City Chorus is celebrating its 100th Anniversary with a special birthday concert on 17th June 2022.
The concert was originally planned in 2020.
The Chorus will perform Mozart’s Coronation Mass and Ave Verum Corpus, and Handel’s anthems, My Heart is Inditing and Zadok the Priest, in the stunning setting of Southwark Cathedral, where an audience can experience beautiful and inspiring music sung by the choir with professional soloists.
The City Chorus began life in 1920 as a choir set up by staff of the National Provincial Bank, as it was then known. From the first, it was a significant London musical group, attracting distinguished soloists and performing the core classical repertoire.
After an inaugural performance in Westminster Central Hall of Coleridge Taylor’s Hiawatha, the National Provincial Bank Musical Society went from strength to strength, and in 1922 was honoured to have the composer Ralph Vaughan Williams conducting his own Fantasia on Christmas Carols. The repertoire expanded to include works by Elgar, Brahms and Holst, and one of the choir’s concerts was shown on television, a novelty at the time.
In 1965, the choir underwent a fundamental change when it appointed its first ever professional conductor, Ian Humphris. Another change occurred in 1969 when the Provincial’s merger with Westminster Bank led to the change of the choir’s name to the National Westminster Bank Choir. The Nat West Bank, now part of the Royal Bank of Scotland, has subsequently provided much appreciated support throughout the years.
Since then, the choir has changed its name to City Chorus and performed a wide range of music from the sixteenth century to modern choral compositions and arrangements, including works by Clucas, Grabu, Fauré, Lotti, Rossini, Orff and Elgar. To celebrate the choir’s 90th birthday, City Chorus commissioned a new piece, ‘Still Roar’, from British Composer Award winner Kerry Andrew. On tour, the choir has visited Brussels, the Isle of Wight, the Isle of Man, and has appeared at the Edinburgh Fringe. Future plans include an exchange with the choir Een van Zin from Eindhoven.
Soprano: Kirsty Hopkins
Mezzo- Soprano: Kate Symonds- Joy
Tenor: Alexander Aldren
Bass: Lawrence White
Organist: James Gough
Southwark Cathedral, London Bridge, London SE1 9DA on 17th June. Time: 7.30pm. Admission: £10 – £20.