Excelsis 2023 Season
It is Excelsis’ 15th year of performing!
We kicked off this celebratory year 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 as they arrived and enjoyed a glass of fizz. Between courses of the spelndid 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 to put on our first major concert of the year – on Coronation Day – in which we performed a brace of Magnificats to celebrate the occasion. J S Bach’s Magnificat in D and the World Premiere of acclaimed local composer Clive Osgood’s new setting of the Magnificat were performed to a completely full house at St Christopher’s Church. Zadok the Priest, I Was Glad and Jerusalem were a fitting addition to the programme to mark the ascent to the throne of King Charles III.
We are very excited that we will be recornding Clive Osgood’s Magnificat in the Autumn.
Further events in the Autumn include an evensong at Guildford Cathedral on 16th September and a Christmas event at Waterlooville.
Excelsis 2022 Season Highlights
We joined with Vox Choir Farnham (also conduted 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 movemnets 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.
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 2015 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 Lndond Mozart Players and featuring soprano Rebecca Moon, the CD has been very well received by the music press.
In 2022 Excelsis were 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.