Sonoro ‘Choral Inspirations’ Come and Sing

Come and join inspirational conductor Neil Ferris (BBC Symphony Chorus) and singers from the professional chamber choir Sonoro on Saturday 28 September, 10:30am-4:30pm at St Philip’s Cathedral, Birmingham (less than ten minutes walk from New Street Station) to sing favourite choral classics by Brahms, Bruckner, Rachmaninov, Rheinberger, Stanford and Tallis, and to explore some fantastic newly composed partner pieces by some of today’s top composers including Russell Hepplewhite, Cheryl Frances-Hoad and Will Todd.

Earlier this year Sonoro commissioned six composers to each write a work inspired by a ‘choral classic’. Each new work and its classic partner-piece has been recorded by Sonoro and these are available on Spotify and on our YouTube channel. Watch the music videos here:

The workshop is open to all and has been designed to both challenge and inspire confidence. Participants will receive expert advice on vocal techniques and interpretation, and there will be the chance to sing the new works sat side-by-side with Sonoro’s professional singers. 

Sonoro will then be joined by Birmingham Bach Choir at 5:30-6:30pm for a concert performance of all of our ‘Choral Inspirations’. Tickets for the workshop and concert are available by clicking this link:

Rehearsal Music Sound Files

Links to performances of the music we will be learning for the Autumn 2019 concert are available online on Youtube – type in or click on the links attached below to play, and use for practice at home between rehearsals.

Elgar The Music Makers: Proms 2004 Part 1:

Elgar The Music Makers: Proms 2004 Part 2:

Faure Requiem: Cambridge Singers; Atlanta Symphony Orchestra & Chorus: (With on-screen score)

Fauré Requiem – Bach Choir & Orchestra of the Netherlands:

For those of you who prefer to use MIDI files to practice, you may like to try one of these sources (NB: Other MIDI file sites are available!): or

Burford Singers


For information and tickets, go to

Bob Chilcott: SINGING BY NUMBERS, five fun choral dances designed to entertain and a selection of choruses from Brian Kay’s Novello’s book of GREAT HANDEL CHORUSES including mouth-wateringly singable movements from Acis & Galatea, Israel in Egypt, Messiah, Judas Maccabaeus, Solomon, Alexander’s Feast and that perennial favourite Zadok the Priest.

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“A pleasure to meet you and to sing with your fabulous choir ! Thanks for all your help and making me so welcome. Please pass on my good wishes and WELL DONE to the choir”.Melanie Marshall

Brilliant‘, ‘fantastic‘, ‘the best concert I’ve ever been to‘, ‘such an improvement‘. These are just a few of the comments heard as our audience departed on Saturday night. It was clear that people had thoroughly enjoyed their evening, and went out of their way to tell us.

The choice of music was almost guaranteed to be a crowd-pleaser, with the composer John Brunning in person introducing his Motets and Amazing Day in the first half, and John Rutter’s lively cycle of spirituals under the title “Feel the Spirit” which took the mood from a sombre “Sometimes I feel like a Motherless Child” to the vibrant “When the Saints go Marching in” – in the delightful company of Melanie Marshall, who first performed Feel the Spirit with the composer John Rutter, in Carnegie Hall in June 2001.

The added bonus of Messrs Cromar and Druce duetting the Inspector Gadget theme 4-handed on one grand piano was the icing on the cake for audience and choir alike!

Melanie Forse (RLSBC Chairman) said: “Well done to everyone for raising your game and producing a great concert. You have all worked very hard over many weeks, and now is the time to take a break. Thank you all for the hard work putting the concert together, from front of house – publicity, tickets, programmes, raffle and bar, to the massive staging operation, and of course the preparation work in the background by committee and non- committee members. Please thank all your spouses and partners who give their time to help us as we couldn’t manage without them.”

Concert Review June 2019 – Clive Peacock, Leamington Courier

Royal Leamington Spa Bach Choir: Brunning and Rutter

All Saints’ Church, Leamington, June 29

Review by Clive Peacock

A blazingly hot Saturday attracted many to All Saints’ as the “coolest venue in town”. The many were rewarded with conductor Christopher Cromar’s third assignment with the RLS Bach Choir, where his influence is already noticed, in a concert of works by John Brunning and John Rutter. As a stalwart of Classic FM, Brunning has created quite a niche for himself as one of the longest lasting presenters on the channel. In recent years he has turned his attention to composing using his favoured instrument, the guitar – a return to his early years in showbusiness as a member of Mungo Jerry.  Brunning introduced his work, 3 Motets, a recent composition, providing the sopranos the chance to excel in Agnus Dei.  The full choir blossomed in Ubi Caritas. Brunning’s second offering, a seven movement oratorio, begins with a most beautiful, haunting piece – Amazing Day, which gives its name to the work.  The remarkable mezzo-soprano Melanie Marshall joined the choir, energising the members to deliver an account so memorable an audience member immediately requested permission to use the work as a theme at school assembly. Cromar demanded a crisp finish to part three, Pie Jesu, and achieved it; he would have liked a stronger pace in part seven, Hallelujah, but it wasn’t quite there.  Melanie Marshall, a founding member of John Rutter’s Cambridge Singers, worked with the composer to conceive the cycle of spirituals – Feel the Spirit.  This jazz-inspired second half ended with the most rousing rendition of When the Saints go Marching In, bringing this 79th RLS Bach Choir season to a happy close.  They are in good shape.

New term? – It’s rehearsal time!

Rehearsals are held in Lillington Primary School on Wednesdays from 7.30pm-9.45pm. Members are expected to achieve 80% minimum attendance in order to prepare fully for the next performance – check out the <Members> and <Events> pages for details.

Anyone considering joining or re-joining the Choir is very welcome to come and try out with us, but the attendance cut-off for singing in the next concert requires that you don’t miss more than a couple of weeks – and then subject to successfully completing an audition it will be the Musical Director’s decision whether you should wait till next term!

If you require more information please contact the Choir Secretary.