Wimbledon Choral – Online Premiere with Roderick Williams

The much loved and celebrated local choir Wimbledon Choral celebrated their centenary by commissioning internationally acclaimed composer Cecilia McDowall to write the Da Vinci Requiem.  It was premiered at the Royal Festival Hall in May 2019 with Kate Royal (soprano), Roderick Williams (baritone) and the Philharmonia Orchestra.

Many of our readers will have fond memories of this hugely successful concert, including Wimblecomm volunteer Kathy Arundell who shared her experience of the evening on our Wimblecomm Blog: World Premiere of Da Vinci Requiem
It was indeed such a success that Wimbledon Choral were due to record the work in May 2020 for release on Signum Records.  However, the arrival of Coronavirus sadly put a stop to this, but it didn’t stop the enthusiasm and motivation of the choir members to produce a recording of a different type!
In the midst of the global pandemic and restrictions on group gatherings, Wimbledon Choral have come together online to perform another of their commissions in a virtual recording with soloist Roderick Williams, raising money for Help Musicians UK

‘Bright morning stars’, the first of Three American Songs by composer – and Wimbledon Choral accompanist – Michael Higgins, was released as a YouTube premiere at 6:00pm on Saturday 6 June to coincide with what would have been their much loved summer concert.

Music Director Neil Ferris said:

We were due to record Cecilia McDowall’s ‘Da Vinci Requiem’ with Roderick Williams in May. Instead, we have come together to make this virtual recording with the hope of supporting professional musicians around the country, many of whom are facing difficult circumstances and worries about the future. Members of Wimbledon Choral and the choir itself will be donating to Help Musicians UK, and we are very grateful to Roddy for joining us in this project.

Commissioned and first performed by Wimbledon Choral, Three American Songs by Michael Higgins are published by Oxford University Press.

About Wimbledon Choral

Wimbledon Choral is a choir of over 180 members drawn from a wide range of ages, professions and backgrounds. Widely regarded as one of the finest amateur choirs in the South East of England, their repertoire is extensive and versatile, embracing traditional works alongside contemporary music, including an increasing number of commissioned works.
Many of you will have had the pleasure of witnessing the outstanding quality, passion and commitment demonstrated by this much loved amateur choir in past concerts and recordings.  We are so lucky that they have decided to perform and share this virtual concert with us and hope to see them perform in front of a live audience again in the not too distant future.
The following quotes sum up perfectly the emotions that come to my mind whenever I watch them, be it live in a concert hall or, for now, on a screen at home.
Anna Picard, The Times, said:
Scan the faces of the singers, here more than 200, and all you see is pride and excitement.
Mark Pullinger, Bachtrack, said:
… how heartening it was to see singers of all ages who clearly adore singing.

About Help Musicians UK

Help Musicians UK is an independent UK charity for professional musicians of all genres, from starting out through to retirement.  They help at times of crisis, but also at times of opportunity, giving people the extra support they need at a crucial stage that could make or break their career. 
Please consider helping Wimbledon Choral raise money for this much needed charity to support struggling musicians through these challenging times.
Written by Susanne Ollig, Wimblecomm #ConnectingMerton

Watch Wimbledon Choral, with soloist Roderick Williams, perform their commission, ‘Bright Morning Stars’, the first of Three American Songs by composer – and Wimbledon Choral Accompanist – Michael Higgins.   

Keep in Touch with Wimbledon Choral on Social Media

Roderick Williams: https://twitter.com/Sviceridor
#KeepSinging #TogetherApart

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