St Albans Bach Choir Christmas Oratorio

St Albans Bach Choir’s next concert, in the run-up to Advent and the festive season, is the Christmas Oratorio by J S Bach. This great masterpiece was written by the spiritual Johann Sebastian to celebrate the episodes of the Nativity, from birth to the arrival of the Magi. The work has always been a popular favourite with both concert audiences and church-goers alike. Featuring some of Bach’s most spectacular orchestration, it uses traditional passages from the Gospels interspersed with arias and choruses to tell the story of Christ’s birth. The choir will perform four of the six self-contained but linked cantatas which were first heard in Leipzig in 1734 to celebrate the feast days of the Christmas season.

Soloists joining us on the night include tenor Sean Clayton who will sing the narrative role of the Evangelist; Sean has previously appeared at Glyndebourne and the BBC Proms and also performs regularly with Les Arts Florissants. Soprano Elizabeth Cragg also makes a welcome return to the Cathedral; featuring at the Proms this summer, she has previously appeared at the Royal Opera House and is a regular performer with The Sixteen, as is countertenor Richard Wyn Roberts, a founder member of I Fagiolini. With a first class line-up of soloists, our regular orchestra Sinfonia Verdi on baroque instruments conducted by our Music Director, Andrew Lucas, this is a concert not to be missed.

We hope you will be able to join us at 7.30pm on Saturday 16 November in St Albans Cathedral. Tickets are available online, by phone or from the Cathedral Information Desk – see the flyer below for details.

St Albans Bach Choir Christmas Oratorio 16-Nov-2013

Peter Knapp presents… Opera!

Peter Knapp was a chorister and lay clerk between 1958 and 1970 and went on to a successful career in opera.

Peter says:
“I’ve recently revived my show –  All you ever wanted to know about Opera!  – which takes a light hearted look at my life in opera.  I present with a cast of three young star singers and a 15-piece orchestra and perform a selection of opera’s loveliest moments. I give a brief overview of the genre, a delight to opera buffs and newcomers alike, tell a lot of funny stories and invite the audience to take part, training them to join in with half-a-dozen rousing opera choruses.

I wonder if you would forward this information to the ex-choristers: it would be good to have some classy singers joining in with the opera choruses!”

Here are some clips from the show: on Youtube.

The next performance is:

Friday 11th October 2013 at 7.30 pm
at Rothamsted Manor Conference Centre, Harpenden, Herts

Download a poster – All-You-Ever-Wanted-To-Know-About-OPERA


From the Chairman

Dear ECA Members,

I need your help! There are two very important events coming up in September.

The first is the AGM on Sunday 8th September at 11.00 in the Crypt. Why is this important? Because it will determine whether we will have a viable committee going forward – to date no proposals/nominations have been received although the necessary forms were included with Alban Notes 24. I’m hoping this is because we’re still in the holiday season.

There are two additional agenda items; the first being to change the ECA Accounting Date to 31st March. This will allow more flexibility for our AGM to be held during the summer months rather than in September as this year. The second is to approve and adopt a Revised ECA Constitution.  This document is available for download (link below) and hard copies are available from the Chairman.

The second event is the Festival on the weekend of 20th to 22nd September and specifically the Service of Choral Evensong at 4.00pm on Saturday 21st September, with a rehearsal at 3.00pm in the Quire. At present 35 delegates have signed up to sing but they are mainly from other cathedrals. The service is like our ECA Reunions where we join with the Cathedral Choir and we will be singing Smith’s Preces & Responses, Stanford in C and Basil Harwood’s “O how glorious is the Kingdom.”

Please download the AGM 2013 and Evensong form (below) and complete and return it to me as soon as possible.

Thank you.

Malcolm Bury

AGM 2013 and Evensong form

St Albans ECA Constitution 2013