Blues banished as capacity audience thrills to Mass in Blue (15 January 2011)

A capacity audience at St Saviour’s enjoyed an exciting evening of jazz-inspired music on Saturday 15 January 2011.  Rutter’s Birthday Madrigals and Karl Jenkins’ A Parliament of Owls in the first half went down well, but it was Will Todd’s Mass in Blue that really seized the imagination of performers and listeners alike.  This upbeat setting of the Latin mass is a brilliant blend of driving jazz grooves and clear, strong, choral writing, and the presence of Will Todd himself with his Trio, local saxophonist David Wigram and the thrilling young soprano soloist Bethany Halliday made this an evening to remember.

Banish those Post-Christmas Blues! Cheer yourself up with a jazzy evening on 15 January 2011

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

Listen to these excerpts:

Full details on Concerts page

Virtuoso soloist for Post-Christmas Blues, 15 January 2011

Bethany Halliday, sporano

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.

‘Remembrance’ review (20 November 2010)

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.

Time to put SACC dates for 2011 in your diary!

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, A Sea 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.

Tickets are available from the Ticket Secretary on 0845 658 8982 (local call rate) or by e-mailing “tickets”