Come and Sing with Birmingham Bach Choir

Join the famed West Mids choir for their 2020 Come and Sing workshop, and explore Beethoven’s underrated Mass In C.

Birmingham Bach Choir head into 2020 with an open invitation to their annual Come and Sing! event (Saturday 1 February 2020, Selly Oak Methodist Church, Birmingham).

Offering singers from across the West Midlands a rare chance to rehearse with one of the UK’s leading choirs, the workshop sees the choir – under the direction of celebrated conductor Paul Spicer – explore Beethoven’s Mass In C.

Selected to coincide with the 250th anniversary of Ludwig van Beethoven’s birth, Mass In C is an underrated masterpiece which was commissioned in 1807 by Prince Nikolaus Esterházy II, a long-standing patron of the composer Haydn who, by that time, was suffering from ill health.

The first of Beethoven’s two masses, it has been unjustly labelled as a preliminary for the German composer’s later Missa solemnis – no doubt in part due to the Hungarian Prince’s cool response to a reportedly under rehearsed premiere. Yet Mass In C is a major triumph, with Beethoven adopting an original, decidedly modern and forward-looking approach, filled with melancholy and intensity.

Having recently celebrated their centenary with a grand gala concert, Birmingham Bach Choir is one of the West Midlands’ oldest and most distinguished musical groups. Regularly performing at major concert venues in the area, their repertoire spans works from the early medieval period through Baroque, to contemporary and modern pieces.

Birmingham Bach Choir’s Heather Gay, who organises the day, says: “This year’s Come And Sing is a great opportunity for singers from right across the region to join us and other choral singers to rehearse this major Beethoven work with one of the country’s most respected choral conductors.

“We’ll also be serving our famed homemade cakes as well was winding up the afternoon with an impromptu free performance, which families and friends of those singing are welcome to come along to listen to.”

The workshop, which concludes with an informal concert performance, takes place on Saturday 1 February 2020 at Selly Oak Methodist Church, Langleys Road, Selly Oak, Birmingham B29 6HT from 2.15pm. Tickets £14 (or £16.50 with music hire). Prior booking recommended.

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Music / Classical / Workshops

Saturday 1 February 2020
Birmingham Bach Choir: Come and Sing! – Beethoven’s Mass In C
Join Musical Director Paul Spicer and members of the Birmingham Bach Choir in rehearsing Beethoven’s underrated masterpiece, Mass In C.
Selly Oak Methodist Church, Langleys Road, Selly Oak, Birmingham B29 6HT
Tickets £14 (+£2.50 music hire, if req). Includes tea and home-made cakes.
Details / bookings:

The workshop is followed by a free performance of the work at 5.15pm.


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 500 years including 20th and 21st century works.

2019 was the choir’s centenary, a year which saw the choir make a series of special appearances, including a Gala Concert in Lichfield Cathedral and a performance for royalty.

“Consistently excellent … so young in spirit.” Birmingham Post on the choir’s centenary (November 2019)

“Stunning … great waves of beautifully phrased eloquence … constant fascination” 5 stars – Birmingham Post (reviewing Byrd’s The Great Service, March 2018)

“Sounding awesomely impressive.” 4-stars – Birmingham Post (reviewing Great Russian Sacred Music, November 2016)

“This was a reading luminous in its clarity, exhilaratingly detailed in the fine-etched shaping and balancing of its contrapuntal lines, and delivering diction of unaffected immediacy.” 4-stars – Birmingham Post (reviewing Bach’s B Minor Mass, December 2017)

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Born in Bonn, German, in 1770, Ludwig van Beethoven is one the most accomplished and influential composers of all time. Mentored by Joseph Haydn after he moved to Vienna, he gained a reputation as a virtuoso pianist, and although his hearing deteriorated, he continued to compose, conduct and perform. He died in 1827, leaving behind a sizeable body of work that spans styles.


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