Bar Choral Society Summer Concert 2024
Friday 21st June 2024 at 7.15pm
St. John’s, Smith Square
Mendelssohn – Psalm 42 – “Wie der Hirsch schreit nach frischem Wasser, so schreit meine Seele, Gott, zu Dir.”
Puccini – Messa di Gloria
The Bar Choral Society
Greg Morris – Music Director
The Temple Philharmonia
2024 will see The Bar Choral Society celebrate its 10th Birthday. The celebrations are being launched with a performance of Puccini’s gloriously operatic Messa di Gloria and Mendelssohn’s superlative Psalm 42 Wie der Hirsch schreit nach frischem Wasser, so schreit meine Seele, Gott, zu Dir.
Though praised at its first performance, Puccini’s Messa di Gloria, was not heard again until after his death. It has since, however, become an established part of the choral repertoire. A graduation exercise completed when the composer was just 22, it is a work full of colour, vitality and musical energy, presaging his later works for stage.
Psalm 42 by Mendelssohn is widely regarded by the composer himself as the pinnacle of his sacred output. Combining the best of Mendelssohn’s lyrical and elegiac writing it reveals, alongside his Romantic sensibility, the clear inspiration he drew from the great choral works of J S Bach.
The Society is delighted to be joined at this concert by soprano, Grace Davidson, and The Temple Philharmonia under the baton of the choir’s Music Director, Greg Morris.
Tickets for the 2024 Summer Concert are NOW ON SALE priced £30, £20 and £10 from St. John’s Smith Square [Please see link for full details]
The Bar Choral Society’s 2023 Winter Concert on Monday 11th December was a performance of Messiah by George Frideric Handel. Temple Church was sold out for the event and the hugely appreciative audience treated to memorable evening of music-making. The choir were delighted to be joined at the concert by soloists Augusta Hebbert, soprano; Jessica Gillingwater, mezzo-soprano; Nicholas Mulroy, tenor; baritone, Gareth Brynmor John and The Temple Players, all under the baton of Greg Morris. The concert was generously supported by Y-Tree.
The Bar Choral Society’s Summer Concert took place on Tuesday 20th June 2023 at 7pm in Temple Church. The programme included Leonard Bernstein’s “Chichester Psalms” and John Rutter’s “Feel the Spirit“.
The choir were joined by Mezzo-Soprano, Catherine Backhouse, and Treble soloist Thomas Cousins alongside Sally Pryce – harp and Rachel Gledhill – percussion.
The Society was also pleased to be accompanied at this concert by organist, Matthew Joryz, Assistant Organist at Westminster Abbey, whose spectacular playing was heard at the Coronation of Their Majesties King Charles III and Queen Camilla.
As part of the concert programme, Matthew reprised Iain Farrington’s dazzling organ piece “Voices of the World” – a work specially commissioned for the Coronation Service.
The Bar Choral Society’s 2023 Spring Concert took place on Tuesday 28th of March in Temple Church at 7.00pm.
A superb mix of much-loved choral anthems, the concert programme included Parry’s “I was glad” and “My soul there is a country”; “O God, thou art my God” by Purcell; “Blessed city, heavenly Salem” by Edward Bairstow; “Abendlied” by Josef Rheinberger as well as George Frideric Handel’s chorus from Messiah “Worthy is the Lamb”.
The Bar Choral Society’s Autumn 2022 concert was held on Tuesday 29th November 2022 in Temple Church at 7.30pm. The programme for the concert consisted of the wonderful Mass No. 2 in G major by Franz Schubert D.167; Salve Regina in E by Joseph Haydn Hob XX111b and W A Mozart’s Te Deum in C Major K141
The Society was delighted to be joined at this concert by soprano Augusta Hebbert, bass Christopher Webb and tenor Gareth Treseder, and to be accompanied by the Temple Players.
“SWEET HARMONY” – VAUGHAN WILLIAMS 150th ANNIVERSARY CONCERT
On the 29th of June 2022 at 7.30pm performed a joint concert with the Parliament Choir at the prestigious St. John’s, Smith Square to mark Ralph Vaughan Williams’ 150th Anniversary.
Vaughan Williams’ is one of the best loved British composers of the 20th Century and the programme comprised a wonderful selection of his choral works – including his Dona Nobis Pacem; Valiant for Truth; Five Mystical Songs and Serenade to Music.
The Bar Choral Society was delighted to be joining forces for this event with the Parliament Choir. The choir of the UK Parliament is an inclusive organisation where politicians of all parties and staff work harmoniously together. It has performed to large and enthusiastic audiences in iconic venues in Westminster; the Royal Festival Hall; the Banqueting House; Coventry Cathedral and York Minster and around the world.
The concert was conducted by Simon Over and Greg Morris, and the choirs were accompanied by the Southbank Sinfonia.
The Bar Choral Society’s Christmas Concert on Thursday 2nd December 2021 was held in Temple Church and was a wonderful start to the festive season.
The programme included BCS President John Rutter’s Gloria with brilliant brass accompaniment, a merry and mellifluous melange of festive choral pieces, as well as sundry favourite carols for audience and choir together.
Tuesday 21st September 2021 saw the choir return to give its first post-lockdown performance to a hugely appreciative audience in Temple Church. The concert included Handel’s Coronation Anthem No. 1; Verleih uns Frieden by Mendelssohn; JS Bach’s Lobet Gott in seinen Reichen BWV 11 and Achieved is the Glorious Work by Haydn as well as an Organ Interlude – JS Bach’s Prelude in E Minor - performed by Charles Andrews.
On Tuesday 12th November 2019 the choir gave a performance of Bach’s O Jesu Christ, meins lebens licht and his wonderful yet seldom heard short Mass in F Major BWV 233 coupled with Purcell’s Welcome to all the pleasures.
The Bar Choral Society’s 2019 Summer Concert took place on Monday 8th July in Temple Church. Alongside countertenor Robin Blaze, the Choristers of Temple Church, pianists Iain Farrington and John Reid and The Percussion Ensemble of London, the choir performed Jonathan Dove’s Arion and the Dolphin and Constant Lambert’s The Rio Grande.
On 20th November 2018 the choir gave a sell-out performance of Mozart’s celebrated Requiem. The choir were joined by Amy Haworth – Soprano; Ben Williamson – Alto; Nathan Vale – Tenor; Michael Burke – Bass and The Temple Players. The performance was supported by Close Brothers Asset Management.
On 19th June 2018 at 7.30 pm at Temple Church the choir focused on two works by George Friederic Handel, his Coronation Anthems and Birthday Ode to Queen Anne. The choir was joined by soloists, Soprano, Amy Wood; Countertenor, James Hall; Tenor, James Way and Baritone, Richard Latham as well as The Temple Players.
On 20th November 2017 in Inner Temple Hall the Society presented a lively concert of upbeat favourites from Broadway. Including music by George & Ira Gershwin, Leonard Bernstein and Stephen Sondheim, the choir took its audience on a whirlwind trip from An American in Paris to Chicago before telling a West Side Story in New York, New York. The concert was in support of the National Brain Appeal.
On 11th April 2017 they performed JS Bach’s St John Passion. Written and premiered during his first year in Leipzig, the St John Passion is the leaner and more dramatic of Bach’s two surviving settings of the Holy Week narrative.
In this distinctive performance, the choir was led by their Music Director and Conductor, Greg Morris and joined by Soloists James Way as Evangelist, Gareth John as Christus, William Towers Alto, Matthew Sandy Tenor and Andrew Rupp Bass.
The choir was also joined by the chamber choir Collegium Musicum of London and the Temple Players. The Choristers of the Temple Church performed the soprano arias, while the choir took the role of a Lutheran congregation and sang the chorales, the emotional and theological heart of the work.
On 17th May 2017, choir members also joined with the Parliament Choir to sing William Walton’s Belshazzar’s Feast at the Royal Festival Hall with the South Bank Sinfonia.
On 16th November 2016 in Middle Temple Hall the choir performed Joseph Haydn’s The Creation
On 12th May 2016 in Temple Church the choir held an evening where the programme framed Brahms Alto Rhapsody with his glorious chorus Geistliches Lied, Wie lieblich sind deine Wohnungen (from German Requiem), and works from the great English choral tradition
On 16th November 2015 in Temple Church, the Society held a concert with the programme: Handel Let the Bright Seraphim and Let their Celestial Concerts all Unite, Aria and chorus from Samson, Monteverdi Ave Maris Stella (from the Vespers 1610) and Vivaldi Winter from The Four Seasons and Vivaldi Gloria.
The choir was led by their Music Director and Conductor, Greg Morris, and joined by soloists Grace Davidson Soprano, David Allsopp Countertenor, Rachel Ambrose Evans Soprano and by the Temple Players.
The concert was in aid of the National Brain Appeal and the National Hospital for Neurology
On 10th June 2015 The Bar Choral Society presented its third concert in Temple Church focusing on the great choral work by Joseph Haydn: The Missa in Angustiis (“Mass for troubled times”) or the Nelson Mass. Written near the end of his life, it is one of the six masses that are now seen as a culmination of Haydn’s liturgical composition. To mark the American Bar Association’s presence in London and its Magna Carta Conference, the concert complemented the Mass and Ralph Vaughan Williams’ Fantasia on Greensleeves with classic American songs Deep River, arr. Luboff and Summertime – Gershwin, arr. Farrington.
Led by Music Director and Conductor, Greg Morris, the choir were delighted to be joined by soloists Elin Manahan Thomas Soprano, Ruth Massey Mezzo soprano, Matthew Sandy Tenor, DeAndre Simmons Bass, and the Southbank Sinfonia.
Do please enjoy this excerpt from the concert, when DeAndre Simmons and the choir performed Deep River:
The concert was generously sponsored by Harbour Litigation Funding.
The Bar Choral Society’s second concert took place on Tuesday 18th November, in the Temple Church. We were delighted to perform, to a packed Temple Church audience, Gabriel Fauré’s Requiem and Ralph Vaughan Williams’ Five Mystical Songs with soloists Sarah Gabriel (soprano) and Roderick Williams (baritone).
This concert was generously sponsored by Harbour Litigation Funding.
The inaugural concert was on Monday 23rd June 2014. A programme of works by Bach, Mendelssohn, Mozart and Handel. Soprano soloist Grace Davidson joined the choir for Mendelssohn’s Hear My Prayer (O for the Wings of a Dove) and Handel’s I Know That My Redeemer Liveth.
This concert was generously supported by Saunderson House.