Welcome to the Thames Philharmonic blog, where members and the professional musicians we sing with share choral tips and experiences

February 16, 2020

It’s a widely held view that ‘Beethoven couldn’t write for the voice’ but I think its his strong affiliation with the development of the symphony rather than a comment on his vocal writing.

Having said that, in his Mass in C we encounter some real extremes in terms of vocal tessitura, often with very high soprano parts and low bass parts, alongside some rather odd changes of dynamic which can alter the sense of legato in the singing. On the whole, however, the writing is lar...

November 16, 2019

Soloists for our Christmas Cracker concert are particularly looking forward to performing Haydn's Missa Sancti Nicolai.

Soprano Claire Ward says she "absolutely loves Haydn". She has sung this work just once before and is really looking forward to singing it again. She is a keen performer of baroque music and is also delighted to be singing Vivaldi for the first time on 7 December.

Claire recently made her debut at the Oxford Lieder Festival singing settings of fables from th...

October 31, 2019

It's October, and we've started rehearsing Christmas music for our December concert – our first with our award-winning new Music Director, Harry Bradford. And Harry's enthusiasm for the music and conducting means we're having fun! “I love the thrill of conducting a group of willing and responsive singers, of shaping the music and feeling the energy that’s released from communal music-making,” says Harry. This excitement and enthusiasm comes through at our weekly rehearsals,...

August 4, 2019

Exeter, Lincoln, Gloucester, Chichester, St Albans…. these are some of the cathedrals I've sung at with Thames Philharmonic Choir over the last 25 years. It's been a wonderful experience and a real privilege to sing in such magnificent buildings steeped in so much history, and whose walls I imagine imbued with prayer and praise.

While cathedral choirs take a well-earned rest for the summer, other choirs have the opportunity to sing at the services in their place. We started...

June 16, 2019

A celebration of English music (and a little Gershwin) marked the passing of an era on 15th June with Artistic Director John Bate’s farewell concert with the Thames Philharmonic Choir, which he founded 55 years ago, known for many years as the John Bate Choir. 

The programme was an interesting choice for a choir that has cemented its outstanding reputation on the glorious wealth of the Austro-German musical tradition.  Germany was not absent from the proceedings, however, as...

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