As Christmas draws ever closer, St Alban’s Church, Birmingham, welcomes Birmingham Bach Choir for a service of Nine Lessons and Carols on Sunday 18 December 2016, starting at 3.30pm.
The service features a series of Bible readings telling the Christmas story, interspersed with seasonal music for the choir and congregation
Led by conductor Paul Spicer and accompanied by organist Paul Carr, expect to hear such familiar seasonal songs such as In Dulci Jubilo (Pearsall), Dormi Jesu (Rutter), A Great and Mighty Wonder (Praetorius), and Sing Lullaby (Howells), as well as some possibly less familiar seasonal choral works such as Hodie (Sweelinck), Fuit Homo Missus a Deo (Palestrina), and How Love Bleeds (Spicer), alongside well-loved congregation carols.
Though a long-held annual tradition, this year marks Birmingham Bach Choir’s first visit to St Alban the Martyr, in Highgate, Birmingham.
Built in the late-1880s for the growing population of inner city Highgate, the church was designed by John Loughborough Pearson. Pearson also designed Truro Cathedral, and was additionally responsible for Westminster Abbey restoration work. This, no doubt, goes some way to explaining why St Alban’s cathedral-esque feel.
The Grade II* listed Gothic Revival church is well known for its magnificent reredos – five ornamental panels, behind the altar, painted by Birmingham-born artist Kate Bunce. With a hand-beaten copper frame by sister Myra, the panels demonstrate a strong Pre-Raphaelite influence.
Sarah Platt, Chair of Birmingham Bach Choir, said: “Our annual Nine Lessons and Carols appearance is always popular, so we’re very much looking forward to visiting St Alban’s for the first time; the acoustics are excellent, and it’s a magnificent building, a real hidden gem.”
Nine Lessons and Carols takes place on, 18 December 2016, the last Sunday before Christmas, at 3.30pm. Admission is free, with an optional collection for the church roof restoration fund. No booking required. St Alban the Martyr Church, Conybere St, Highgate, Birmingham B12 0YH. For more information, see: www.birmingham.bachchoir.com
Sunday 18 December 2016
Nine Lessons and Carols
A traditional Christmas service in one of the city’s finest Victorian Gothic buildings.
St Alban the Martyr Church, Conybere St, Highgate, Birmingham B12 0YH
NOTES FOR EDITORS:
ABOUT BIRMINGHAM BACH CHOIR
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. Although the main focus is the Baroque period (especially JS Bach), the choir performs 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 real deal…” 4-stars – Birmingham Post (reviewing A Shakespearean Concert, June 2016)
Forthcoming concerts include JS Bach’s St Mark Passion (11 March 2017, Lichfield Cathedral, Staffs), and a programme of work featuring French composers, including Fauré’s well-loved Requiem (17 June 2017, Pershore Abbey, Worcs; 24 June 2017, St Philip’s Birmingham Cathedral). The choir will also be performing Handel’s Messiah on Good Friday (14 April 2017) in the Grand Theatre, Wolverhampton.
For more information see: www.birmingham.bachchoir.com
- Come and hear Birmingham Bach Choir sing festive music at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Atrium in Birmingham as part of the hospital’s 12 Choirs of Christmas event, on Thursday 15 December 2016, between 6.45pm and 8.15pm (approx). Free event, fundraising for the hospital.
ABOUT ST ALBAN’S
For more information about St Alban the Martyr Church, see: www.saintalban.co.uk
- For more information about Birmingham Bach Choir, and this appearance, contact us:
Image of St Alban The Matyr – By Oosoom – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0.