Twickenham Choral

A Centenary only comes along once in a lifetime. So this year Twickenham Choral are making the most of their 100 years of singing in South-West London, relishing what they have achieved, while also looking to the years ahead.

One glorious evening in the middle of May, the choir gathered with their guests at St Mary’s Twickenham for a Gala Concert. Each of the current conductor Christopher Herrick’s former assistants, as well as one former conductor, directed a piece by Purcell, Tallis, Byrd and their contemporaries. The centrepiece was Wild Musick, a wonderful new commission by locally born and internationally acclaimed Roxanna Panufnik, setting words by another local, the poet Alexander Pope. Like bells, the music rang out, followed by ringing applause. Then down to the church gardens by the river as dusk fell for Champagne, Canapés and Cake.

At the beginning of July the choir performed the beautiful Mozart ‘Great’ Mass in C minor, followed by another thrilling new Centenary commission, Then Sing We All – A Jazz Cantata, by Iain Farrington. The choir’s regular orchestra, the renowned Brandenburg Sinfonia, slimmed down to a jazz combo of trumpets, trombones, double bass and drum kit, with the composer playing virtuoso piano. As well as sing, the choir had to clap their hands, stamp their feet and click their tongues!

New choral classics

Commissioning two new works for their Centenary year was a formal declaration of what the choir plans to embrace over its next 100 years. With this in mind, it has established a Centenary Legacy Fund designed to encourage and nurture young composers to write new choral classics. 

But the great glories across the range of choral music will continue. In December, at Holy Trinity Twickenham Green, the choir returns to Bach’s Mass in B minor. And over the next couple of years, before Christopher Herrick stands down after his 50 years as the choir’s conductor, they will be revisiting more much-loved repertoire: Rachmaninov’s amazing Vespers, Bach’s St John Passion, and the always popular Brahms’s Requiem and Verdi’s Requiem.

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