Tag Archives: choir

Fly me to the moon

This is to let you know about our latest concert by Southern Voices, the Winchester-based chamber choir, celebrating the 50th anniversary of the first moon landing with a concert in St John’s Church in Alresford, “Fly Me To The Moon”.

The music we’ll be singing celebrates all the magic, mystery and romance of the moon: the source of inspiration for composers throughout the ages and across the world.  The audience will be treated to a dazzling array of musical styles from the 17th century to the 21st century, from Brahms to Richard Rogers, via Van Morrison to Whitacre. And the evening wouldn’t be complete without uplifting arrangements of popular standards “Moon River”, ‘Moondance”, “Blue Moon” and of course the title song “Fly me to the Moon”.

What’s more, you will be able to catch Rebecca and Livi playing wine glasses in Eric Esenvalds piece ‘Stars’.

A concert not to be missed!

Online tickets will available via www.ticketsource.co.uk/southern-voices — booking fees apply.


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JS Bach St John Passion – Southern Voices concert 23 March

Southern Voices is returning to the nave of Winchester Cathedral this month to perform this choral masterpiece with renowned period orchestra Florilegium. This promises to be an exciting and authentic performance with a smaller chamber choir and a superb orchestra. The concert is on Friday 23 March at 7.30.

Directed as usual by Katherine Dienes-Williams, the soloists consist of

  • Mark Wilde (Evangelist)
  • Jamie W Hall (Christus)
  • Ruth Provost (soprano)
  • Tom Lliburn (countertenor)
  • Joel Williams (tenor)
  • Thomas Humphreys (bass)

Tickets £12.50 to £29 (£1 for children 18 and under) are available via the Cathedral Box Office (01962 857275 – booking fees apply).

Hope to see you there!

JS Bach St Matthew Passion March 2018

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Southern Voices’ March concert – Hear my prayer

Southern Voices will be performing its next concert on 18 March – this time celebrating the work of two organists of the Chapel Royal, Henry Purcell and Christopher Tye.

This promises to be sublime early music in the fantastic acoustic of St Cross Church in Winchester. There will be a number of pieces from each composer reflecting the choice of the concert title (as well as the season). Highlights from Henry Purcell (1659 – 1695) include I Was Glad, Hear my prayer and Remember not, Lord, our offences. Altogether a century earlier, we will be performing amongst other pieces of his, Christopher Tye’s (c1505 – 1573) Euge bone mass.

As usual, the concert will be conducted by Musical Director Katherine Dienes-Williams, with chamber organ accompaniment from Richard McVeigh. The concert starts at 7.30, with tickets priced at £16 (full) and £14 (concessions). Tickets can be purchased from the Cathedral Box Office.

Looking forward to seeing you there!



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A Baroque Christmas with Southern Voices

Come and join Southern Voices as we sing a Baroque Christmas in St Cross on 17 December!

This year our theme is baroque music with some fantastic carols and composers, ranging from Praetorius and Scheidt through to Bouzignac to Sweelink, via Rutter and Allain (those two not quite so baroque). And as usual, some more secular fare with Winter Wonderland and 12 days of Christmas (the latter hopefully not b-roke).

As ever, the concert will be directed by Katherine Dienes-Williams with Paul Provost at the organ.

Tickets: £16 (Concessions £14; children 17 and under, £5). and are available online and from the Winchester Cathedral Box Office (01962 857275).


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Retirement in the Costas

With due thanks to Margot, we had a brief taste of the life of a retired Brit living in Spain. As anywhere, it seems the more you put in the more you get out, and it was good to get a sense of the real Spain (and some of her issues) from locals we met. Infrastructure much better than the last time we visited, and a new government about to be sworn in (albeit with the EU demanding yet more cuts to public spending). However, if what you want is sun and cheap living, there appear to be worse places to live.

Slightly surreal to temporarily join the local choir to practice parts of the Messiah, but as us singers know, there is nothing like choral music for bringing people together.


Beer and tapas in Almoradi


Hot springs at Archena, near Murcia


Hot springs at Archena, near Murcia


Marina at Torrevieja




Post market and post lunch at La Marina

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In the company of Angels

Join Southern Voices for our next concert in Winchester Cathedral Quire on Friday 4 November for a choral collection on the theme of angels.

nov-2016-poster-windowAngels and archangels have inspired some fine music through the ages, and this concert will includes examples from the 15th and 16th centuries (Isaac, Palestrina), the 17th and 18th (Dering, Borthiansky) and the 20th (Chesnokov, Tippett, Tavener, Drayton) as well as examples from notable current composers (Patrick Hawes, David Hamilton). In a first for Southern Voices, we will be singing the Hamilton and one of the pieces by Patrick Hawes ‘in the round’ to get an ethereal effect as befits the music!

The choir will be directed as usual by our musical director Katherine Dienes-Williams, who will be joined by Paul Provost at the organ and cello, and daughter Hannah Dienes-Williams on the violin.

Tickets are on sale at the Cathedral Box office. £16 full price, concessions £14 and children 16 and under £5. It will be a great concert and we would love to see you there!

The programme includes:

Factum est silentium – Richard Dering
Ige Herouvimy – Bortniansky
Prayer to a guardian angel – Patrick Hawes (cello – Paul Provost)
Angelus Domini – Patrick Hawes

St. Bride, assisted by angels – Judith Bingham (organ)

Angelus Domini – Palestrina
Angeli, archangeli – Heinrich Isaacs


Plebs angelica – Michael Tippett
How like an angel – Paul Drayton
Angels – John Tavener

Les anges – Olivier Messiaen (organ)

Factum est silentium – Patrick Hawes (violin – Hannah Dienes-Williams)

Ige Herouvimy – Chesnokov
Angele Dei – David Hamilton

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Bubbles and Song – A Night at the Opera

Join us for a night of Bubbles and Song in Winchester on 5 March!

Southern Voices brings you a night at the opera full of memorable melodies which will leave you humming if not bringing your operatic voices fully out into the open!

Singing in Russian, French, German, Latin and Italian, familiar choruses will delight you, ranging from Wagner’s ‘Bridal Chorus’ from Lohengrin to March of the Toreadors from Bizet’s Carmen, Mascagni’s Easter Hymn to Verdi’s Chorus of the Hebrew slaves from Nabucco.

Ladies’ voices are heard in the Witches’ Chorus of Macbeth by Verdi, whilst the men present the Soldiers’ Chorus from Il Trovatore. There are, of course, many other operatic delights to entertain you as you sip a glass or two of bubbly and enjoy a table of fine nibbles.

Husband and wife team Paul and Ruth Provost are your accompanist and solo soprano respectively – Ruth will perform four solo arias.

A choice selection of choruses and arias from the best of grand opera including:


with Ruth Provost (soprano)

director – Katherine Dienes-Williams
piano – Paul Provost

Tickets are available online, by phone or in person from the Cathedral Box Office (01962 857275) £20, including a glass of Prosecco and nibbles (concessions £17:50; children 17 and under £7.50)

Bubbles and song

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St Oswald Singers – 30 years and counting

There remains an element of debate as to when the St Oswald Singers first started. The assumed start date was the Westbury roof appeal in 1985, but some founder members seem to think it was earlier. After that appalling name stuck (once uttered Peter Steer, there was no going back), the more marketable sobriquet Razor Sharp (thanks Barbie) enabled a more flexible approach to concerts. The strapline ‘Versicles, canticles and test pieces’ is also now part of the furniture.

The current and original members got back together in Westbury in October to raise money for the church again, complete with Wind in the Willows and lots of cake. We were also joined by the next generation of singers to help boost us in the second half.

Briefly shown also Sarah’s 50th party the day before to get us in the mood, and the now usual Advent gathering at Compton Greenfield.

Who knows where we will be (of if we will be) in 2045. Hopefully we might still be singing.


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Infant Holy – Southern Voices Christmas concert

Infanf holy

Once again Southern Voices will usher in Christmas in the atmospheric surroundings of St Cross Church, where we hope that the audience will enjoy — and join in with — a selection of carols ranging from the traditional to the modern, from the familiar to the new.

Sir David Willcocks, whose compositions and arrangements have been the cornerstone of many Christmas services and carol concerts over the last four decades, sadly died in September and our concert will celebrate his unique contribution to the music of Christmas. Several Willcocks carols will feature in our programme, along with well-known carols for the audience and contemporary carol arrangements from Northern European composers.

Saturday 19 December at 7:30 in St Cross Church, Winchester
Music will include:
  • A selection of carols by Sir David Willcocks
  • Edvard Grieg: Ave Maris Stella
  • Trond Kverno: Corpus Christi Carol
  • Otto Olsson (arr): God’s Son is born
  • Jan Węcowski: Ave Maria, Mater mea
  • Carols for choir and audience
Director – Katherine Dienes-Williams
Organ – Paul Provost

Each year we use this concert to raise money for deserving charities and this year the retiring collection will be in aid of TASC Madagascar. This registered charity helps some of the most disadvantaged people in the Vohipeno area of South East Madagascar, supporting individuals, families and communities, focussing on sustainable projects in education, health and the environment. TASC provides significant aid to the inspirational Children’s Home at Tanjomoha which cares for orphaned, malnourished, sick and disabled children. http://www.tascmadagascar.org

Tickets £16 (concessions £14; children 17 and under £5) are available online and from:

Winchester Cathedral Box Office, The Visitors’ Centre, The Close, Winchester, SO23 9LS (tel: 01962 857275).

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Reflections – Southern Voices’ November concert

Southern Voices’ upcoming concert on Friday 6 November is called ‘Reflections’ noting the time of year and the choice of music. The programme consists of Maurice Duruflé’s Requiem and Frank Martin’s Mass for unaccompanied double choir.

Duruflé’s Requiem was published in 1947 by the French music publisher Durand. Commissioned in 1941 by the collaborationist Vichy regime, Duruflé was still working on the piece at the time of the regime’s collapse in 1944, and completed it in 1947, dedicating it to the memory of his father.

Frank Martin was a Swiss composer, who lived a large part of his life in the Netherlands. Of the mass it has been said *, “It was written back in 1922, well before Stravinsky’s Symphony of Psalms made it fashionable for French‐speaking composers to strike a monkish pose. It sounds like a Renaissance mass lost in time, aware nonetheless of long centuries passing and new horrors unfolding.” (Alex Ross, The Rest is Noise)

For the concert (this time on a Friday evening at 8.00pm) Southern Voices will be joined by Alexandra Stevenson (Mezzo-soprano) and Timothy Parsons (Organ). The concert will take place in Winchester Cathedral Quire. Tickets will be available from 28 September, online and from the Cathedral Box Office (01962 857275) priced £16 (concessions £14; children 17 and under £5). You can also contact me for tickets.

* It has also been said on this blog back in 2010, “Frank Martin completed his a cappella mass for double choir in 1926 yet the work did not receive its world premiere until the 1960s. A rich, exciting composition well suited to the acoustic of Winchester Cathedral Quire…

Poster - Nov 2015 v2

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