Oxford’s premier mixed voice choir

THANK YOU TO ALL WHO SUPPORTED OUR 2023/24 SEASON

Thank you to everyone who helped to make our 2023/24 Season a great success with capacity audiences for all four concerts in Oxford’s Sheldonian Theatre.  Particular thanks to our music director and conductor, Benjamin Nicholas and the outstanding professional orchestras, soloists and individuals who supported the choir.  Thanks also to the many volunteer choir members and to the Friends of the Oxford Bach Choir who give generously of their time to make our performances such a success.  We ended our 127th Season with a performance of Verdi’s Requiem, greeted by our capacity audience with a standing ovation!

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OBC SCHOOLS OUTREACH CONCERT 

Members of OBC joined Oxfordshire school students to perform in the University Church of St Mary’s  for a highly successful concert on Tuesday 18th June.  This was the culmination of this academic year’s Outreach programme with three schools in Oxfordshire, in partnership with Oxfordshire County Music Service.

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LOOKING AHEAD TO OUR 128TH SEASON!

Handel’s Messiah opens our 2024/25 Season, with a performance in the Sheldonian Theatre (where Georg Fredrick himself performed in 1733) on Saturday 7 December 2024.

We are also excited to announce that 2025 sees the start of the Oxford Bach Choir’s Elgar Project, with our first ever performance of Edward Elgar’s great oratorio The Apostles, on Sunday 16 March 2025.  This has only been made possible by the very generous support of the Elgar Society and our many Friends and supporters who contributed to our Project Appeal.

At school near Worcester, Elgar was encouraged by a teacher to imagine the Apostles as very ordinary men, who were transformed by their encounter with Jesus, and this thought stuck with him for the rest of his life. In 1902 Elgar planned a great trilogy of oratorios on the lives of the Apostles, but only completed two of them, The Apostles (1903) and The Kingdom (1906). The OBC will perform these two great works in successive seasons, something which is rarely done anywhere.

In vivid and dramatic music, brilliantly scored for voices and orchestra, The Apostles tells the story of the Apostles from the moment of their calling by Jesus to his ascension. Elgar, however, holds true to his wish to consider the human aspects of the story, because in this work he gives especial prominence to the sorrow and repentance of Mary Magdalene and the despair and suicide of Judas Iscariot.
Because of the large forces which it demands, The Apostles is rarely performed. This concert, therefore, promises to be an exciting and memorable occasion which should not be missed.
Our final concert of the 2024/25 Season, on Saturday 21st June will be for unaccompanied choir, with the centrepiece, Thomas Tallis’ magnificent 40-part motet, Spem in Alium. There will also be music by Bruckner, Grieg, Harris and McDowell.

 

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ARE YOU LOOKING TO JOIN A CHOIR IN OXFORD?

We are one of the best-known large choirs in the country, with a history which goes back 127 years, and have performed with some of the greatest composers, conductors, orchestras and soloists.

If you are looking to join a choir with a welcoming atmosphere, high standards and a passion for performing great music, we would like to hear from you!  Currently we have a waiting list to join us, but each summer a proportion of the choir move on, creating space for new members in all voice parts to join.

For more information, follow “Join the Choir” at the bottom of this page, or click here https://www.oxfordbachchoir.org/join-the-choir/.

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WATCH OUR ONLINE CONCERT IN THE TIME OF COVID

Our concert of French choral music from the Sheldonian Theatre in September 2021, the first in our 125th Anniversary Season, can be seen free at www.positivenote.co.uk/oxford-bach-choir. Oxford Bach Choir was conducted by Benjamin Nicholas, and Robert Quinney was the organist.  Rebecca McNaught (cello), Lila Chrisp (mezzo) and Ben Davies (bass) were soloists in Duruflé mid-20th century, Requiem.  The concert began with Fauré, Cantique de Jean Racine, and includes the immediate-past Oxford Professor of Poetry, Alice Oswald, reading a sonnet by John Donne and reflecting on the impact of the pandemic.  This was a fundraising concert for Oxford hospitals.