2020 marks the choir’s 25th anniversary; an amazing 25 years of wonderful music making by a small group of dedicated, hard-working, amateur singers.
The choir was originally formed when a group of friends from the CBSO Chorus got together to give a charity performance of the Fauré Requiem with Simon Halsey, the CBSO Chorus Director. The small group enjoyed the experience so much that they decided to continue!
The name, Ex Urbe, is simply translated as “from the city” and logically relates to the fact that the choir is “from the city of Birmingham”. Choir records are silent on who came up with the name!
So what does the choir have in store for 2020? The overall “theme” for our concerts throughout the year will be “inspired by Bach”. Each concert will include music written by J S Bach alongside music written by composers who have been inspired by Bach. The first concert (June 2020) will feature three Bach motets alongside music by Durufle including his Requiem. In September the concert will include Bach’s Magnificat and the Köthener Messe by Jonathan Dove. Finally, our Christmas concert next year will include Cantatas 1 to 3 from Bach’s Christmas Oratorio. An exciting year of music with which to celebrate the choir’s 25th anniversary We hope you can join us.
Turkey and cranberry sauce, pigs in blankets, mistletoe, chocolate yule logs – of all the elements and traditions that make up the spirit of Christmas, the singing of carols is maybe the most essential. The appeal seems universal and interminable, uniting children and adults in song. Even those too shy or embarrassed to sing will usually join in a carol at Christmas!
Our Christmas Concert this year will be on Saturday, 7 December and will be at Hampton in Arden Parish Church, concert starting at 6:30pm. We shall be singing a number of favourite carols and other Christmas-themed music most of which feature on Classic FM’s list of most-popular Christmas, choral music.
The choir will be joined by the fantastic Stephen Perrins on the organ.
We look forward to welcoming you and getting you in a festive mood!
“Celebrating the 200th anniversary of her birth with music by Bach, Mendelssohn, Brahms and Robert & Clara Schumann”
including the premiere of a new work for choir and harp by Chloe Knibbs featuring harpist Angelina Warburton
supported by Making Music’s “Adopt a Composer” Scheme and to be recorded for BBC3
The top 25 Christmas Carols voted for by the nation’s choral directors.
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.
We are delighted to be sponsored by Wilkes Solicitors
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
We have decided to add Handel Zadok the Priest to the programme being performed on October 6th and 7th. It will add more sparkle to an already glorious feast of uplifting music.
Haydn Nelson Mass
Saturday, 6 October 2018
St Alphege Church, Solihull
concert starting at 7pm
Sunday, 7 October 2018
Dorridge Methodist Church, Mill Land, Dorridge
concert starting at 4:30pm
Tickets £12 (under 16’s free)
Available from members of the choir, on the door or on-line by “clicking” the “Book Now” logo below
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