News

Christmas Concert recording success prompts repeat performance in Spring

 

Christmas Concert recording success prompts repeat performance in Spring 

The Choir recommenced its rehearsals online in January, via Zoom, buoyed by its successful Christmas Concert recording – click to view

The virtual, 25-minute concert was recorded individually by the singers, in their own homes, and then carefully patched together by recording expert Richard Reeday. 

It was then posted on YouTube and widely publicised by choir members to family and friends and, in particular, to the churches of Holy Spirit in Heckmondwike and First Martyrs in Bradford, where the Christmas concerts were originally due to be held. 

Designed to bring some Christmas cheer during the pandemic lockdown, the concert was well received and achieved over 1,500 views.  It equally received many compliments, including one from American composer Don Besig, who is well known for his songs and compositions with lyricist Nancy Price. 

“You all are to be congratulated for providing this virtual concert to your friends and the community,” said the US composer, who is based in New York State.  “It is a lovely project – both musically and visually – and one which, I am sure, will be viewed many times during the season.”   

Mr Besig shared the recording with his musical collaborator Nancy Price and they were planning to incorporate a similar format for their Christmas offering. 

Although Chordiality’s singers are still only able to meet online, plans are already under way to produce a Spring Concert recording.  Again, the finished performance will be designed to lift spirits in the current troubled times and will include many favourites recently performed by the Choir. 

 

The Christmas Concert 2020 recording is now online

See the concert in full on YouTube 

 

Chordiality annually holds a sell-out Christmas concert at their headquarters at First Martyrs Church in Heaton.  But sadly, this year, along with all music and theatre performances, it has fallen victim to the Covid lockdown measures. 

For the 300 people that would have attended, the concert has become a traditional start to the festive week that follows and is always enthusiastically received. 

“Christmas is a time for families, but this year it is going to difficult for the everyone, especially as we all face some sort of lockdown,” said the Choir’s Music Director Peter Sherlock.  “So, we decided to try and bring Christmas to them with a seasonal concert recorded virtually and published online.” 

The Choir has enjoyed considerable success with a series of lockdown recordings that have been posted on YouTube.  It was this success that sparked the idea – if the audience couldn’t come to the choir, then the choir would take Christmas to their audience. 

The virtual, 25-minute concert has been recorded individually by the singers, in their own homes, and then carefully patched together by recording expert Richard Reeday. 

The finished performance comprises festive songs focussed on the Christmas story and also includes readings and carols, which are subtitled so that viewers can sing along with the choir. 

Work is now under way to make the concert available to as many people as possible across Bradford by contacting churches in the area and promoting the concert on social media. 

Listen to more Chordiality recordings. 

 

Famous composer congratulates choir on lockdown recording of his music

Seldom is a small choir contacted by a world-famous choral composer after it had posted a recording of one of his songs on YouTube, and particularly as it was only posted just seven days before.

Like many choral groups during the pandemic lockdown, Chordiality has turned to meeting weekly through the remote conferencing platform, Zoom.  However, the singers of Chordiality took this a stage further and have now produced a number of virtual recordings which have been posted on YouTube.

The song As Long As I Have Music is well known and sung by choirs the world over and was written and composed by lyricist Nancy Price and musician Don Besig in 1986.

Under the current constraints of lockdown and isolation, Chordiality’s Music Director Peter Sherlock chose the piece as a symbolic song of hope which also summed up the frustrations felt by many in the singing world who are presently unable to sing together.

The piece was recorded individually by the choir members, in isolation, and sound technician Richard Reeday literally sewed it together to produce a full choral sound, and it was posted on YouTube

Just 10 days later, Peter Sherlock received an email, and the shock of his life, when none other than composer Don Besig wrote to him to thank Chordiality for choosing his song to record “during this challenging time” and complimented the choir on its “special blend of musical excellence”.

Mr Besig, who lives in Rochester, New York State, USA, even took the time to locate the Bradford choir’s website and praised the singers on their range of activities and for the “charitable contributions the choir made to the community”.

“I was staggered to receive the email,” said Peter Sherlock.  “What was more amazing was that Mr Besig had also actually taken the time and trouble to seek out our website and had read it in depth.

“He was very sincere with what appeared to be heartfelt comments and was delighted that we had recorded his song during this troubled period.”

 

Choir releases its first lockdown single, albeit online

The Choir is pleased to announce the release of its first lockdown single, with more to follow.  

Chordiality members have been meeting regularly on Sunday evening for a ‘virtual sing’ using the remote conferencing platform, Zoom.

Despite some technical drawbacks, a good time has been had by all, not least in being able to see one another, catch up and enjoy a good sing.  

The weekly get-togethers now follow a regular format and such has been their success that Chordiality decided to take things a step further and produce a recording of members singing together, but in isolation.  The John Rutter favourite A Prayer Of Saint Patrick was selected as the piece to record.

Each choir member recorded themselves singing their respective part and then the singers were literally sewn together by sound technician, and friend of the choir, Richard Reeday.  Richard’s work was incredible and the end result sounded just like the choir had sang together.

“I chose A Prayer Of Saint Patrick because it is relatively short, just one minute, 15 seconds long, and Rutter’s delicate harmonies would be nicely balanced across each section of the choir,” said Music Director Peter Sherlock.

“I then sent all the singers a recording of me playing the piece on the piano and they recorded their individual parts to it.  When I listened to what Richard managed to create, it was amazing.  We are very much indebted to him for his work.”

Chordiality now has plans to record more pieces and will start soon with As Long As I Have Music.

 

With regret the Choir’s summer concert – 11 July – has had to be cancelled

Chordiality members meeting online

 

Due to the safety conditions operating for the Covid-19 pandemic, the Choir, like many other organisations, has had to discontinue meeting for rehearsals.  A further consequence, and with much regret, is that the summer concert, on 11 July at Bradford Cathedral, has also had to be cancelled.

 Rehearsals for this concert, to be held alongside the Bradford Concert Band and featuring choral classic The Armed Man: A Mass for Peace by composer Karl Jenkins, were progressing well with the singers mastering the intricacies and really enjoying the music.  It is highly likely that Chordiality will return to this work at a future date.

Last month, on 26 April, the concert at Our Lady and All Saints Church in Otley with guest artists wind and saxophone quartet Notability, also had to be postponed.  The concert, a fundraising event, was requested by the Knights of St Columba with proceeds going to worthy causes.  It is hoped that this concert can return to the schedule as conditions across the country return to normal.

Although rehearsals have ceased for the time being, the Choir members meet online every Sunday evening when the singers come together using the remote conferencing platform, Zoom.  Although it isn’t possible to unite the singing into one choral sound, much fun is had by all, not least because the members are able to see one another, talk, laugh and have fun.  Plans are now in progress to produce an online recording with all the choir in ‘virtual’ unison. 

 “The continuing lockdown requirements, during the pandemic, are making us operate differently as a choir,” said Music Director Peter Sherlock.  “However, we are determined to keep the routine of the choir going, to keep in touch with each other, to keep singing and to maintain our Sunday night rehearsals, albeit online.”

 

Chordiality donates £800 to new adopted community organisation – the Bradford Baby Bank

Vickie Jubb (left) and Danuta Petrie from the Bradford Baby Bank receiving a cheque for £800 from the Choir's first tenor Steve Cook

 

Proceeds from the summer concert, featuring The Armed Man: A Mass for Peace by Karl Jenkins (Bradford Cathedral, 11 July), will also go the Baby Bank – tickets now available

Chordiality is delighted to be able to donate £800 to a community organisation which is helping vulnerable young families across Bradford who are experiencing financial difficulties and struggling to buy essentials items.

The Bradford Baby Bank was selected as the Choir’s adopted charitable cause last year for the two-year period running from 2019 to 2021.

The Baby Bank was started just over three years ago and is run by four volunteers – Vickie Jubb, its creator and lead co-ordinator, Danuta Petrie, Emma Clarke and Helen Goult.

Like all areas of the UK, growing numbers of young families in Bradford can find themselves fighting against poverty.  The Bradford Baby Bank offers help to those most in need by working with frontline services that witness the difficulties faced by new parents every day.

Although the four have established themselves as an essential lifeline for many young families, they work entirely with local support services on a referral-led basis, in order to avoid any data protection issues and to ensure their donations reach the people who actually need their help.

Support agencies and organisations, such as the British Red Cross and the Salvation Army, alongside social workers, health visitors and other small charities, will approach the Baby Bank team to request items such as baby clothes, high chairs, stair gates, mattresses, Moses baskets, cots, baby baths, fireguards, soft toys as well as the basics like nappies, toiletries and baby milk.

The Choir will be raising funds for the Baby Bank at its summer concert when it performs The Armed Man: A Mass for Peace by Karl Jenkins and will be accompanied on the day by the Bradford Concert Band – Saturday 11 July at 7.30pm in Bradford Cathedral.

“We are delighted to be able to help the Bradford Baby Bank,” said Chordiality’s Music Director Peter Sherlock.  “There are many community-centred organisations in Bradford and the choir members are encouraged to put forward worthy causes at our AGM, which are then voted for by the singers.

“The concert at the Cathedral is one of our main events of the year and the proceeds will go towards the marvellous work undertaken by the Baby Bank.”

  • Tickets for The Armed Man: A Mass for Peace concert with Bradford Concert Band – Bradford Cathedral,  Saturday 11 July at 7.30pm – can be ordered by phoning 07949 696064 or by emailing chordiality.choir@hotmail.com.
 

Summer 2020 concert The Armed Man by Karl Jenkins – book now

 
  • Proceeds to the Choir’s adopted charity, the Bradford Baby Bank

The Armed Man: A Mass for Peace, composed by Karl Jenkins (pictured), will rekindle its Yorkshire association when Chordiality performs the work, accompanied by the Bradford Concert Band, at its major concert of the year in Bradford Cathedral on Saturday 11 July at 7.30pm.

Jenkins was originally commissioned to write the piece by the Royal Armouries in 1999 to celebrate the new Millennium and to mark the museum’s then recent move from London to Leeds.  The Leeds Royal Armouries still houses a major part of the museum’s collection. 

As Jenkins wrote the piece, the atrocities of the Kosovo War were unfolding and he eventually dedicated the work to the victims in the Mass for Peace and a hope for a better world.  He would later describe it as his most important work and pivotal in his changing musical direction.

As a composition, The Armed Man presents its audiences with contrasting movements where the rhythmic and dynamic are juxtaposed with sublime moments of reflective beauty.  The work challenges both singers and musicians through a range of musical styles from the sacred and classical to the near-operatic and now, 20 years after its Royal Albert Hall premiere in 2000, it has become an established piece in the choral repertoire.

“The music covers so many boundaries and it is a real journey for the audience,” said Chordiality’s Music Director Peter Sherlock.  “We have performed a number of works by Karl Jenkins and they suit the Choir.  The Armed Man will be another new and exciting challenge for us and will force the singers to work hard to deliver the various styles, particularly when adapting to the rhythmic patterns.  With the Bradford Concert Band to accompany us, it should be a really special concert to mark the work’s 20th anniversary.

  • Tickets for The Armed Man: A Mass for Peace concert with Bradford Concert Band – Bradford Cathedral,  Saturday 11 July at 7.30pm – can be ordered by phoning 07949 696064 or by emailing chordiality.choir@hotmail.com.
 

Festive favourites at Christmas concerts – tickets now available

 

Following a welcoming return to St Mary’s and St Monica’s Church, Cottingley, by a very appreciative audience, rehearsals have now turned to the excitement of December’s festive concerts. 

 This year, audiences can hear the Choir in Christmas concerts in Batley and Bradford.

  • Sunday 15 December at 3pm – St Mary of the Angels Church, Cross Bank Road, Batley WF17 8PQ
  • Sunday 22 December at 3pm – First Martyrs Church, Heights Lane, Heaton, Bradford BD9 6HZ

 The Choir sang at St Mary’s in Batley in 2016 to much acclaim and an immediate invitation for a return visit.  December 15th will see that return and the singers bringing Christmas cheer in an afternoon concert starting at 3pm.  Tickets, just £10 including seasonal fayre, are available by phoning 01924 474650 or by email at office.stmary.batley@dioceseofleeds.org.uk.

 Chordiality will then head back to Bradford, just a week later, for the annual Christmas concert at its home venue at First Martyrs Church in Heaton.  Always a sell-out, those wishing to attend are urged to book early.  Tickets, just £7 including mulled wine and minced pies, are available from Choir members or by phoning 07949 696064 or by email at chordiality.choir@hotmail.com.

The festive programme will include some traditional favourites, many making a welcome return, as well as a number of debut pieces joining the repertoire.  Together, they promise an afternoon of jollity and seasonal reflection for both audiences.

 Accompanying the Choir will be pianist Andrew Sherlock and guest artist, flautist Rosie Walsh.  Popular audience carols and seasonal readings, both witty and reflective, will complete the line-up and let everyone know… Christmas has arrived.

  • The Armed Man by Karl Jenkins will feature at the summer 2020 concert with Bradford Concert Band to be held at Bradford Cathedral on Saturday 11 July at 7.30pm.  Order tickets now by phoning 07949 696064 or by emailing chordiality.choir@hotmail.com.