Looking forward to performing Carmina Burana on 19 May!

The Wellingborough Singers are delighted to return to the United Reformed Church (commonly known as the Pork Pie church, due to its distinctive shape) to perform one of the classics of choral music – Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana. Seating for this concert is entirely unreserved (doors open at 7:00pm), but all seats have a good view, the acoustics are excellent, and all the pews have excellent cushions!

The Interior of Wellingborough URC

CARMINA BURANA

If you’re a child of the 1970s, it may well have been the Old Spice advert. If you hail from a younger generation, it will almost certainly be The X Factor. Or maybe you remember its regular comical use in Only Fools and Horses. Perhaps you even know it as the accompaniment to which Gillingham Football club players run onto the pitch at home games at the Priestfield stadium. One thing’s for sure, though: the vast majority of people who know and love the famous “O Fortuna” that opens Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana have first come across it not through a performance of the work, but via its use in countless television shows, commercials and films.

At less than three minutes, “O Fortuna” is only one very small part of this mammoth cantata. Orff was at pains to point out the non-religious nature of the work in its title: Carmina Burana is subtitled “Cantiones profanæ cantoribus et choris cantandæ comitantibus instrumentis atque imaginibus magicis”, translating as “secular songs for singers and choruses to be sung together with instruments and magic images”.

Composed in the 1930s and inspired by a set of medieval poems, Carmina Burana was first performed in Frankfurt in June 1937, to great acclaim. Orff knew he had a hit on his hands, and he was fortunate enough to see the work’s rapid rise in popularity during the course of his own lifetime. Whilst it is often performed with large orchestra, Orff recognised the potential of an accompaniment of two pianos and no fewer than six percussionists, and it is in this version we perform the work.

Carl Orff

OUR PERFORMERS

We are delighted to welcome back former Musical Director Ian Runnells alongside our own répétiteur Steve Garfirth as our two pianists, and indeed to the Keith Crompton Percussion Ensemble. Local soloists Jessica Smith (an aluma of The Sixteen’s Genesis project), Robert Tilson (graduate of the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire), and Reuben Willcox (graduate of the Julliard School in New York) complete the line up.

The Exterior of Wellingborough URC

CAR PARKING and ACCESSIBILITY

Just opposite the church is Jackson’s Lane Car Park which is free of charge and has over 150 parking spaces. If you have mobility needs please get in touch with us and we will endeavour to organise parking right by the church on either Queen Street or Salem Lane. The church is fully wheelchair accessible, and the church was designed with excellent sight lines in mind.

Christmas 2018 and Spring 2019 Programme Announced

We now know what we’ll be singing this Christmas, and for our Spring Concert in 2019 and details are on the “Future Concerts” page.

Looks like a great combination of choral pieces, and everyone’s favourite Vaughan Williams orchestral work, “The Lark Ascending”.

We’ll be looking at the Forrest “Jubilate” on Youtube, as it’s not a work that will be familiar to many in the choir.  It’s always great to sing something new!

Rehearsals going well!

We have been hard at work on Mahler’s “Resurrection Symphony”and Orff’s “Carmina Burana” in our rehearsals this January.  For those who have sung neither before it’s been great fun learning new works, and if one’s a second bass a whole new voice range has been opened up by the Mahler!  With Russian-style low notes and almost top tenor highs we have been working our vocal chords in a whole new way.

So, all is going well and we are looking forward to singing in St Mathew’s Church on 10 March, with the Northampton Bach Choir, Daventry  Choral Society and the Chapel Choir of the Malcolm Arnold Academy where we will be joined by virtuoso organist David Briggs to perform his transcription of Gustav Mahler’s Symphony, together with soloists Jeanette Ager and Alison Roddy.  Don’t miss it!

Here we go again!

First rehearsal of 2018 tonight – and we’re ready to get stuck into two masterpieces – Mahler’s “Resurrection” Symphony and Orff’s “Carmina Burana”.

Can’t wait!

A Very Successful Concert!

St Mary’s Church, Wellingborough was packed for Saturday night’s concert – a wonderful site for the choir!  While we all enjoy singing for singing’s sake, it’s great to be able to share our enjoyment with others.

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The audience participation was brilliant – probably the best of any of our Christmas Concerts over the years, and the church’s acoustics certainly helped, too.

Judging from post concert comments the evening’s efforts were well received and with 260 in the audience, 65 in the choir, 12 in the orchestra, 3 soloists, and 1 conductor we certainly raised the roof!

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Tonight’s the Night

Just one more rehearsal this afternoon, this time with the orchestra, and then the Concert this evening in St Mary’s, Wellingborough

We now know the complete order of music as follows: –

FIRST HALF  :  MESSIAH

Overture/Sinfony

Tenor – Comfort ye

Tenor solo – Ev’ry valley

CHOIR : And the glory of the Lord

Alto solo – Behold a virgin shall conceive

Alto solo – O thou that tellest

CHOIR : O thou that tellest

CHOIR : For unto us a child is born

Pastoral Sinfony

Soprano solo – There were shepherds

CHOIR : Glory to God

Soprano solo – He shall feed His flock

CHOIR : Hallelujah

INTERVAL

SECOND HALF : CAROLS

CHOIR : Angels’ Carol – Rutter

AUDIENCE : O come, all ye faithful

CHOIR : Love came down at Christmas – Rutter

CHOIR : Shepherd’s Pipe Carol – Rutter

AUDIENCE : God rest you merry gentlemen

CHOIR : Nativity Carol – Rutter

CHOIR : What sweeter music – Rutter

AUDIENCE : Hark! the herald angels sing

CHOIR : Star Carol – Rutter

AUDIENCE : The Twelve Days of Christmas

Christmas Concert Details

Programme – 9 December 2017

Handel – Messiah (part one) and Hallelujah Chorus

Rutter – Angels’ Carol, Love came down at Christmas, Nativity Carol, Shepherd’s Pipe Carol, Star Carol, The Twelve Days of Christmas, What sweeter music, and arrangements of popular carols for choir, audience, organ, and orchestra.

The Interior of St Mary's

The Wellingborough Singers are joined by soloists, organist, and orchestra, under the baton of their new Musical Director, Lee Dunleavy, to present their Christmas offering this year.

The concert begins with the first part of Handel’s ‘Messiah’, concluding with the rousing ‘Hallelujah’ Chorus. For this the choir will be joined by four young soloists currently singing with the Northamptonshire Music and Performing Arts Trust.

The second half of the concert presents carols for choir, and carols for choir and audience together, composed or arranged by the ever-popular John Rutter. There will be something for everyone.

The whole concert is accompanied by orchestra, and for the carols with audience the great organ of St Mary’s Church will be added to great effect.

St Mary's from the Air