Excelsis 2024 Season

It has been an exciting and busy year for Excelsis starting with the second Spring Soiree –  a sell out for a second year running – followed by a superb trip to the stunningly beautiful Rochester Cathedral to sing two evensongs and a Communion Service.

The season centrepiece concert  – Harmonies across Centuries – was performed at St Christopher’s Church Haslemere and featured Matthew Coleridge’s gorgeous Requiem We were absolutely delighted that the composer Matthew Coleridge was able to join us for this performance. The concert also featured Bach’s Cantata 150, Mozart’s Missa Brevis K194 and Durante’s Magnificat before the interval and some pieces by Clive Osgood including the  et Misericordia from his Magnificat – the choir’s recording of which – accompanied by the London Mozart Players  and featuring Soprano soloist Amy Carson was released in May. The choir also sang Clive Osgood’s The Peace of God which features on their CD of Sacred Choral Music.

The choir has rounded off its season with their Summer Concert entitled ‘A Sunny Afternoon’ at the Church of the Scared Heart of Jesus and St Peter the ApostleAfter a very rainy morning the afternoon of the concert indeed became sunny and the audience was delighted with the varied programme ranging from Mozart to ‘Only You’ by Vince Clarke. However the highlight for many (not least the choir members) was hearing Robert Lewis – their Music Director – sing a duet with former Chorister of the Year Finalist Freddie Simpson. They sang The Prayer which brought the audience to its feet. Do keep an eye on our Instagram and facebook pages for all our news.

Excelsis will return to the Church of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and St Peter the Apostle for a Christmas extravaganza entitled The Twelve Days of Christmas tickets for which will be available in October.

However before we get to Christmas we are CALLING ALL KEEN CHORAL SINGERS and fans of the work of Sir Karl Jenkins for our Come and Sing event on 7th September 2024. We would be delighted if you can join us to learn Sir Karl Jenkins’ Stabat Mater at St Alban’s Church Tilford Road Beacon Hill under the baton of our brilliant Music Director Robert Lewis. Full details and tickets available here.


Clive Osgood and Matthew Coleridge before the concert.

Excelsis 2023 Season Highlights

2023 was Excelsis’ 15th year of performing!

The celebratory year began with a Spring Soiree at St Christopher’s Church, Haslemere – thanks to fantastic support this event was sold out. Guests were entertained by Rob Lewis and Lucy Humphris in jazz mode on arrival whilst enjoying a welcome drink. Between courses of the splendid feast guests were treated to some entertainment showcasing the things Excelsis Choir members get up to in their spare time. These included sets by ‘The Tea Roses’ a duo (Jess Harman and Christine Asbridge) who perfom American Songbook classics, The Winterbourne Singers  – who delighted St Christopher’s audiences at a Coffee Concert and at the fund-raising concert for The Hunter Centre in December – and Godalming Operatic Society with a selection of Gilbert and Sullivan numbers. The evening was rounded off with a set of songs performed by Excelsis.

The funds raised from the soiree helped Excelsis to produce a summer concert which fell on Coronation Day. the concert was part of the Haslemere Festival and played to a packed St Christopher’s.  J S Bach’s Magnificat in D and the World Premier of highly acclaimed local composer Clive Osgood’s set the tone for the evening. Zadok the Priest, I Was Glad were a fitting and popular addition to the programme to mark King Charles III’s Coronation. The evening was rounded of with a rousing roof raising rendition of Jerusalem enhanced by the stunning descant written by Rob Lewis.

As a result of a generous donation by a local patron the Choir have now  recorded Clive Osgood’s Magnificat with the London Mozart Players. Do look out for the CD – produced by Convivium Records – which will be released in Spring 2024.

Excelsis is delighted to have been invited to sing at the Church of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and St Peter the Apostle in Waterlooville on three occasions.

2023 was the Church’s Centenary year and the choir sang at a celebratory Morning Mass on 25th June. The service was our first experience of singing in the fabulous acoustic of this beautiful Church which has a marvellous acoustic.

in June Excelsis performed a tea time Centenary Concert – followed by a truly sumptuous tea provided by the Church’s generous and imaginative team.

Further events in the Autumn included an evensong at Guildford Cathedral on 16th September after which it was the season to prepare for Christmas and our third outing to Waterlooville. We were joined for the Christmas concert by Freddie Simpson – a Chorister of the Year Finalist. His performance of O Holy Night was the highlight of the concert for many of the audience. To mark the 100th year of the Church’s Foundation the ausience took part in a candlelit procession from the new to the now disused and deconsecrated original church on this site. The chilly atmospheric and candlelit church was the perfect setting for the Choir’s performance of Morten Lauridsen’s O Magnum Mysterium.

The report of the year’s activities would not be complete without mentioning the Christmas Grazing Table which awaited audience and choir members on their return to the new Church!


Excelsis 2022 Season Highlights

We joined with Vox Choir Farnham (also conducted by Robert Lewis) for a Saturday Mass at Westminster Cathedral on 26th March 2022. The Cathedral is always full for this service and it is thrilling to sing from the apse above the altar. Here are some extracts from two of the pieces we sang – Os Justi by Bruckner and O Quam Gloriosum by Victoria.

The centrepiece of our Spring season and again joining forces with Vox was the performance of the World Premiere of Steve Banks’ Blue Pearl Oratorio in London on 14th May 2022. The event at St Giles Cripplegate in the Barbican with the London Mozart Players and four wonderful soloists was played to a full house. The performance was live streamed for a week afterwards. Information about the project including details of the ideas and philosophy underlying the work can be found here

We were thrilled to take part in the Grayshott Concerts autumn series when we reprised Karl Jenkins’ The Healer on 8th October 2022, a work we had previously premiered in 2014. Again with the joint forces of Excelsis and Vox Choir Farnham the concert opened with a carefully curated selection of movements from a number of Sir Karl’s works including the Dies Irae from Requiem demonstrating the stunning percussion skills of Zands Duggan conducted by Sir Karl. The Healer was performed in the second part of the concert conducted by Robert Lewis.

You can listen to our recording of The Healer available here Karl Jenkins The Healer  – as well as our recording of Clive Osgood’s Sacred Choral Music.

We brought 2022 to a close with our Christmas is Coming concert at St Luke’s Grayshott on 4th December 2022 which was a wonderfully festive start to Christmas.

Do follow us on our facebook page https://www.facebook.com/ExcelsisUK

Thank you so much to all our loyal audience members who have supported us throughout these interesting times and we hope you will share our excitement for the events in our upcoming season. In the meantime keep safe and well.

About the Choir

Excelsis Chamber Choir is a group of about 25 singers, many with a background of musical training, under the baton of Music Director Robert Lewis. The choir performs a wide variety of music to a very high standard, and performed the opening concert of the Grayshott Concerts’ 2017 season with the London Mozart Players, conducted by Robert Lewis.

In 2014 Excelsis performed the world premiere of Karl Jenkins’ latest work, The Healer – A Cantata for St Luke, with the Marylebone Camerata. The Healer was commissioned by Grayshott Concerts to celebrate the organisation’s 10th anniversary. Following the success of The Healer project, the choir was invited by Sir Karl to sing in a performance of The Armed Man with the Welsh choir, Cor Caedydd, and the BBC National Orchestra of Wales at St. David’s Hall, Cardiff. Both performances were broadcast on national radio, The Healer on Classic FM and The Armed Man on BBC Radio 3. 2015 also saw our debut concert with the London Mozart Players. We also had the honour of becoming the Choir-in-Residence for Grayshott Concerts in recognition of the many performances that the choir has done over the years for the audiences of Grayshott Concerts.

In 2017, the Choir’s tenth anniversary year, Excelsis recorded a new CD ‘Sacred Choral Music’, containing a selection of acclaimed local composer Clive Osgood’s settings of well known texts. Accompanied by the London Mozart Players and featuring soprano Rebecca Moon, the CD has been very well received by the music press.

In 2022 Excelsis was re-united with the London Mozart Players to perform Steve Banks’ Blue Pearl – A One World Oratorio at St Giles Cripplegate in London and will reprise Karl Jenkins’ The Healer for Grayshott Concerts.