•    Peace on Earth, Saturday 15 December 2018 Open or Close
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    Saturday 15 December 2018 7.30pm in Exeter Cathedral

    Marines bandThe Armed Man (excerpts) Karl Jenkins • Patterson • Fitkin • Handel • favourite carols and other treats from The Band of Her Majesty’s Royal Marines CTCRM and guest artist Roderick Williams OBE

    The Lord Mayor’s charity concert

    Nigel Perrin conductor

    “Someone once said I write spiritual music for secular people, and it was meant to be an insult. But for me that's a compliment.” Karl Jenkins

    100 years on from the Armistice of November 1918, which marked the end of the First World War, Exeter Festival Chorus commemorates this momentous historical event. We perform excerpts from Karl Jenkins' compelling work, The Armed Man: A Mass for Peace, which depicts the horrors of war but urges 'Better is peace...'. At the end of the concert there will be a collection for the Lord Mayor's chosen charity, SSAFA, the Armed Forces charity.

    Roderick WilliamsWith leading British baritone, Roderick Williams OBE, and the evocative and rousing sound of the Royal Marines Band, we take you through Advent to Christmas with its message of hope for peace on earth.

    Roderick says "I am looking forward to my appearance with the Exeter Festival Chorus and the Band of the Royal Marines; it promises to be a thrilling occasion. The desire for peace in our troubled world can best be encouraged through music, the most powerful of unifying media. I am sure, under the baton of the wonderful Nigel Perrin, we will all be a persuasive voice for Peace on Earth." Please click to read Roderick's biography.

    Photo of Roderick Williams by Benjamin Ealovega

    To buy tickets please click the Buy Tickets Online tab at the top of this page.
    Nave £35, £28, £22 (reserved)
    Side aisles*: £17 front, £8 rear (unreserved)
    *many with restricted view
    Special Anniversary discounts for Students and Children: Students £5; Children (under 18 years) £1
    Where a disabled person requires an attendant to be able to come to our events, we will be pleased to provide a complimentary ticket for the attendant. Please call us on 0845 600 5441 to take up this facility.

    Tickets may also be booked by phone through TicketSource: 0333 666 3366.
    Lines are open 9am-7pm weekdays (excluding bank holidays) and 9am-5pm Saturdays. Calls are charged at national rate and are included in free minutes. There is a fee of £1.75 per transaction for this service.

    Tickets are also available in person or by phone from Exeter Tickets, Dix’s Field, Exeter: 01392 665 885.

    There is a Group Booking discount of 10% if you buy ten or more tickets for a concert.

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  •    Open Rehearsals: 13 February 2019 Open or Close
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    We are holding our next Open Rehearsal on Wednesday 13 February 2019 for our concert in St Michael's, Mount Dinham on Saturday 6 April, which includes Allegri's Miserere and pieces by Poulenc, Barber, Levine and Scarlatti. There will be a further Open Rehearsal on Wednesday 12 June 2019 when we shall be preparing for our Vivaldi and Mozart concert in July.

    We are happy to be flexible about a visit date, so if you are not able to attend an Open Rehearsal, it is possible for us to arrange a visit to an ordinary rehearsal.

    For more information about our open rehearsals please see this page.

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  •    Choral Workshop 2019: Mozart's Mass in C Minor Open or Close
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    Saturday 19 January 2019
    Choral Workshop
    Mozart: Mass in C Minor
    Belmont Chapel Exeter, 9.30am - 5.00pm

    Directed by Aidan Oliver, with accompanist Peter Adcock

    We are very grateful to Run By Singers for sponsoring this year's workshop. Please click to see details of their programme of holidays for singers.

    Our annual choral workshop is an open invitation for singers from far and wide to join us in a day’s exploration and cameo performance of a masterwork in the choral repertoire. In 2019 we are tackling Mozart's Mass in C Minor.

    Nigel Perrin won’t be able, for health reasons, to lead our choral workshop on 19 January. However, we’re delighted to have been able to persuade Aidan Oliver to take his place. We worked with Aidan a couple of years ago, when he conducted us in the Bach Christmas Oratorio. As the reviewer of that concert said,

    “Perhaps we could see Aidan Oliver in Exeter again – his direction certainly brought much evident pleasure to both participants and audience."

    Aidan is a top flight conductor, who has just added the Directorship of the Edinburgh Festival Chorus to his portfolio. You can read more about him here.

    Price: registration fee £20 (£5 for children under 18 years and students)
    Score: Peters edition
    Score hire is £2, payable at the time of booking.
    We ask for a £10 returnable deposit on the day.
    When booking online, please select the price for your voice part with or without score as appropriate.

    To buy tickets please click the Book Now tab at the top of this page.
    Tickets may also be booked by phone through TicketSource: 0333 666 3366. Lines are open 9am-7pm weekdays (excluding bank holidays) and 9am-5pm Saturdays. Calls are charged at national rate and are included in free minutes.
    There is a fee of £1.75 per transaction for this service.
    Tickets are also available in person or by phone from Exeter Tickets, Dix’s Field, Exeter: 01392 665 885.

    Venue: Belmont Chapel, Western Way, Exeter EX1 2DB

    About the day:

    09.30 Registration opens.
    10.00 We start the day with a selection of warm-ups before we turn to the work itself. The proceedings will be interspersed with practice of vocal technique and a plentiful supply of Aidan’s anecdotes.
    11.20 A break for complimentary refreshments, followed by further study.
    13.00 We break for lunch. You’re welcome to enjoy a packed lunch at the venue or forage in the many catering options in the nearby city centre.
    14.15 We resume our study.
    15.40 A break for further complimentary refreshments.
    16.00 Our cameo performance starts.
    17.00 Our day ends.

    Click to see a short video from our 2013 Choral Workshop.

    The Chapel is in the centre of the city. There is no parking at the Chapel itself, but paid public parking is available at Triangle Car Park EX1 2BL behind the Chapel or at Summerland Gate EX1 2LB opposite it. There are Park & Ride services; details are available here.

    Further details:
    t 0845 600 5441 (Calls cost 7p per minute plus your phone company’s access charge.)
    e This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


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  •    Miserere, Saturday 6 April 2019 Open or Close
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    Saturday 6 April 2019 7.30pm in St Michael's, Mount Dinham, Exeter

    Allegri Miserere, Poulenc Litanies à la Vierge Noire, Barber Agnus Dei, Levine Morning Prayer from Prayers for Mankind, Scarlatti Stabat Mater

    Peter Adcock organ

    Nigel Perrin conductor

    The sorrows and suffering of Mary, mother of Christ, are the inspiration for our Easter concert programme. Allegri’s Miserere is a penitential psalm for the Tenebrae services before Easter.
    Poulenc’s Litanies à la Vierge Noire were inspired by a pilgrimage to the shrine of the Black Virgin of Rocamadour. Barber’s Agnus Dei, his own choral arrangement of the Adagio for Strings, is followed by Alexander Levine’s Morning Prayer, celebrating the life of a Russian Orthodox priest, assassinated for his beliefs.
    The concert ends with Scarlatti’s Stabat Mater, his setting of the 13th century hymn to the mother of Christ, as she stands at the foot of the cross, beholding her son’s crucifixion.

    To buy tickets please click the Buy Tickets Online icon at the top of this page.
    £18 (unreserved); Students £5; Children (under 18 years) £1

    Tickets may also be booked by phone through TicketSource: 0333 666 3366. Lines are open 9am-7pm weekdays (excluding bank holidays) and 9am-5pm Saturdays. Calls are charged at national rate and are included in free minutes. There is a fee of £1.75 per transaction for this service.

    Tickets are also available in person or by phone from Exeter Tickets, Dix’s Field, Exeter: 01392 665 885.

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  •    Vivaldi Gloria and Mozart Mass, Saturday 13 July 2019 Open or Close
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    Saturday 13 July 7.30pm in Exeter Cathedral

    Vivaldi Gloria in D and Mozart Mass in C minor

    with Southern Sinfonia

    Nigel Perrin conductor

    Sponsored by the Bryan Foster Charitable Trust

    Our summer concert features two of the great masterworks in the choral repertoire.
    Vivaldi’s Gloria in D (RV589), in its combination of exuberant brilliance with moments of sadness and contemplation, is a firm favourite. Highly theatrical, it buzzes with bold contrasts and
    amazing sounds.
    Mozart’s Mass in C Minor (K427) stands alongside his perhaps more famous Requiem as one of the best-loved and greatest works of sacred choral music. The music has been described as having ‘a breathtaking sense of personal utterance’ and some have suggested that it was never completed, as Mozart did not know how to finish a score ‘already beyond perfection.’

    To buy tickets please click the Buy Tickets Online icon at the top of this page.
    Nave £28, £23, £20 (reserved)
    Side aisles*: £14 front, £7 rear (unreserved)
    *many with restricted view
    Special Anniversary discounts for Students and Children: Students £5; Children (under 18 years) £1

    Tickets may also be booked by phone through TicketSource: 0333 666 3366.
    Lines are open 9am-7pm weekdays (excluding bank holidays) and 9am-5pm Saturdays. Calls are charged at national rate and are included in free minutes. There is a fee of £1.75 per transaction for this service.

    Tickets are also available in person or by phone from Exeter Tickets, Dix’s Field, Exeter: 01392 665 885.

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Archived Concerts

Much Ado About Shakespeare

Saturday 11 July 2015, 7.30pm

St. Peter’s Church, Budleigh Salterton

Budleigh Music Festival

A programme of songs and readings around the works of Shakespeare.

"Much Ado about Shakespeare" opens with Vaughan Williams' well known Serenade to Music - "Here will we sit and let the sounds of music creep in our ears", from The Merchant of Venice; this sets the mood for an entertaining evening of words and choral song. Many composers have been inspired by the texts of Shakespeare's songs: Franz Schubert's Who is Sylvia?; Vaughan Williams' The Cloud-capped Towers; John Rutter's It was a lover and his lass, to name but a few. Also included will be beautiful modern settings by the Finnish composer Jaakko Mäntyjärvi (sounds of a bubbling cauldron in Macbeth!) and some delightful jazz settings by the brilliant American jazz pianist, George Shearing. All artfully threaded together by Gerald Dickens' engaging narrative.

Conductor: Nigel Perrin

For full details and to book your tickets visit: www.budleighmusicfestival.co.uk

Saturday 9 May 2015, 7.30pm, Exeter Cathedral

Live with the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra

Conductor: Kirill Karabits

Soprano: Hye-Youn Lee

Gabrieli Canzoni

Stravinsky Symphony of Psalms

Fauré Requiem

For full details and to book your tickets please click here.

Saturday 6 December 2014 7.30pm

with Lesley Garrett

Conductor: Nigel Perrin

Featuring well-loved numbers from Messiah, Carmina Burana, opera and folk, all rounded off by a selection of Christmas carols which we hope you will enjoy singing with us. You can read more about the programme here.

Running time: approximately 120 minutes with a 20 minute interval

Tickets: £15 to £35 reserved, £12 & £20 unreserved*

*Please note: Side Aisle seats in Band A have a sideways, but uninterrupted, view of the performers; side aisle seats in Band B also have a sideways view, but the view may be obscured by pillars.

Buy Tickets
You can buy tickets online for this concert by clicking on the Buy Tickets icon to the left. Details of other ways to book tickets can be found on our Tickets page.

 

Discounts: 10% discount if you buy ten or more tickets for a concert.
50% discount for under 16s & students in full time education.
These discounts will be applied automatically to on-line bookings.

Refund policy: we regret that no refunds can be given unless the concert is sold out.

ELF logo

We’re delighted to welcome as our Charity Partner the Lord Mayor's Charity for the year, the Exeter Leukaemia Fund. You’ll be able to read in your programme about the wonderful work that they do for sufferers and their loved ones; there’ll be an opportunity to contribute to their work at the end of the concert.

 

Saturday 9 November 2013, 7.30pm
St Peter's Church, Budleigh Salterton

Conductor: Nigel Perrin
with Organ, Percussion, Piano and String Quintet

Benjamin Britten: St Nicolas
Benjamin Britten: Hymn to St Cecilia
Eric Whitacre: Her Sacred Spirit Soars
Jonathan Dove: The Passing of the Year

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Ticket Prices: £12 (Students: £6), all unreserved.

Please click on the Buy Tickets icon to choose your seats and buy your tickets.

It is also possible to buy tickets by credit/debit card, in person or by phone, at the Box Office, Exeter Tickets, Dix's Field, Exeter, t 01392 665885. Tickets for this concert can also be purchased in person or by phone from Budleigh TIC, Fore Street, Budleigh Salterton, t 01395 445275.

Refund policy: we regret that no refunds can be given unless the concert is sold out.

The estimated finishing time of this concert is 9.30pm.

The major work in the concert is Britten’s cantata Saint Nicolas, composed in 1948.  It tells the story of the legendary life of Saint Nicolas, Bishop of Myra, Lycia (modern-day Turkey) in the 4th century; he had a reputation for secret gift-giving, such as putting coins in the shoes of those who left them out for him, and thus became the model for Santa Claus. The work is scored for chorus, tenor soloist (Daniel Joy), three trebles (the “pickled boys”), string quartet, piano, organ and percussion.

Britten was born on St Cecilia’s Day, November 22, in 1913 and his Hymn to Saint Cecilia (1942), with a text by W.H. Auden, honours her as the patron saint of music. It is sung a cappella.

Contemporary American composer Eric Whitacre has also been inspired by the long tradition of writing odes and songs to Saint Cecilia, and our concert includes his work Her Sacred Spirit Soars, composed in the spirit of the Renaissance works written for Queen Elizabeth I.  This soaring work for double chorus (sung a cappella) is in the signature Whitacre style with brilliant choral textures unfolding into a majestic final salute, “Long live Oriana!” 

Jonathan Dove’s song cycle The Passing of the Year is scored for double chorus and piano. It is dedicated to the memory of Dove’s mother and uses texts celebrating the arrival of spring and summer, the transition to autumn and the descent into winter.

 

Saturday 28 June 2014, 7.30pm
Holy Cross Church, Crediton

Pyotr Tchaikovsky: Music for Vespers
Johann Sebastian Bach: Komm, Jesu, komm
Aaron Copland: In the Beginning
John Tavener: Svyati

Conductor: Nigel Perrin
'Cello: Hetty Snell
Mezzo-Soprano: Beth Mackay

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Ticket Prices: £12 (Students: £6), all unreserved.
Please click on the Buy Tickets icon to choose your seats and buy your tickets.

Refund policy: we regret that no refunds can be given unless the concert is sold out.

The historic and beautiful setting of Crediton Parish Church forms the backdrop for “Summer Vespers” – a concert of contemplative and uplifting pieces by composers from America, England, Germany  and Russia.

For double choir, J S Bach’s eighteenth-century a cappella motet, Komm, Jesu, Komm, unfolds in contrasting movements and has an intimate, lyrical quality.

Aaron Copland’s In the Beginning was written in 1947 and is an unaccompanied motet for chorus and mezzo-soprano soloist (the “story teller”). It is a wonderful setting of the first chapter of the Book of Genesis, and depicts the story of the seven days of creation. Beth Mackay, award-winning mezzo-soprano who made her Proms debut in 2010, joins EFC for this piece.

John Tavener began to compose Svyati (Oh Holy One) in 1995. Deeply influenced by the music of the Orthodox Church, the piece is in Old Church Slavonic and is scored for cello and choir, with the cello representing the Ikon of Christ, interacting with the choir in the manner of dialogue in Greek drama. For this poignant piece the choir will be joined by cellist Hetty Snell, who returns to perform in her home county after touring Europe with the Philharmonia Orchestra and Australia with the Wilhelm Quartet.

The Slavonic theme, and the mood of poignant reflection, continues in the final section of the programme, with music by the Russian composer, Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky.

Saturday 7 December 2013, 7.30pm
Exeter Cathedral

In aid of The Royal Marines Charitable Trust Fund

with Jacqui Dankworth and The Band of Her Majesty's Royal Marines, Lympstone

Conductors: Nigel Perrin and Huw Williams

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Ticket Prices:
Front Nave £22 (reserved)
Rear Nave £17 (reserved)
Side Aisles £12 (unreserved)
Students: discount of 50% on all ticket prices
Please click on the Buy Tickets icon to choose your seats and buy your tickets. Online ticket sales for Winter Gala will close at 3.30 pm on the day of the concert, but some tickets will be available on the door.

Refund policy: we regret that no refunds can be given unless the concert is sold out.

The estimated finishing time of this concert is 10.00pm so it is advisable not to use the Cathedral and Quay car park, which closes at 10.00pm.

Jacqui Dankworth sings
Songs from Stage & Silver Screen (arranged by Charles Wood)

The Royal Marines with Exeter Festival Chorus perform excerpts from
Bernstein: West Side Story
Verdi: Aida
Jenkins: The Armed Man

Grand Finale
A Christmas Medley

Thursday 19 December 2013, 7.30pm
Great Hall, University of Exeter

Handel Messiah

Conductor: Christian Curnyn
Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra
Soprano: Rebecca Bottone
Counter-Tenor: William Towers
Tenor: Samuel Boden
Baritone: Christopher Purves

Once again, we have been invited by the BSO to join them for a Christmas performance of Handel’s masterpiece.

Tickets for this concert usually sell out many weeks before the performance so please book early if you want to come this year!

Booking: Starts on Wednesday 4 September at Exeter Phoenix, Bradninch Place, Gandy Street, Exeter, EX4 3LS. You can book in person at the Exeter Phoenix Box Office (open 10am – 8pm, Mon-Sat) or phone the Box Office (t 01392 667080).

Saturday 6 July 2013, 7.30pm
Exeter Cathedral

Conductor: Nigel Perrin
Orchestra: The Sinfonietta, leader Richard Studt
Organ: Andrew Millington
Elijah: Benedict Nelson
Jezebel: Mary Plazas
Mezzo: Carolyn Dobbin
Tenor: Nathan Vale

EFC will be joined by choirs from Rennes (France), Bad Homburg and Hanau (Germany) in a performance of Mendelssohn’s Elijah.

Ticket Prices: Front Nave £22 (£20); Mid/Rear Nave £17 (£15); Side Aisles (unreserved) £12 (£10).
Prices in brackets indicate concessions (students and schoolchildren).

Online booking for this concert has now closed but tickets will be available at the door.

Refund policy: we regret that no refunds can be given unless the concert is sold out.

Under the baton of Nigel Perrin and with The Sinfonietta (led by Richard Studt), Exeter Festival Chorus will be joined by singers from Rennes, Bad Homburg (Exeter’s twin cities) and Hanau (twinned with Yaroslavl, Exeter’s “Russian twin”) in a performance of Mendelssohn’s dramatic oratorio, Elijah, on 6 July in Exeter Cathedral.

Elijah remains a firm favourite in the choral repertoire, with some contemplative and beautifully moving moments, as well as some powerful drama, conveying Mendelssohn’s view that ‘the dramatic element should predominate. The personages should act and speak as if they were living beings.’

In August 1846 Mendelssohn himself conducted Elijah in Birmingham and this performance proved to be one of the great triumphs of his career: ‘No work of mine went so admirably the first time of execution, or was received with such enthusiasm by both the musicians and the audience,’ wrote Mendelssohn to his brother.

The first performance in Birmingham was in English, and the performance on 6 July 2013 will also be in English.

lottery funding logo Saturday 23 March 2013, 7.30pm (Exeter Cathedral)

James MacMillan St John Passion

Conductor: Nigel Perrin

Exeter Festival Chorus will be joined by the City of Bath Bach Choir and Wellensian Consort.

Ticket Prices: Front Nave £22 (£20); Mid/Rear Nave £17 (£15); Side Aisles (unreserved) £12 (£10). Prices in brackets indicate concessions (students and schoolchildren).

On line bookings have now closed for this concert, but there will be tickets in all price bands available on the door.

Refund policy: we regret that no refunds can be given unless the concert is sold out.

Exeter Festival Chorus and the City of Bath Bach Choir are proud to be part of historic musical events in the South West in March 2013, with two ground-breaking concert performances of James MacMillan’s St John Passion.

Composed in 2007, and not yet performed outside the major concert centres because of the forces required and the technical difficulty of the piece, MacMillan’s brilliant St John Passion is being taken on by Exeter Festival Chorus and City of Bath Bach Choir, with the Wellensian Consort (2010 BBC Choir of the Year) taking the part of ‘narrator’. The orchestra is the Southern Sinfonia (leader Alexander Hohenthal) and baritone soloist Mark Stone will take the role of Christus – all under the baton of conductor Nigel Perrin. There will be two performances of this important contemporary work: Wells Cathedral on Saturday 16 March and Exeter Cathedral on Saturday 23 March.

Macmillan’s St John Passion is an intensely dramatic work, based on the telling of Christ’s Passion as related in the Gospel according to St John – the composer says that he chose this version of the story because he sees it as the most direct, with John being at the foot of the cross during the crucifixion. The narrative's traditional layout is preserved, with the Wellensian Consort taking the role usually allotted to a solo Evangelist unfolding the Gospel story.

As part of the pioneering mission to bring this work to a wider audience, the choirs, in partnership with Mulberry and supported by the Arts Council, are extending an invitation to schools and colleges in Somerset and Devon. Senior music students are invited not only to attend the concerts, but also to take part in two masterclass study days with the choirs, directed by Nigel Perrin. In all, a rich collaboration, to do justice to what will become an iconic work. This is an opportunity for musical learning and engagement not to be missed – for more details, click here.

The Scottish composer, James Macmillan, is probably the most significant composer of this generation. His musical language is flooded with influences from his Scottish heritage, Catholic faith, social conscience and close connection with Celtic folk music, blended with influences from Far Eastern, Scandinavian and Eastern European music.

The work is dedicated to and was premiered by Sir Colin Davis and the LSO in the Barbican on 27 April 2008. It sets new standards in choral writing and, to quote Paul Spicer, is already viewed as a classic, a modern day War Requiem, a seminal work which will mark a very special place in the history of contemporary classical music. This work is a major achievement and a milestone in the development of the choral repertory. To follow in Bach’s footsteps in creating a work which shares a title with one of his great works rather than calling it something new and trendy shows another aspect of the fundamental nature of this work.

 Nigel Perrin says performing this work will be “one of the most exciting and challenging moments of my whole career... a brilliant but seriously difficult piece, with a really dramatic, theatrical quality – there is almost a film score feel to this music.” For an idea of how members of EFC and the City of Bath Bach Choir are enjoying the challenge of working on this wonderful music, please click here to watch a YouTube film, with the choirs and Nigel Perrin in action.

Click here to listen to an interview with James MacMillan about his version of the St John Passion.

 

Thursday 13 December 2012, 7.30pm
Exeter University Great Hall

Handel Messiah

Conductor: Nigel Perrin
Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra

Once again, we have been invited by the BSO to join them for a Christmas performance of Handel’s masterpiece.

Tickets for this concert usually sell out many weeks before the performance so please book early if you want to come this year!

Booking: Starts on Wednesday 5 September at Exeter Phoenix, Bradninch Place, Gandy Street, Exeter, EX4 4PY. You can book in person at the Exeter Phoenix Box Office (open 10am – 8pm, Mon-Sat) or phone the Box Office (call 01392 667080).

 

Saturday 8 December 2012, 7.30pm
Exeter Cathedral

Duke Ellington Sacred Concert

Conductor: Nigel Perrin
Soloist: Jacqui Dankworth
Andy Williamson and the Big Buzzard Boogie Band

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Ticket Prices: Front Nave £22 (£20); Mid/Rear Nave £17 (£15); Side Aisles (unreserved) £12 (£10).

Prices in brackets indicate concessions (students and schoolchildren). Please click on the Buy Tickets icon to choose your seats and buy your tickets. Tickets may also be purchased from Exmouth Information Centre at TravelWorld, 3 Rolle Street, Exmouth.
Refund policy: we regret that no refunds can be given unless the concert is sold out.

We're branching out into the world of jazz for our Christmas concert this year. The programme will feature the legendary Duke Ellington's Sacred Concert, one of the three concerts of sacred music he created between 1965 and 1973.

Besides this work, there'll be music with an international Christmas feel, and spots for the band, the choir and the audience.

Surviving Winter Appeal
At our Christmas Jazz concert on Saturday 8 December there will be a retiring collection in aid of the Surviving Winter Appeal.

600 older people in Devon are at risk of dying as a result of fuel poverty this winter, with many thousands more hospital admissions and social service calls. Devon Community Foundation is mounting an appeal to help those who desperately need extra support during the winter. Details can be found at www.devoncf.com/get-involved/surviving-winter-appeal and you can click here to watch a short ITV report on the campaign.

Saturday 27 October 2012, 7.30pm
Holy Trinity Church, Exmouth

Conductor: Nigel Perrin
Organ: Jonathan Watts
Piano: Peter Adcock

Vivaldi Gloria
Tippett Spirituals from A Child of Our Time
Mozart Solemn Vespers

 

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Ticket prices: £12 (£10), all unreserved.
Price in brackets indicates concessions (students and schoolchildren). To buy your tickets please click on the Buy Tickets icon to the left. For this concert only, tickets are also available from the Exmouth Information Centre at World Travel, 3 Rolle Street, Exmouth and from the Holy Trinity Coffee Bar, between 10.00 & 12.00, from Monday to Saturday.

Following our successful summer events at Buckfast Abbey and the Budleigh Salterton Festival, in October Exeter Festival Chorus will present another exciting concert outside our home city.  We will be singing in Holy Trinity Church, Exmouth on Saturday 27 October 2012, with a programme spanning 250 years.

Vivaldi’s Gloria is one of his most famous and well-loved compositions. Written at the height of the glory of Venice, the music is confident, bright and sunny, capturing perfectly the theme of praise that is at the heart of the Latin text.

Mozart’s Solemn Vespers was his last work for his employer in Salzburg, before he moved on to the excitement of Vienna.  The setting is of words from the Psalms but, despite a rather sombre title, the music is joyful and exuberant, perhaps hinting that Mozart was glad to be facing new and exciting challenges.

The evening’s programme is brought into the 20th century by Michael Tippett’s settings of Spirituals from A Child of Our Time. Tippett’s contemporary choral settings of these five unaccompanied spirituals are both intense and exhilarating, and give a moving portrayal of the anguish, despair and longing for freedom of the negro slaves who originally sang them.

On Saturday 27 October at 7.30pm, Exeter Festival Chorus will be directed as usual by Nigel Perrin. We will be joined by two of the region’s finest local musicians, Peter Adcock (piano) and Jonathan Watts (organ).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Saturday 21 July 2012, 7.30pm
St Peter's Church, Budleigh Salterton

Conductor: Nigel Perrin
Organist: Jonathan Watts

Baritone: Julian Rippon
Mezzo-soprano: Penny Davies

Vaughan Williams Mass in G minor
Tippett Spirituals from A Child of our Time
Duruflé Requiem

Come and join us for the closing concert of the Budleigh Music Festival.

Ticket Price: £14 (£7 for children under 16 and full time students).

On-line booking for this concert has now closed, but tickets can be purchased at the door or from the Tourist Information Centre, Fore Street, Budleigh Salterton EX9 6NG t: 01395 445275

Further information about this concert and a downloadable festival brochure are available on the Budleigh Music Festival website: http://www.budleigh-festival.org.uk/

 

Monday 19 December 2011, 7.30pm
Exeter Cathedral

Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra
Conductor: Nigel Perrin

Once again, we were invited by the BSO to join them for a Christmas performance of Handel’s masterpiece.

Tickets for this concert sold out many weeks before the performance so please book early if you want to come next year!

 

Exeter  CathedralSeating Plan for Exeter Cathedral

Saturday 30 June 2012, 7.30pm

Buckfast Abbey

By kind permission of the Abbot and Community.

Conductor: Nigel Perrin
Organist: Jonathan Watts

Vaughan Williams Mass in G minor
Brahms Warum ist das Licht gegeben?
Duruflé Requiem

Can there be many better ways to spend a lovely English summer evening?  At 7.30pm on Saturday 30th June Exeter Festival Chorus will present a varied programme of European sacred music, in Buckfast Abbey, under the direction of Nigel Perrin.  Mass in G minor for unaccompanied choir was written in 1921 by Ralph Vaughan Williams.  Like the composer’s other music of this period, it is particularly English in style.   Brahms wrote his short unaccompanied piece Warum ist das Licht gegeben? (Why is light given?) in 1877.  The text is from the Bible and the writings of Martin Luther, and the music shows a mastery of style that many believe had not been seen since Bach.  Maurice Duruflé’s musical output was not large because he was a perfectionist, frequently reworking his pieces.  His Requiem of 1947 merges Duruflé’s strength in plainsong writing with the harmonic richness of the 20th century.  For this work, the organ will be played by Jonathan Watts.

All seats are unreserved and cost just £12 (£10 for students and schoolchildren).  Buy tickets on-line, by telephone from our ticket secretary on 0845 6005441, from Buckfast Abbey on 01364 645530 or by credit card from Exeter Phoenix on 01392 667080.

 

 



 

Saturday 31 March 2012, 7.30pm
Exeter Cathedral

Music for Awhile, leader Margaret Faultless
Conductor: Nigel Perrin

After EFC’s musical celebrations of the joys of Christmas (CarolSing! and Handel’s Messiah), its spring programme turns towards the deeper emotions of the death of Jesus at Easter, as the singers prepare to perform Bach’s St Matthew Passion. The depth of feeling in this story is always a rich source of inspiration to composers but, even after 300 years, the settings by Johann Sebastian Bach remain the most popular. The St Matthew Passion follows the narrative as it is recorded in St Matthew’s gospel, linking the different scenes together with arias and choral pieces, which comment on the events and the feelings of those who were there.  The effect is to draw the listener into the drama of the events, rather than just presenting a story.

Exeter Festival Chorus will be presenting St Matthew Passion in Exeter Cathedral on Passion Saturday itself -  Saturday, 31st March, at 7.30pm. They will be conducted by their Musical Director Nigel Perrin, accompanied by the renowned Baroque Orchestra Music for Awhile, led by Margaret Faultless, and with soloists Lesley-Jane Rogers (soprano), Rupert Enticknap (counter tenor), David Webb (tenor and Evangelist), Tim Mirfin (Jesus) and Stephen Varcoe (bass).

We are grateful to The Foster Charitable Trust of Plymouth for their generous sponsorship of this concert; the Trust has chosen the Devon Historic Churches Trust (www.devonhistoricchurches.co.uk) for the retiring collection at the end of the concert.

This is sure to be a popular event, so book your tickets soon!

Ticket Prices: Front Nave £22 (£20); Mid/Rear Nave £17 (£15); Side Aisles (unreserved) £12 (£10).

Prices in brackets indicate concessions (students and schoolchildren).

Buy tickets on-line :: Click for Ticket Booking Form :: Purchase tickets by phone

Exeter  CathedralSeating Plan for Exeter Cathedral

Saturday 10 December 2011, 7.30pm
The Mint Methodist Church, Exeter

Conductor: Nigel Perrin
Accompanist: Peter Adcock

A festive evening of Christmas music.

CarolSing returns this season, after an absence last year on account of too many other commitments for the choir.  As usual, we expect the audience to have a really good sing, and to enjoy the surprise guest artist spot!

Ticket Prices: £12 (£10 ) unreserved.

Prices in brackets indicate concessions (students and schoolchildren).

Buy tickets on-line :: Click for Ticket Booking Form :: Purchase tickets by phone

Saturday 19 November 2011, 7.30pm
Exeter Cathedral

EFC was joined by Bath Camerata and Devon County Junior Choir to sing Arvo Pärt's Beatitudes, John Rutter's  Gloria and Bob Chilcott's Salisbury Vespers.

Conductor: Nigel Perrin
The Wells Cathedral School Brass Ensemble

The two works for our autumn concert were both original commissions.  Rutter’s exhilarating Gloria was commissioned in 1974 by The Voices of Mel Olson in Omaha, Nebraska. It remains one of his most popular works. 

Chilcott’s Salisbury Vespers was commissioned by six musical organisations in Salisbury, and first performed in Salisbury Cathedral in May 2009 by 500 singers from seven different choirs in the city.  The work requires singers to surround the audience in sound from their various positions in the performance space.  Our performance, whilst not on such a grand scale as that in Salisbury, was a really exciting event with a multitude of different voices, as we were joined by Bath Camerata (chamber choir) and Devon County Junior Choir (children’s choir) to bring to life a work based on the ancient evening service of Vespers, modelled on Monteverdi’s great setting of 1610.

The Commandant General’s Speech in Exeter Cathedral at the Eternal Voices concert on Saturday 20 November 2010

Good evening Ladies and Gentlemen, my name is Buster Howes and I have the great privilege of commanding the Royal Marines and of saying thank you to the many people who have made this remarkable evening possible.

As ever, one ... if not the star of the show is this sublime old Cathedral Church of St Peter – founded in 1050 ... An enduring, colossal, reassuring, presence in our very active military, operational lives. It marks our departures and celebrates our home-comings from across the globe. And on occasion watches over my Boys as they are carried carefully home, shoulder high, beneath the Union Flag ... or when – as tonight - we
celebrate their memory.

The tribal heart-land of the Corps is in the West Country. The vivid, red earth is deeply engrained in our uniforms. Six of the seven Commando Units of the Brigade, together with its Headquarters and the Centre of Amphibious Specialisation, are here. The crucible of the organisation – the Commando Training Centre is just up the road, on the Exe, at Lympstone, - where no opportunity is lost to go running in all that treacly, estuarine mud!
So Devon is our home and, like it or not, by dint of proximity, if not by blood, you too are part of the Corps Family ... We are your Marines.

Which is why your presence here and support, this evening, is so important.

The Boys … do care deeply that you - and the populace of Britain – care. That you are interested and want to understand what they do – particularly, currently in Afghanistan. They are sensitive to the knowledge that they are not just randomly ‘feasting with
panthers’ - engaged in some lethal but essentially irrelevant struggle, while a preoccupied nation watches the X-Factor on their televisions.

The Royal Marines pro rata have sustained two and a half times as many battlefield fatalities and injuries in Helmand province as any other organisation in Defence; principally because we have been committed to operations in Afghanistan more consistently than any other.

One month ago, 40 Commando, returned home to Taunton from their most recent tour, in Sangin - the most hostile district in the entire country. Twenty one of the Battle Group were killed and 92 were wounded. Those occupying certain outposts confronted a 95%
chance of encountering the enemy whenever they went out on patrol - and on average, they mounted 7 patrols per day. A Rifleman lived with a 1 in 5 chance of being killed or injured over the duration of his 6–month deployment.

Perhaps remarkably, they remain focused, resilient, clear in their purpose and undaunted. Proud of their long history and their Commando legacy, they – to a man – regard themselves as custodians of an heroic tradition and are bound by the brotherhood of a shared ideal and ordeal. They are as jaunty, mischievous, tough and keen to go out on ‘ops’ as ever they were …

And so to my ‘thank yous’; unsurprisingly, it’s quite a long list:

Thank you to:
The Dean of Exeter Cathedral – The Very Reverend Jonathan Meyrick - and the Chapter

Sir Trevor MacDonald – tonight’s compère and narrator

Thank you to Adam Gorb – the composer of Eternal Voices

And to Ben Kaye – the librettist

Thank you to Alison Kettlewell – the solo mezzo soprano in Eternal Voices

And to Guy Fenton – the solo treble – well done Guy!

And to the Exeter Festival Chorus and their conductor Nigel Perrin

And to the organising Committee from the Exeter Festival Chorus, especially the chairman Dr Alastair Logan, Rosalind Beetham and Val Arndt

I would also like to thank the many sponsors and donors whose generosity has underpinned this creative endeavour

And last but not least I would acknowledge:

The Band of Her Majesty’s Royal Marines Commando Training Centre, Lympstone, augmented by musicians from the Royal Marines Band Collingwood - conducted by Lieutenant Colonel Nick Grace, the principal Director of music of the Royal Marines.

40 members of this Band will deploy to Afghanistan with the Brigade in April, as ambulance drivers, radio operators and transport coordinators.

This has been a stirring and poignant concert.

There are families of fallen Marines here in the audience tonight. I hope that this musical tribute to your sons, brothers and loved-ones – particularly Eternal Voices, which you have been so closely engaged with - will have helped in the long sense making process associated with your loss and may, in some small way, have salved your grief.

We, in uniform, well recognize the risks and precariousness of our profession and the essentially ephemeral and transitory nature of life. And in consequence, day to day, we try to live with energy and glee, to live on, with a fiercer intensity, on behalf of our lost comrades too …

‘How thin the cloth, how fine the thread
That cloaks the living from the dead;
How narrowly, from breath to breath,
We plait our rendezvous with death.

How swift the tenant flees the gate;
The landlord’s writ, come soon or late,
Foreclosing slum or stately hall,
Hard bailiffs at His beck and call.

How feather-light the feeble spark
That shields us from the greedy dark;
Un-jessed our souls like falcons fly!
How weak the lure, how wide the sky!’

Felix Dennis crystallizes the thought.

Henri Maria Remarque wrote of the power of voices on the Western Front in the First World War:

‘These voices, these quiet words, these footsteps in the trench behind me recall me at a bound from the terrible loneliness and fear of death by which I had been almost destroyed. They are more to me than life, those voices, they are more than motherliness and more than fear, they are the strongest most comforting thing there is anywhere, they are the voices of my comrades.’

... ‘Eternal Voices’ ... Thank You.

We are most grateful to our sponsors and donors for helping to make the Eternal Voices concert such a superb evening.

Details of how to order the CD of the concert, to be released in January, will be posted soon.

sponsors


C Group" Whilst wars flare and fade, humanity's response to injury and death is eternal." (Words taken from Eternal Voices)