Author Archives: Barbie McSean

Excelsis choir celebrates CD release with concert

EDT_1058On 4 July 2015, Excelsis chamber choir travelled to the Angel Studios in London to put the finishing touches on the live recording of Sir Karl Jenkins’ The Healer – a Cantata for St Luke. Under the baton of Director of Music Robert Lewis, with Sir Karl listening from the sound booth, Excelsis spent the day singing through the work, which was commissioned by Grayshott Concerts to celebrate its 10th anniversary and first performed at St Luke’s church in the village. The recording will be released by Warner Classics on 25 September as part of Voices, an 8-CD box set of Sir Karl’s best-selling works.

To mark the release of the CD, Excelsis is joining forces with another acclaimed local group, The Waverley Ensemble, to perform a concert of classical music old and new at St Alban’s Church, Hindhead, on Saturday, 10 October, at 7.30 p.m. The concert, titled Dixit Dominus, will feature Handel’s choral masterpiece as well as local composer Clive Osgood’s contemporary version of the same title.

Excelsis Music Director Robert Lewis will conduct the chamber choir and orchestra, with a diverse programme that also includes Vivaldi’s Autumn from The Four Seasons, featuring local violin star Oliver Nelson, and Nulla in Mundo Pax performed by young vocalist Molly Beere.

“These are exciting times for Excelsis,” Lewis said. “On the heels of recording The Healer – a Cantata for St Luke with Sir Karl Jenkins, we are performing our first concert with The Waverley Ensemble on the day The Healer CD is released to the public.”

Tickets for Dixit Dominus are £15 (£8 for children under 16) and are available on the door or in advance from the Excelsis Ticket Hotline: 07805 515370; email: tickets@excelsis-choir.co.uk; web sites: www.excelsis-choir.co.uk or www.ishanibhoola.com. Doors open at 7 p.m.; St Alban’s Church, Tilford Road, Hindhead GU26 6RB.

Congratulations to Sir Karl Jenkins!

Excelsis extends its heartfelt congratulations on the occasion of Karl Jenkins receiving a Knighthood from Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.  As patron of Grayshott Concerts, Sir Karl has a close relationship with Excelsis and in October 2014 conducted the choir and the London Mozart Players in the world premiere of The Healer – a Cantata for St Luke.  The work was commissioned by Grayshott Concerts and composed by Sir Karl in honour of the organisation’s 10th anniversary.

Excelsis Takes Part in The Healer Recording Session

EDT_1058On 4 July 2015 Excelsis travelled to the Angel Studios in London to put the finishing touches on the live recording of Sir Karl Jenkins’ The Healer – a Cantata for St Luke. Under the baton of Director of Music Robert Lewis, with Sir Karl listening from the sound booth, Excelsis spent the day singing through the work, which was commissioned by Grayshott Concerts to celebrate its 10th anniversary and first performed at St Luke’s church in the village.

 

 

 

 

Excelsis Sings Choral Evensong

St Thomas #2Excelsis added to its broad list of choral repertoire by performing an evensong at St Thomas-on-the-Bourne, Farnham, on Sunday, 14 June 2015. Evensong services are traditionally held in the evening, with the majority of the service sung by a choir. Excelsis participated with works ranging from Josef Rheinberger’s beautiful Abendlied to Herbert Brewer’s Magnificat and Nunc Dimitis in D, which made the most of the church’s acoustics.

 

 

 

Soloists set for Requiem concert

Excelsis will perform the Mozart Requiem and the Fauré Requiem on Saturday, 14 March, for the opening concert of Grayshott Concerts’ 2015 season, conducted by Rob Lewis. The chamber choir will be accompanied by the London Mozart Players and joined by familiar soloists Lucy Knight and Håkan Vramsmo, as well as Rebecca Afonwy-Jones and Paul Curievici.

Soprano Lucy Knight performed with Excelsis for the world premiere of Karl Jenkins’ The Healer – A Cantata for St Luke, in 2014. London-born Knight read Music at Cambridge University and trained at The Guildhall School of Music and Drama and English National Opera. She is a 2013 International Opera Awards Foundation winner and recipient of Making Music’s Philip and Dorothy Green Award for Young Concert Artists. She made her US concert debut as the soloist in the US premiere of The Healer at Carnegie Hall, New York.

Håkan Vramsmo also shared the stage with Excelsis when he sang the baritone solo in The Healer. He has appeared at major venues and festivals including the BBC Proms opening night and has recorded for BBC, Signum Records and Chandos Records. Vramsmo teaches singing at Citylit Institute in London and masterclasses at Koninklijk Conservatoire Brussel.

Making her first appearance with Excelsis and Grayshott Concerts is Welsh mezzo-soprano Rebecca Afonwy-Jones. She studied at The Guildhall School of Music and Drama and is a graduate of the Alexander Gibson Opera School at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. Afonwy-Jones was a Scottish Opera Emerging Artist for 2010-11.

Tenor Paul Curievici studied at The Guildhall School of Music and Drama and made his debut with the Royal Opera House Covent Garden in performances of Gerald Barry’s The Importance of Being Earnest at the Linbury Theatre. Curievici won the Scottish Opera’s John Scott Award and the Basil A. Turner Prize awarded by British Youth Opera.

Excelsis’ debut at Carnegie Hall, New York

The Music of Karl JenkinsFollowing the World premiere performance of The Healer, several members of Excelsis will be travelling to New York in January 2015 to perform in the US Premiere of the work. The Concert is part of the DCINY concert series to mark Martin Luther King Jr Day on Monday 19 January 2015 and will mark Excelsis’ debut performance at Carnegie Hall.

Karl Jenkins will be Composer-in-Residence for the weekend of rehearsals, with Dr Jonathan Griffith, DCINY Artistic Director and Principal Conductor, leading the Distinguished Concerts Orchestra and Distinguished Concerts Singers International.  Lucy Knight (soprano), who sang at the World Premiere at St Luke’s Grayshott in October 2014, will also take to the stage with Mark Watson (Baritone).

Peter and Vivien Harrison, of Grayshott Concerts, will also be present at the US Premiere, which marks the first international performance of the work that they commissioned from Karl Jenkins to mark Grayshott Concerts’ 10th Anniversary.

Further information is available at:  www.dciny.org

World’s Best Loved Requiems

Requiems bFollowing the success of the World Premiere series of concerts in October 2014, Excelsis is thrilled to be invited to give the first concert of the 2015 season of Grayshott Concerts.

The concert – the World’s Best Loved Requiems – will see Excelsis performing with the London Mozart Players and conducted by Robert Lewis, Excelsis’ Director of Music, in Mozart’s Requiem and also the Requiem by Faure.  The concert will take place at St Luke’s Church, Grayshott on Saturday 14 March 2015.

Tickets are available for this concert from Grayshott Concerts (www.grayshottconcerts.co.uk)

 

Excelsis Joins Wedding Celebrations

St Mary's BramshottExcelsis was delighted to be part of the Wedding Celebrations of Catherine Keyser and Chris Ellerker  which took place on Saturday 29 November 2014 at St Mary’s Church, Bramshott.

The choir sang “This is the Day” and “The Lord Bless You and Keep You” by John Rutter  as well as leading the congregation.  Chris wrote  “Thanks for the amazing performance yesterday.  Cat and I thoroughly enjoyed it, and the choir definitely added to the atmosphere in the church!”

 

 

 

Excelsis to celebrate Karl Jenkins 70th Birthday in Cardiff

70th Birthday ConcertJust a couple of weeks after the World premiere performances, Karl Jenkins invited Excelsis to join Cor Caerdydd for the final concert of the Karl Jenkins 70th Birthday Concert series at St David’s Hall, Cardiff. The joint choirs performed “For the Fallen” and “The Armed Man” with Karl Jenkins conducting the BBC National Orchestra of Wales.

The concert was recorded for broadcast by BBC Radio 3 in early 2015.