. Our chorus members are driven by their passion for singing and, with Simon Halsey at the helm, they are undoubtedly one of the leading choruses, demonstrated time and time again by the five star reviews for the concerts in which they perform”.

The CBSO Chorus is an internationally renowned ensemble of non-professional singers who perform regularly in concerts at home in Birmingham, throughout the UK and abroad.

September is a busy month for the CBSO chorus department, with members of the CBSO Youth Chorus taking part in the BBC Proms Youth Choir with a series of high profile concerts in Birmingham, London and Lucerne with Sir Simon Rattle and the Vienna Philharmonic. The Choruses also feature in a number of concerts in the CBSO’s forthcoming 2015-16 Concert Season at Symphony Hall when they will join the Orchestra for performances including Brahms’ German Requiem and the music from Star Wars.