Banish those winter blues with a foot-stomping concert of jazz-inspired choral music. Will Todd‘s Mass in Blue combines driving jazz rhythms with strong choral writing and a soaring soprano soloist, the virtuoso Bethany Halliday. Karl Jenkins’s A Parliament of Owls is full of catchy melodies and exciting percussion, and John Rutter‘s Birthday Madrigals are a fitting tribute to the great jazz pianist George Shearing.
With the Will Todd Trio, Will Todd piano Conductor John Gibbons
Saturday 15 January 2011 at 7.30pm St Savour’s Church, Sandpit Lane
Bethany Halliday is best known for her recording of Will Todd’s Mass in Blue which was released on the Signum Classics label in 2006. Described as ‘An addictive listen’ by the Daily Express, Bethany premiered Mass in Blue at The Cambridge Corn Exchange in 2003 and has continued to perform the work frequently since that time. Venues have included the St-Martin-in-the-Fields, Trafalgar Square, London Barbican, The Sage Gateshead, Durham Cathedral, Snape Maltings, Wakefield Cathedral, and Bethany will be performing this work again with St Albans Chamber Choir and the Will Todd Trio on 15 January 2011 at St Saviour’s Church, St Albans
Bethany enjoys a wide range of performing throughout the UK including opera, oratorio and jazz. She was awarded the English National Opera Lillian Baylis Bursary for young singers and also won the William Cox memorial scholarship. Bethany has recently been performing with the Royal Opera House, Opera Genesis workshopping a new opera.
Late but great for choir’s concert (Herts Advertiser 25 November 2011)
WHO would turn out on a cold, dank November evening to sit in a church listening to music written by deceased composers in honour of the dead? Well, last Saturday, the nave of St Peter’s Church was packed with people doing just that. In fact, they had come to hear St Albans Chamber Choir give their account of masterpieces by J.S. Bach, John Ireland and Herbert Howells. Supported by music director John Gibbons, and local organist Alex Flood, it proved to be an evening of old favourites for the ecclesiastical cognoscenti, and a splendid introduction to some of the finest British sacred music of the twentieth century for the rest of the audience.
St Albans Chamber Choir returns for its 52nd season in September.
English music is particularly strongly represented this season. We open with two beautiful works by Herbert Howells in a programme on the theme of Remembrance(November 20th 2010). The young English composer Will Todd’s jazz-inspired Mass in Blue(January 15th 2011) is a complete contrast and has already become a firm favourite with audiences and performers alike. The Choir returns to more familiar ground with a programme of a cappella early English music in the beautiful chapel at All Saints (March 12th 2011), before joining with the Wormser Kantorei for Ralph Vaughan Williams’s choral symphonic masterpiece, ASea Symphony (April 30th 2011). The season ends with the watery theme continuing in Water, water everywhere (July 2nd 2011), which features the very popular American composer Eric Whitacre among British contributors.