Belfast Philharmonic Choir:
Belfast Philharmonic Choir is the only symphonic chorus in Northern Ireland and performs most regularly with the Ulster Orchestra, the province's only professional symphony orchestra.
After 5 years as accompanist I was delighted to be appointed Chorus Master in 2011.
Since its formation in 1874 the Choir has sung much of the standard symphonic repertoire, ranging from Bach and Handel- including annual performances of Messiah, through masses by Haydn and Beethoven and large-scale oratorios such as Mendelssohn's Elijah, to 20th 'fireworks' such as Carmina Burana, Belshazzar's Feast.and Britten's monumental War Requiem. Since my appointment as Chorus Master additional highlights have appeared in the Choir's schedule.
In April 2012, 100 years to the hour since it sank to the bottom of the Atlantic, I directed the Choir with Downshire Brass and Cappella Caeciliana in the highly moving and poignant premiere of Philip Hammond's Requiem for the Lost Souls of the Titanic to a capacity audience in St. Anne's Cathedral, Belfast.
May 2015 marked the 140th birthday of the Society which was celebrated both with a rare choir-and-organ concert in the Belfast's fabulous Ulster Hall (see picture above) and the premiere of a new commission, The Seven Heavens, based on the life of C.S. Lewis and composed by Grammy-nominated composer James Whitbourn.
Throughout, the Philharmonic Choir is superb, their rhythmic attack, precision of diction and varying dynamics showing exactly what a large choir...can bring to Handel’s choruses. How refreshing to hear Handel sung with such variety of tone colour and dynamics.
A highlight of the season is the annual 'Come & Sing' which attracts singers- and potential new members- from all over Ireland and the wider United Kingdom. Past events have featured Mozart Requiem, Carmina Burana and a very popular 'Choral Favourites' programme which formed the basis for our Culture Night performance, though its not always easy singing Italian in the dark!
If you would interested in joining Belfast Philharmonic Choir then please click here.