Come and Sing with Bob Chilcott
Saturday 16th February 2019, 10:00 am–4:00 pm
Join composer, conductor and singer, Bob Chilcott, for a day of choral singing in picturesque Henley. With music chosen for you by Bob himself, this Come and Sing Day will take singers on a journey through three of the composer’s own works: Five Days that Changed the World, The Lily and the Rose and Evening Hymn.
This event is part of our “Choral Weekend” and is partnered with a concert from Stile Antico at St Mary’s on Friday 15th February. You can buy a combined ticket for these two events below, or on the Stile Antico event page.
Five Days that Changed the World Setting a newly written text by Charles Bennett, this fifteen-minute choral work takes singers on a journey through five historical events: the invention of printing, the abolition of slavery, the first powered flight, the discovery of penicillin, and the first man in space. In each movement, music and words come together to create a strikingly vivid and personal account of each protagonist’s experience, from the printer seeing ‘each letter like a person’ to the astronaut commenting on the beauty of our planet from space. Chilcott’s music is as captivating as ever, with energy in abundance alongside moments of clarity and stillness. This is an ideal concert work for choirs looking to perform with an upper-voice group, or for larger SATB choruses with divisi sopranos and altos. Commissioned by the Worcester International Festival for Young Choirs and first performed in Worcester Cathedral in 2013.
The Lily and the Rose Chilcott’s rare gift for crafting the most poignant and beguiling melodies is rarely more apparent than in his setting of this enchanting and enigmatic medieval poem. The style is akin to folk ballad, lyrical with just a hint of melancholy, which will draw in singers and listeners alike. This is beautiful and seductive music which exists for either SA or SATB choirs.
Evening Hymn This serene, reflective anthem is a rich addition to the Choral Evensong repertoire. Chilcott artfully entwines an original setting of William Fuller’s ‘Evening Hymn’, most famously set by Henry Purcell, and the plainsong melody for the Latin hymn ‘Te lucis ante terminum’, in J. M. Neale’s English translation. Grounded in minor tonalities, the anthem makes use of a semi-chorus of altos and sopranos for the hymn tune, juxtaposed with compelling and complementary melodies in the other parts, building to a resolute final section before a peaceful ‘Amen’.
Bob Chilcott has enjoyed a lifelong association with choral music, first as a chorister and choral scholar in the choir of King’s College, Cambridge, and for 12 years as a member of the King’s Singers. He became a full-time composer in 1997, and has produced a large catalogue of music for all types of choirs which is published by Oxford University Press. His most often performed pieces include Can you hear me?, A Little Jazz Mass, Requiem, and the St John Passion. Bob has conducted choirs in more than 30 countries worldwide and has worked with many thousands of amateur singers across the UK in a continuing series of Singing Days. For seven years he was conductor of the Chorus of The Royal College of Music in London and since 2002 he has been Principal Guest Conductor of the BBC Singers. In 2017 Bob was awarded an Honorary Fellowship by The Royal School of Church Music. His music has been widely recorded by leading British choirs and groups including The King’s Singers, King’s College, Cambridge, Wells Cathedral, Westminster Abbey, The Sixteen, Tenebrae, The BBC Singers, The Bach Choir, Commotio, and Ora. In 2016 he enjoyed a collaboration with the celebrated singer Katie Melua on the album In Winter. In 2017 two new discs were released by Commotio and Choralis – All Good Things on Naxos, and In Winter’s Arms on Signum, his first recording collaboration with an American choir. Newer recording projects are with Gloucester Cathedral Choir, Houston Chamber Choir, and Wroclaw Philharmonic Choir.