Christmas carols with Birmingham Bach Choir

  • Leading West Mids choir present three seasonal appearances, including a special Singing For Syrians concert

Birmingham Bach Choir mark Christmas with three festive appearances – all for charity.

Part of a nationwide initiative, Singing For Syrians (Sat 5 Dec 2015, St Peter’s Church, Harborne, B’ham, £10) aims to help support people whose lives have been torn apart by a conflict which has created one of the largest humanitarian and refugee crisis since World War II.

All monies raised by the concert will be donated to The Hands Up Foundation and Christian Aid. Their assistance to date has spanned emergency food, water and sanitation programmes as well as education programmes, psychosocial support for women and children, and support for medical teams inside Syria.

This is the only official Singing For Syrians concert taking place in Birmingham.

Christmas Carols at QEHB (Tue 15 Dec 2015, QEHB, Edgbaston, B’ham, free/ donations) finds choir members joined by The Midlands’ Military Choir. Formed by Birmingham Bach Choir and The Royal British Legion in 2013, the Midlands’ Military Choir is made up from serving personnel, ex-service people, and family members of military personnel.

Proceeds from the appearance, which takes place in the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham’s spacious Atrium, will go to the QEHB Charity fund to support injured service personnel.

All are welcome, with singing and donations encouraged (the choir raise £400 for the charity last year).

Finally, Nine Lessons and Carols (Sun 20 Dec 2015, St Paul’s, Jewellery Quarter, B’ham, free/ donations) see’s the choir return to the Jewellery Quarter for their always anticipated traditional Christmas service.

The Grade I listed ‘Jeweller’s Church’ is famed for its association with the great industrialists Matthew Boulton and James Watt and makes for a beautiful setting for a selection of enduring and familiar carols. Expect to hear such favourites as Hark The Herald Angels Sing, as well as some lesser known works by John Joubert, Herbert Howells and Gareth Treseder. Conductor and composer Paul Spicer’s new song Now Is The Time Of Christemas, commissioned especially for Birmingham Bach Choir, will also be performed.

Monies raised from this service will also be donated to charity.

Birmingham Bach Choir’s Chair Sarah Platt said: “Our Christmas appearances are always firm favourites with audiences – especially Nine Lessons and Carols, which is always well attended.

“At a time of horrific conflict in the wider world, we’re also proud to be able to offer our support to both the QEHB Charity’s military patients’ fund and the Singing For Syrians initiative. We hope our appearances result in much needed donations for both causes.”

For more information on Birmingham Bach Choir and their appearances, see:


Saturday 5 December 2015
Birmingham Bach Choir: Singing For Syrians
Seasonal music and readings as part of the UK-wide initiative.
St Peter’s Church, Old Church Road, Harborne, Birmingham B17 0BB
Tickets from or tel: 07901 798442.

Tuesday 15 December 2015
Christmas Carols at QEHB
Carols and festive favourites in aid of injured service personnel and their families. Featuring members of Birmingham Bach Choir and the Midlands Military Community Choir.
The Atrium, Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham, Mindelsohn Way, Edgbaston, Birmingham B15 2WB
From 6.30pm
Free/ donations

Sunday 20 December 2015
Nine Lessons and Carols
A traditional Christmas service in the historic setting of St. Paul’s.
St Paul’s Church, St Paul’s Square, Jewellery Quarter, Birmingham B3 1QZ
Free/ donations



As one of the UK’s leading large chamber choirs Birmingham Bach Choir has been contributing to the musical life of the West Midlands since 1919, making it one of the longest established musical groups in the area, and its leading large chamber choir. Although their main focus is the Baroque period (especially JS Bach), they perform music spanning over 300 years including 20th and 21st century works.

“A huge degree of dynamic subtlety… exhilarating… a wonderful evening.”  5-stars – Birmingham Post (reviewing Magnificat at Birmingham Cathedral, March 2015).

The choir’s 2015-2016 season includes Bach’s St John Passion (5 March 2016, Great Malvern Priory, Worcestershire), and A Shakespearean Concert (18 June 2016, CBSO Centre, Birmingham; 2 July 2016, Stratford Arts House, Stratford-upon-Avon) as part of the UK-wide commemoration marking 400 years since the playwright’s death.

Alongside these concerts, the choir will also be performing as part of St Paul’s Church, Birmingham’s festive Nine Lessons And Carols (20 December 2016) and presenting their hugely popular annual Come And Sing! (6 February 2016, Selly Oak Methodist Church, Birmingham).

For more information see:

Now Is The Time Of Christemas has been commissioned by Michael Palmer for the Birmingham Bach Choir. Composed by Paul Spicer (with 16th Century words by ‘anon’), the piece will be performed for the first time in public on 5 December as part of Singing For Syrians, and repeated on 20 December as part of Nine Lessons And Carols.

  • NOTE: “….Christemas” is the correct spelling.

For more information see:


Christian Aid and the Hands Up Foundation are encouraging people around the UK to come together and sing to help support the people of Syria in their desperate time of need.

The conflict in Syria has created one of the world’s biggest humanitarian and refugee crisis since the Second World War. As the violence continues and winter descends, the needs of the millions of Syrians forced to flee their homes will only intensify.

Singing for Syrians is a new nationwide initiative encouraging individuals, churches and communities around the UK to host fundraising carol concerts to help those whose lives have been torn apart by the conflict.

Amounts raised will be used to help Christian Aid and the Hands Up Foundation meet the urgent and ongoing needs of those affected by the devastating conflict.

Working through partner organisations inside Syria, and in neighbouring Lebanon and Iraq, this support to date has included providing emergency food, water and sanitation programmes as well as education programmes, psychosocial support for women and children, and support for medical teams inside Syria.  During the bitter winter months families will receive much needed blankets, warm clothing, food stoves and fuel for cooking.

The initiative has been organised by artist, George Butler, Trustee of the Hands Up Foundation, and Victoria Prentis, MP for North Oxfordshire, and is championed by Basil Eastwood, former Ambassador to Syria.

Read the full Singing For Syrians press release:

Singing For Syrians – Get Involved:

For more details, see:   |


For more information about Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham Charity, see:

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