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CHORAL GROUP

Autumn 2017: Elgar Workshop


The Choral Group’s next engagement will be its annual workshop, which will be directed by Mark Charles. The work to be prepared is Edward Elgar’s "The Dream of Gerontius", widely considered to be Elgar’s finest choral work.

Rehearsals began on 25 April, and will take a break over summer. The workshop weekend will take place 1-3 September. There will be two performances, on 14 and 15 October 2017, at the Église St. Joseph and Holy Trinity Church, both in Geneva.


“Since singing is so good a thing,

I wish all men would learn to sing.”

William Byrd, 1543 -1623


Do you like to sing? Do you want to learn more about singing? Join the GAOS Choral Group!

The Choral Group was formed in 1985 to provide a continuing musical activity for members of GAOS wishing to "keep in voice" between shows. Since its formation, it has performed music ranging from Vivaldi to Bernstein, sacred music, Broadway musicals, folk music, jazz/pop and operetta. It has appeared three times at Victoria Hall with the Orchestre Symphonique Genevois, in works by Schubert, Verdi and Dvorak. Some of its members also appear in GAOS stage shows, but the Choral Group appeals in particular to those who simply like to sing, without the demanding participation requirements of a major production.

As a member of the Choral Group you:

  • sing under the direction of experienced guest conductors, often professional directors
  • perform in public concerts two to three times a year
  • sing a wide variety of music from early to contemporary
  • rehearse once a week
  • perform with accompaniment ranging from piano to organ, instrumental and orchestral, or a capella
  • learn from those you sing with and build confidence
  • meet people in an agreeable social environment
  • sing some great music!

The Choral Group is open to adults of all ages, accomplished singers, beginners - and everyone in-between. The important thing is that you want to sing! There are no auditions,  but we can help you determine your vocal range and best placement. It is helpful if you know how to read music, but this is not a requirement for joining us.

In recent years the Group has sung concerts - sometimes with other choirs - in Geneva’s Cathédrale St Pierre, Victoria Hall, the Grand Théâtre and Durham Cathedral, in the UK. It has performed works as varied as Igor Stravinsky's 'Symphony of Psalms' and Morten Lauridsen's 'Lux Aeterna'; the oratorio version of Sergei Prokofiev's 'Ivan the Terrible' - in Russian! - in a show featuring excerpts from Sergei Eisenstein’s 1958 film and Vladimir Logosvsky’s texts and combining music, cinema and poetry; and English choral music of the 17th and 20th centuries, in a concert to wind up a three-day workshop led by Mark Deller, of the Deller Consort, England.

The Choral Group rehearses weekly in term-time, usually on Tuesdays from 18h15 to 19h45, at the Ecole Henry-Dunant. The year's programme usually includes two major concerts and the Christmas Carol Concert.

The Choral Group is always happy to have new singers and would particularly welcome tenors and basses. Please note that participation implies being a paid-up member of GAOS.

 

For more information and to join: choralgroup@gaos.ch


Previous Choral Group concerts


Spring 2017
The Choral Group's spring 2017 concert, directed by Andrew Close on Saturday, 18 March at the Auditoire de Calvin, comprised pieces by John Rutter ("Requiem"), Peteris Vasks ("Dona Nobis Pacem") and Hubert Parry ("I was glad").

Autumn 2016
In September 2016, the Choral Group presented excerpts from G. F. Handel’s oratorio ‘Belshazzar’, an ambitious undertaking, but one that the Group's 40-strong choir took in their stride, much to the delight of the audience at the Auditoire de Calvin in Geneva. They were joined by a strong contingent of soloists and instrumentalists.

Autumn 2015
On Saturday 24 October, the Choral Group, conducted by Mark Charles and accompanied on the organ by Julian McNamara, gave a concert of music by Sir Edward Elgar from the gallery of Geneva’s St. Joseph church. The first piece, ‘Great is the Lord’, op 67, is a setting of words from Psalm 47, composed in 1912. This was followed by the Organ Sonata, op. 26, a much earlier work from 1895 which, with its intricate mixture of moods, time signatures and modulations, demonstrated well the virtuosity of Julian McNamara, who had journeyed from England’s West Country for the concert. The major work of the evening was Elgar’s rarely performed ‘The Music Makers’, op. 69, written in the same year as op. 67.

Spring 2014
The Choral Group opened the series of concerts to celebrate the arrival of the new organ at the Auditoire de Calvin, in Geneva. Performed on Saturday, 3 May 2014, the concert was directed by Peter Billington, with Rebecca MacDonald at the organ, and featured works by Johann Christoph Bach, Johann Sebastian Bach, Wilhelm Ernst, Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy and Edward Elgar (including 'The Spirit of the Lord') performed to a standing-room only audience.

Summer 2013 and 2014
The Choral Group had such a great weekend in July 2013 with internationally renowned musician and conductor Mark Deller that it asked him to come back again in 2014 - and he accepted! The workshop concluded with a concert at the Temple de Coppet, at which the Choral Group performed a programme of music that included pieces by Elizabethan madrigalists and Elizabethan settings of Shakespeare songs, all neatly rounded off with Ralph Vaughan Williams’ ‘Three Shakespeare Songs’.


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