After an incredibly successful Christmas concert season, a small break (to rest those voices), we’re getting ready for 2023! Rehearsals start in less than two weeks as we work towards our first concert weekend of the year in late April. Under the expert direction of Benjamin Hamilton we will also be joined by organist Kevin Gill and cellist Mark Walkem. With beautiful choral music by Bach, Duruflé, Tavener and Nystedt – this is a wonderful way of stepping into Spring together.
Ex Urbe Chamber Choir are delighted to announce that they have been successful in being chosen to participate in the national Adopt A Composer scheme.
Chloe Knibbs a brilliant young Birmingham based composer has been matched to Ex Urbe, her work is inspired by city life, folk tales and personal experiences and in her music, explores feminist and social issues. Over the next year, Ex Urbe singers and their dynamic and energetic Director, Benjamin Hamilton, will be actively involved with Chloe in the creative process of producing a new piece of work which will be given its premiere in October 2019 and recorded by Radio 3 for broadcast.
Chris Long’s music has been performed throughout the UK by various ensembles including the Orchestra of Opera North, the Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral Orchestra, the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, Lontano, the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and the City of Birmingham Orchestra as well as being broadcast on BBC Radio 3.
He has recently begun an exciting collaboration with Ex Urbe, about which he says:
“I am delighted to be working with Ex Urbe on a composition project that will lead to the performance of several new choral pieces. I approached the choir this time last year proposing a project as part of my doctoral research. In most cases, an ensemble would commission a piece from a composer and it would be delivered, rehearsed and performed. The key element of this project is collaboration and the creative relationship between the ensemble and the composer.
In an early meeting with the choir, ideas regarding texts, subject matter and musical style were discussed. These ideas have gathered pace through online collaboration, including a text written by a member of rthe choir specifically for the project. A further meeting saw some musical ideas being worked through in a rehearsal.
This openness to the creative process from both sides of the relationship is the key area of my research.
The new pieces explore themes surrounding the human condition, taking contemporary and older texts as their subject matter.”
Chris studied music and fine art at Liverpool University with Stephen Pratt, and composition at Newcastle University with Roger Redgate and Agustin Fernandez.During 2004-2005 he was composer in association with the City of Birmingham Choir. His music featured in the London Wind Festival, the spnm Mersey New Sounds Festival, and the Norfolk and Norwich Festival. In 2006 he received the British Composer Award in the Making Music category for O Lord, Remember composed for the City of Birmingham Choir.In 2011-12 he was part of the Equinox project that brought together choral and instrumental performers from 12 culturally diverse choirs and percussion ensembles. The resulting piece, Koinonia, was premiered at Symphony Hall in 2012.Recent work is based around PhD research under the supervision of Joe Cutler and Howard Skempton. He continues to explore working relationships in collaborative projects with non professional performers. Current projects involve Brackley and District Band, the Leamington Chamber Orchestra, The Kensington Symphony Orchestra, Ex Urbe and CoMA London.Chris’ brass music is published by Wright and Round Ltd.He is Director of Music and Performing Arts at a school in the West Midlands, and currently lives in Leamington Spa