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Wylde Green United Reformed Church enjoys a rich and varied musical life, with junior and senior choirs and hosting a wide range of musical events.  To find out more, click on a link below:

Sunday Recitals - next event - Sunday 3rd April 2011

Other Musical Events - next event

Boldmere Recorded Music Society - next event

Reviews

Organ News

Church Choir

Sunday Recitals

Since summer 2000 there have been regular music recitals at Wylde Green URC, featuring church members and friends, local amateur and professional musicians, and even internationally-known performers. These short concerts are now a monthly fixture, supported not only by church members who have been at the preceding evening service, but also attracting audiences from the local community who attend just to hear the music. Starting at 8pm, they last 45-60 minutes, are informal in nature and often use the church’s Yamaha grand piano.

All are welcome, no ticket is required and admission is free, but a retiring collection is taken in aid of church funds.

Simply turn up at 19.45 for an 20.00 start.

Click here for a list of our previous recitals

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As soon as details of our next recital are finalised they will appear here.  Please look later.

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Sunday Recital Background Information

In 2003/4 Martyn Parfect and I have attended the public final auditions of the Young Concert Artists Trust (YCAT) competition at the Wigmore Hall, London.  Young musicians from around the world, who have been selected through a rigorous audition process, are judged by a panel chaired by broadcaster Sue MacGregor, and including the director of the Edinburgh Festival, the BBC Radio 3 music controller and The Times music critic.

YCAT seeks to identify, nurture and promote outstanding young soloists at the beginning of their professional careers, bringing them to the attention of the concert-going public and offering commercial management to take their careers forward into the international arena.

Needless to say, the standards are exceptionally high, and as well as enjoying many superb performances it has given the opportunity for me and Martyn to meet and engage some of these remarkable musicians to give concerts in Sutton Coldfield.

Beginning in October 2005 there were three concerts being given by some of these up-and-coming professionals at Wylde Green URC – a fantastic opportunity for all of us to hear world-class musicians in the church’s fine acoustic, in many cases using our Yamaha grand piano.

The first of the YCAT performers to play for us was Léonard Schreiber, who gave a violin recital on Sunday 2nd October, accompanied by John Gough on the piano. Léonard was born in Antwerp, Belgium and studied in London at the Purcell School and the Royal College of Music. Although only 21 years old, he has already given recitals throughout Europe, and has been soloist with many prestigious orchestras.

On 6th November we welcomed O Duo, a percussion duo. Owen Gunnell and Oliver Cox were scholars at the Royal College of Music, graduating in 2003, both with First Class Honours. Their repertoire, which spans more than 300 years, is a mix of popular classics and accessible contemporary music, played on two marimbas, vibraphone and a huge array of other tuned percussion instruments.

They have a flamboyant style, not dissimilar to the West-End show Stomp, which will definitely appeal to younger members, as well as a technical brilliance which will take the breath away of even the most seasoned classical musician. They are simply not to be missed!

The third of our YCAT artists was José Menor, an exceptionally talented young Spanish pianist who needs little introduction, having given the opening recital on our grand piano last year. His career as a soloist has taken off since then, as José has given concerts all over Europe to considerable critical acclaim.

Finally, we had a group of local students playing for us on 20th November. The Four Quarters String Quartet (violins - Amy Littlewood & Michael Jones; viola - Tom Lingard: 'cello - Byeong-ju Park) performed a recital of classical and popular music.

Philip Bellshaw

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Other Musical Events

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Boldmere Recorded Music Society

The BRMS meets monthly on Tuesday evenings 19.45 - 22.00 and is a chance to hear excellent recordings of a variety of classical music.  All are welcome to attend; if you’ve not been before, why not try us out? You’ll get a warm welcome and the chance to listen to enjoyable music in a quiet atmosphere (how often can any of us manage that nowadays?) with informed commentary about the music from knowledgable presenters. Meetings are held in the Church lounge, start at 7.45pm, and finish at around 9.45. Admission to recitals is £1, including tea and biscuits. More information is available from Lynne Hardaker or Philip Bellshaw.  

2010/11 BRMS Programme

 
2010/11 programme will appear here

 

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Reviews

5 March 2005

A pipe dream realised

Historically, the Christian Church has always been an important advocate and patron of the arts, and here in Sutton, Wylde Green URC has had a long and honourable history of music events for several decades now. It is enjoying a new expansion of its activities, with its recent acquisition of a Yamaha Concert Grand, and the concert on Saturday celebrated the completion of a two year programme to refurbish the organ, with an organ recital and anthems for choir and organ.

To mark the centenary of the original organ the pipes were taken to the Willis factory in Liverpool and more than 200,000 individual parts were refurbished and re-installed. For the concert the 3 manual organ console was placed in the centre, and CCTV projected onto a large screen, this gave everyone the best possible view of soloist Paul Carr 

Paul Carr is Organist and Director of Music at St Paul's in the Jewellery Quarter, and a remarkably active musician and recitalist. The programme was calculated to the best effect to show off the many colours of the restored organ. Bach’s Toccata and Fugue in D minor was followed by the Badinerie from his Suite no. 2, and then some pieces from the French tradition in which Vierne’s Naïades from the Pièces de Fantaisie was especially impressive in its unassuming yet constant virtuosity.

The choirs’ contributions were no less impressive. The main choir started with Finzi’s God is gone up. From its opening fanfare to the final chords, this was a magnificent piece suitable for such a grand occasion. Other works by Elgar and Wesley were distinguished by their lovely soft singing and purposeful phrasing. Bairstow’s demanding set of choral variations Blessed city, heavenly Salem received an excellent performance.

The junior choir, some of whose members looked too young to be out after dark, gave a committed performance including Malcolm Archer’s adaptation of Pachelbel’s Canon. It was good to see that the continuity of the choral tradition is being looked after so well.

Paul Carr’s recital continued with several of his own arrangements, including one of the Overture to Die Fledermaus. This was a splendidly technicolour transcription, and it was startling to hear such well known tunes emerge in flamboyant new clothes. Taken at a whirlwind tempo it brought the house down. The whole evening was a heart-warming family occasion, marked at the end by two encores, a round of applause for the organ builder, (present in the audience) thanks to the organisers of the organ appeal, the donators of funds, including Sutton Municipal Charities and, of course, Widor’s Toccata as a grand finale.

The banner on the church wall reads “Thank God for music”. This church is doing that extremely well.

John Gough

Stephen Clarke has made a recording of the organ recital given by Paul Carr on 5th March 2005 to celebrate the recent refurbishment of the church organ by Henry Willis and Sons Ltd. This has been produced to professional standards, thanks to a generous donation towards from Doreen Jones in memory of Alan. Reasonably priced at £7.50 for a two CD set, this also features the church choirs and is NOW AVAILABLE from Stephen Clarke (0121 353 0268) or any member of the senior choir.

Limited numbers of the professionally-printed souvenir programme are also available at half price (£1:00). Filled with information about the music, performers and a history of the organ at Wylde Green, this would make an ideal accompaniment to the recording for anyone who was unable to be present at the concert. Speak to Stephen Clarke (0121 353 0268) or Philip Bellshaw  (0121 354 8272) for a copy.

Comments from the evening

“The whole evening was brilliant - the organ was rich and powerful.  The pieces were well chosen to show the organ off to its best.”  Yvonne Brookes

“It was really good.  I liked the Nutcracker because it was like my video.  We sang a special song and I really liked it.”  Sebastian Peniket

“Absolutely fantastic!  Paul did us and the organ proud.  I learned a lot about the organ.  Being able to sing in the choir was a wonderful experience.”  Bev Lyne

“It was lovely to hear the organ let rip.  It was good to be a part of it.  The Junior Choir was ace!”  Marion Moore

“It was scary with millions of people watching.  Paul was very clever ‘cos he moved his fingers very fast.”  Grace Green

“The depth and quality of the organ were brilliant and the choirs were on top form.”  Pete Horton

“It was a brill evening.”  Faith Jackson, Lizzie Steel and Sophia James

“Marvellous.  The choirs were excellent.  Talent at its best.  So much of the music was just black notes - super!”  Nettie Arthur

“I liked it when he (Paul) played the organ just with his feet!”  Lisa Jones

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11 February 2005

Review: Sutton Coldfield Orchestra Young Soloists Concert

The acoustics at Wylde Green URC are perfect for classical music, amply demonstrated at Saturday night’s concert with Sutton Coldfield Orchestra, led by Jeremy Blunt and conducted by Paul Hilliam.

The orchestra is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year, and it confirmed its status as one of the Midlands’ finest by beginning and ending the concert in commanding form and ebullient fashion with rousing accounts of film music by John Williams.

These exciting, modern works were an appropriate frame for the main substance of the evening, which featured movements from various concertos, performed by a number of young instrumentalists drawn from the ranks of the BSSO (Birmingham Schools’ Symphony Orchestra.)

Henrietta Haines gave a spirited rendition of the first movement of Mozart’s Violin Concerto no. 3, producing a dazzlingly clear, pure tone, perfectly in keeping with the style of the music.

This was followed by a very modern work, Divertimento for Flute and String Orchestra, composed by Andrey Rubtsov (born 1982) and receiving its British première. Sagar Musani was the soloist, playing with great panache and shrugging off the technical challenges posed by the work.

Amy Littlewood (violin) and Tom Lingard (viola) then played the slow movement from Mozart’s Sinfonia Concertante. They produced a hauntingly beautiful and mellow texture, allowing the melody to move seamlessly between the two instruments, and blending together perfectly.

The second half of the concert opened with more music by Mozart, the first movement of his Piano Concerto no. 26. The church’s recently-purchased grand piano was expertly played by Jonathan Dodd, whose dazzling yet sensitive performance deservedly received rapturous applause.

Samuel Barber’s Canzonetta for Oboe and String Orchestra was beautifully played by Ashley Spencer, who produced a fine tone with excellent variety of timbre. She maintained her composure well despite some nervousness in the orchestral accompaniment.

David Kayente, a 15 year old violinist with a tremendous technique, gave a thrilling performance of the final movement of Saint-Saëns’ Violin Concerto. He managed to produce sufficient power to match the sound of the full orchestra, who provided firm yet sympathetic support throughout.

Each of these soloists was superb, displaying a maturity of musical interpretation and a confidence belying their tender years. They gave performances of the highest musical standard and are a credit to the BSSO and their schools.

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Organ News

Wylde Green United Reformed Church Organ features as 'Organ of the Month' - visit the Birmingham Organists' Association website for details

 

Early History of the Organ

In her book “SUTTON COLDFIELD  A Pictorial History”, Sue Bates includes a drawing of  ‘A New Congregational Church’ in  Highbridge Road, opened on 19th June 1898.   This was an iron building  which lasted until  the building of the present Highbridge hall and generally referred to as the ‘Tin Tab’.  The present Church was built in 1900 and the original organ  by the firm of Ayles of Birmingham was installed. Much of this instrument still remains following rebuilds in 1949 by the firm of Nicholsons of Worcester with some later modifications and the present restoration by the firm of Willis.

My recollections of this instrument go back to around 1930 when I was taken to Church by my father for the morning service and sat with him in the choir among the tenors, from where I had a good view of the Organist and the console  (a wonderful distraction for someone of my age from unintelligible ecclesiastical jargon).  So what about this instrument, with not just one keyboard like the piano at home: but 2 for the hands and one for the feet also! Fascinating!  I later started to play it in my ‘teens.

The layout of the instrument was arranged with the 2 manual divisions against the front wall of the building with the Swell division on the left and the Great on the right behind a flat case with 5 groups of  decorated  pipes  typical of the time. The two outer panels of this  remain as side screens.  The main portion of the case was not so high as the present one. The largest Pedal pipes (16ft Open Diapason) stood  against the side walls  behind the screens, the tops being visible. The rest of the pedal division was placed behind the outer left screen.  The console was located centrally in the case. The organist being concealed from view by a curtain.

As built the organ was blown by hand  from a position  on the right hand side behind the present side screen.  This facility remained , but before 1930 an electric blower had been installed.  The action was completely pneumatic including  4  thumb pistons for each manual, adjustable by tuner. The swell shutters were operated  by an iron pedal on the right with latch for “full swell” and heavy to work as with most instruments of the day, justifying the traditional annual  allowable organists expense of 2 pairs of shoes and a pair of trousers!  Whether they were paid, I do not know.

A specification of the organ is appended. In the 1949 rebuild Nos. 4, 5, & 7 were moved from the Great to form the basis of the Choir division  and  the swell reeds were most likely re-voiced and renamed. Otherwise the present Swell is still mostly original.  The stop jambs were angled as at present. The Swell stops were placed on the left and the Great & Pedal stops on the right.  The Pedal Board was flat and parallel  The  original  Swell & Great chests  remain with their actions modified to electro-pneumatic in 1949.

Ron  Close

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Recent Developments

A major rebuilding of this Nicholson organ has just been completed by Henry Willis and it can be heard on Saturday 5th March when BOA Council Member Paul Carr gives the opening recital.

In 1949 Nicholson & Co undertook a complete re-design of a previous organ by an unnamed Birmingham builder installed in 1903, which included adding an enclosed Choir division.  The new action was electro-pneumatic, a detached console with double-touch stop tabs in a horseshoe layout was provided, and a new organ screen constructed.

In 2003 Henry Willis & Sons commenced a complete overhaul of the organ.   A new drawstop console was provided, moveable on castors and fitted with updated computer action with multiple memory levels, sequencer and transposer.  Unlike the 1,500 wires connecting the 1949 console, the connection to the organ is now a cable containing just 7 wires. An Acoustic 32’ Reed has been added to the Pedal (derived from the Trombone 16ft and several other ranks).  The bellows, Swell and Great soundboards, and other parts of the action have been fully refurbished, the blower overhauled and the organ totally re-wired.

The pipework has been extensively re-voiced and the poor speech of much of the pipework has been corrected.  The Flute 4ft (triangular) on the Great was scrapped and replaced by similar pipework with better speech; also the bottom octave of the Pedal Echo Bourdon.  The overall sound of the organ, both individual stops and chorus, has been transformed as well as providing a welcome increase in power.  

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Previous Sunday Recitals

2000

4/6/00             Martyn Parfect (clarinet) & John Gough (piano)

2/7/00             Helen Downham (cello) & Philip Bellshaw (piano)

3/9/00             Revolution String Quartet with Martyn Parfect (clarinet)

1/10/00           Naomi Green (soprano) & Philip Bellshaw (piano)

5/11/00           Rebekah O’Dowd (narrator), Martyn Parfect (clarinet), Naomi Green (soprano) & Philip Bellshaw (piano)

3/12/00           John Cresswell (bass) & Philip Bellshaw (piano)

 

2001

4/2/01             Alastair Frew (saxophone) & Helen Frew (piano)

4/3/01             Marion Bellshaw (flute), Martyn Parfect (clarinet) & Philip Bellshaw (piano)    

6/5/01             Alan Greenwood (tenor horn) & Philip Bellshaw (piano)

3/6/01             Primary school age children from Wylde Green URC with Naomi Green & Philip Bellshaw (piano)

15/7/01            Lynne Miles (flute) & Philip Bellshaw (piano)

16/9/01            Martyn Parfect (clarinet), Naomi Green (soprano) & Philip Bellshaw (piano)

4/11/01            Brian Sturtridge (piano)

18/11/01          John Cresswell (bass) & Philip Bellshaw (piano)

16/12/01          Deborah Peniket & Alison Walklett (readings), Jonathan Hughes (piano) & Martyn Parfect (clarinet)

 

2002

21/4/02            Pat Downham (violin) & Philip Bellshaw (piano)

16/6/02            Martyn Parfect (clarinet) & John Gough (piano)

15/9/02            Naomi Green (soprano) & Philip Bellshaw (piano)

20/10/02          Lucy Waltho (soprano), Lynne Miles (flute), Martyn Parfect (clarinet) & Philip Bellshaw (piano) 

17/11/02          Lynne Miles (flute) & Philip Bellshaw (piano)

15/12/02          Laura Monk & Kristine Hughes (sopranos), Kathryn Willis (alto & sleighbells), Marion Bellshaw (alto &  flute), Nigel Brookes (tenor), Philip Bellshaw (bass), Jonathan Hughes (piano), Kathryn Bellshaw & Elaine Siggers (readings) 

 

2003

16/2/03            John Cresswell (bass) & Philip Bellshaw (piano)

18/5/03            Martyn Parfect (clarinet) & John Gough (piano)

20/7/03            Alan Greenwood (tenor horn) & Tony Hughes (euphonium)

19/10/03          Martyn Parfect (clarinet) & John Gough (piano)

16/11/03          Kol Kinor choir (conductors: Mike Fowler & Jacob Fifer)

14/12/03          Melisma chamber choir (conductor: Philip Bellshaw)

 

2004

18/01/04            Lynne Miles (flute), Lucy Waltho & Elizabeth Willis (sopranos) & Philip Bellshaw (piano)

08/02/04           Duo Manoso - Rachel Smith (flute) & Andrew Gough (guitar)

14/03/04           Carl Hickman (piano)

09/05/04           Sutton Brass (conductor: Richard Elliott) with Philip Bellshaw (organ)

13/06/04           Pat Downham (violin) & Philip Bellshaw (piano)

11/07/04           David Shanks (oboe & cor anglais) & Mike Fowler (piano)

19/09/04           Aranmore - Michael Burnham (violin) & Meg Lawrie (soprano)

10/10/04          Helen Downham (cello) & Brian Brown (piano)

17/10/04          Naomi Green (soprano) & Mike Fowler (piano)

21/11/04          Sutton Coldfield Community Choir

12/12/04          Melisma chamber choir (conductor: Peter Howell-Jones)

 

2005

16/01/05            Stella Sims (mezzo-soprano) & Phillip Ypres-Smith (piano)

20/02/05            Richard Bates (trumpet) & Mike Fowler (piano)

13/03/05            The Conservatoire Gospel Choir (conductor: Peter Daly)

10/04/05            Sutton Brass (conductor: Richard Elliott) with Philip Bellshaw (organ)

15/05/05            Threeway jazz trio - Steve Waterman (trumpet), Steve Lodder (piano) & Ben Crossland (bass guitar)

12/06/05            The Deanery School orchestra & choir (conductors: Naomi Goldsworthy & Mike Fowler)

10/07/05            John Gough & Alastair Moseley (piano - four hands)

11/09/05            Hayley Burton (piano)

25/09/05            Wylde Green URC Junior Choir (conductor: Kathryn Willis)

02/10/05            Leonard Schreiber (violin) with John Gough (piano) & Martyn Parfect (clarinet)

06/11/05            O Duo - percussion duo: Owen Gunnell & Oliver Cox

20/11/05            The Four Quarters string quartet (violins - Amy Littlewood & Michael Jones; viola - Tom Lingard; cello - Byeong-ju Park)

04/12/05            José Menor (piano)

 

2006

22/01/06            Sutton Wind Octet (members of Sutton Coldfield Orchestra)    

19/02/06            Carl Hickman (piano)

19/03/06            Duo con Brio

21/05/06            Paul Carr (organ)

Paul Carr is the Organist and Director of Music at St Paul’s in the Jewellery Quarter, Birmingham. He regularly plays at cathedrals, has a regular monthly recital series and has also performed abroad. He gave the inaugural recital to mark the completion of the work undertaken earlier this year to refurbish the church organ.

11/06/06            Four Quarters String Quartet

A local student string quartet, whose members are aged 17 to 19, (Violins - Amy Littlewood & Michael Jones; Viola - Jenny Hicken; 'Cello - Byeong-ju Park) will give a wide-ranging recital, from traditional classical to modern jazz and popular music, including items on the theme of flowers and anniversaries, to complement the church's flower festival taking place the same weekend.

Coached by a professional violinist from the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, the quartet has won many competitive festivals and reached the semi-final of the National Chamber Music Competition for Schools.

16/07/06              The Schloesser Trio

In celebration of the 250th anniversary of Mozart's birth, Martyn Parfect (clarinet) and John Gough (piano) were joined by the viola player John Ankcorn to perform the Trio for Clarinet, Viola and Piano K498. Known as the "Skittles" Trio Mozart supposedly composed the work whilst playing a game of skittles.

The ensemble also performed Beethoven's Trio and 3 prices from Bruch's Eight Pieces for Clarinet, Viola and Piano.

06/08/06              Byron Jackson (baritone) Pat Bennett (piano)

This accomplished singer is already gaining a substantial reputation for himself.  He performed a recital of music featuring classical song, opera, musical theatre and negro spirituals.

17/09/06             Sutton Trombone Quartet

A newly formed Trombone Quartet featuring the Trombone section of Sutton Brass Ensemble, David Nash (Alto / Tenor Trombone), Alison Muir (Tenor Trombone), Tony Miller (Tenor Trombone), Bernard Moses (Bass Trombone).

Whilst usually heard making a noise at the back of the orchestra, the versatility of the Trombone was demonstrated not only with arrangements of baroque and classical pieces, but also with sonorous versions of swing and show tunes plus music written specifically for Trombone Quartet.

15/10/06              Naomi Green (soprano) and Diane O'Keghie (piano)

A recital of light theatre music.  Naomi and Diane who work together at the Birmingham Music Service, will present an enjoyable programme of music and song ranging from early operetta to contemporary musical theatre.  You can look forward to songs by George Gershwin, Sir Edward German, Lloyd-Webber and Stephen Sondheim.

19/11/06              Sutton Brass (Chamber brass ensemble. )

Sutton Brass is a collection of orchestral brass players, experienced in chamber music. Founded in the 1980s under the direction of Richard Elliott, the group offers the opportunity to play in a small but powerful and challenging style. Sutton Brass are at home playing early repertoire from the Baroque and Renaissance era, but also enjoy playing transcriptions of Romantic and Classical music. Throw in the occasional bit of jazz and there you have it: Sutton Brass. Recent engagements include a performance at Birmingham's Adrian Boult Hall, and a recital of Te Deum and Zadok the Priest at several locations around London.

03/12/06 - Daniel de Borah (piano)

Outstanding young Australian pianist with a growing international reputation gives the second anniversary recital on the church’s grand piano. Daniel has already performed widely in Australia, Europe and Russia including concerts at Sydney Opera House, St Petersburg Philharmonic Hall and the Liszt Academy of Music, Budapest. As a concerto soloist he has appeared with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, Australian Chamber Orchestra, Adelaide Symphony Orchestra and Tbilisi Symphony Orchestra, among others. He has won numerous national and international awards.

Programme:
HAYDN Sonata in C minor, Hob.XV1.20
 

- Moderato

- Andante con moto

- Allegro

 CHOPIN Impromptu in A flat, Op.29
 CHOPIN Impromptu in F sharp, Op.36
 CHOPIN Impromptu in G flat, Op.51
 CHOPIN Fantaisie-Impromptu in C sharp minor, Op.66

14/01/07 - John Gough & Alastair Moseley (piano - 4 hands)

Alastair and John are well-known Midland pianists; they will be playing the church’s Yamaha grand piano in a recital of classical music for 4 hands. Alastair has performed concertos by Beethoven, Mozart, Schumann and Mendelssohn and has appeared as soloist and accompanist with English Serenata at the Stratford English Music Festival. John is well known as both an accomplished soloist and accompanist, and as a member of the Midland chamber group Microcosmos. He also plays percussion and keyboards with the Birmingham Philharmonic and Chandos Orchestras.

18/02/07 - Alex Poulton (baritone) & Pat Bennett (piano)

Alex Poulton enjoys singing Schubert Lieder, English song and Noel Coward.  A graduate of Birmingham Conservatoire, where he won the Reginald Vincent Lieder Prize, Alex was awarded a year’s study at the Liszt Ferenc Academy, Budapest. He has recently enjoyed critical acclaim following sucessful performances of Schubert’s song-cycles  Winterreise and  Die schöne Müllerin. As a recitalist Alex has performed several times for BBC television, including a selection of Gurney songs for the Open University.

18/03/07 - Sutton Coldfield Chamber Choir

An evening of varied choral music to welcome the coming of spring, performed by a local chamber choir, conducted by Gordon Thornett.  Formed around 7 years ago, the choir consists of present and past members of the City of Birmingham Symphony Chorus and the City of Birmingham Choir and their friends, and has given concerts at various venues in the West Midlands, including performances of Vivaldi’s Gloria, Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas and Fauré’s Requiem.  It regularly take part in the Birmingham ’ArtsFest', and this year led a workshop performance of Gilbert and Sullivan’s Trial by Jury.

22/04/07 - Amphion Consort 

Jennifer Bennett (baroque and renaissance violin, viola and flute; viola da gamba and double bass) and Yair Avidor (renaissance and baroque lutes, theorbo) are professional musicians who will introduce us to the fascinating and mystical world of music for baroque violin and continuo (theorbo). The Amphion Consort is named after the mythological player (Ovid, metamorphoses) who built the walls of Thebes by the power and beauty of his playing, moving the stones to fall in their places. Particular favourites of the duo are the 14th century Ars Subtilior; John Dowland and the Lute Song; French music for viol and theorbo by de Visee and Marais; and Spanish music by Ortiz & Milan.

20/05/07 - Wylde Green United Reformed Church Junior Choir

The church’s junior choir will give an entertaining concert for the whole family, including some solo items from instrumentalists, readers and singers.

10/06/07 - Duncan Honeybourne (piano)  

Duncan Honeybourne has given many recitals and concerto performances and has also recorded for the BBC. He has toured extensively throughout Britain and Ireland as solo recitalist, concerto soloist and lecture recitalist, and as a chamber music partner to many distinguished artists. His concerto performances have included works by Brahms, Rachmaninov, Schumann, Grieg, Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Hindemith, Shostakovich and Finzi. Duncan has given premieres of new works written for him by several leading composers, including Andrew Downe's Piano Sonata no.2 and Seven Preludes, and John Joubert's Piano Sonata no.3. He is also a Lecturer in Piano at the University of Chichester, and the Founder/Artistic Director of the Weymouth Lunchtime Chamber Concerts, a professional recital series near his home in Dorset.

08/07/07 - Martyn Parfect (clarinet) & John Gough (piano)

Martyn studied the clarinet at the Birmingham Conservatoire and has appeared as soloist in concertos by Mozart, Weber and Copland. John also studied at the Birmingham Conservatoire and is well known as an accompanist. He also plays percussion and keyboards with the Birmingham Philharmonic and Chandos Orchestras.  Together, they have issued a compact disc, Vocalise around Europe, to considerable critical acclaim.

05/08/07 Jill Crossland (piano)

Jill pursues an active concert and recording career at home and abroad, including regular performances at the Wigmore Hall and South Bank in London. In 2006 she gave debut recitals at the Bridgewater Hall and in the Brahms-Saal of the Vienna Musikverein. Jill’s recordings include the Bach Goldberg Variations on Warner Classics, which reached the classical charts on release, and works by Mozart, Beethoven, Handel and Scarlatti on Divine Art. Jill featured in the Classic FM Hall of Fame 2005. Recent critical opinion has described her as a ‘natural Mozartean and praised her ‘magnetic, committed ’ Beethoven (Penguin Guide to CDs) and stated she ‘well deserves her enviable reputation as a Bach pianist,’ (BBC Music Magazine).Jill’s complete Bach 48 Preludes and Fugues will be released this season on Signum Classics.

Programme:

Bach Partita No 1 in B flat BWV825
Mozart Variations on Twinkle Twinkle Little Star K265
Mozart Fantasy in D minor K397
Chopin Scherzo No 2 in B flat minor Op 31

16/09/07  Helen Downham (cello)and Paul Cibis (piano)

Helen began to play the cello at the age of eight with Doreen Cresswell and after passing Grade 8 with distinction she went on to study with Catherine Ardagh-Walter of the CBSO. In 1999 she was awarded a McMyn scholarship at the University of Manchester where she continued her cello studies with Bernard Gregor-Smith of the Lindsay String Quartet. In 2000. Upon graduating in 2002, she received a Proctor-Gregg Performance Prize from the University. Following this Helen went on to study for a Postgraduate Diploma in Performance with Hannah Roberts at the Royal Northern College of Music, which she completed in November 2004. Helen plays on a cello made in 2000 by the English maker Melvin Goldsmith, which is a copy of a 1694 Ruggieri.

30/09/07  Hoang Pham (piano)

Vietnamese-born Australian pianist Hoang Pham has gained international recognition after winning numerous awards, including being a recent finalist and prizewinner at the 2007 Bösendorfer International Piano Competition.  He has appeared as soloist with the Queensland and the Melbourne Symphony Orchestras; in recital for the major piano series of Brisbane and Melbourne; on radio for ABC Classic FM’s Rising Stars; and on television in a documentary featuring his recital performance at the Australian National Academy of Music in 2006.  Hoang is an alumnus of the Australian National Academy of Music, and is now pursing a Bachelor of Music degree at the Manhattan School of Music.  

The Programme:
Ravel - Miroirs
Schubert - Sonata in A major, D 664
Schubert/Liszt - Soirees de Vienne, valse caprice for piano No 6
Strauss/Schulz-Evler - Arabesques on Themes from The Beautiful Blue Danube

14/10/07 - Centenary Brass

A Midlands-based chamber brass ensemble with a reputation for varied programming, Centenary Brass was formed in 2002 by students from Birmingham Conservatoire. The group has since given many recitals and has performed in various educational workshops, chamber music festivals and competitions (in 2005 they were winners of the prestigious Bernard Brown Brass Ensemble Prize.)

28/10/07 – Caccini Duo

Originally both from Sutton Coldfield, Sally Minchin (violin) and Anna Chippendale (viola) perform a wide variety of music from Classical to Jazz and from Ragtime to Pop at weddings, parties, events and concerts.  Last September they played for the opening night of Blackpool illuminations in Blackpool Tower’s ballroom to a packed audience…

18/11/07 - Paul Carr (organ) & Michael Jones (piano)

A graduate of Birmingham Conservatoire, Paul Carr is organist and Director of Music at St Paul's in the Jewellery Quarter, and is increasingly in demand as both soloist and accompanist. It is a particular pleasure to welcome Paul back to Wylde Green URC, as he gave the inaugural recital here in April 2005 following the organ rebuild by Henry Willis and Sons. In this concert, Paul will be joined by local pianist Michael Jones in presenting music for piano and organ, making the most of the church’s available musical resources, including works by Franck, Dupré and Peeters, as well as some lighter, jazzy items.

09/12/07 - The Four Quarters String Quartet

A local student string quartet, whose members are aged 17 to 19, (Violins - Amy Littlewood & Michael Jones; Viola - Jenny Hicken; 'Cello - Byeong-ju Park) will give a wide-ranging recital, from traditional classical to modern jazz and popular music, including some seasonal items in anticipation of Christmas.  Coached by a professional violinist from the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, the quartet has won many competitive festivals and reached the semi-final of the National Chamber Music Competition for Schools.

13/01/08 - Robert Hunter (piano)

London-based professional pianist, accompanist and chamber musician. Concerto performances have included Schumann, Rachmaninov’s second and Rhapsody in Blue. Robert also appears frequently as a guest musician aboard P&O cruise ships, giving solo recitals of classical music. 

27/01/08 - Thomas Gould (violin)

A graduate of the Royal Academy of London, Thomas was selected for representation by Young Concert Artists Trust (YCAT) in 2006, leading to recitals in the Purcell Room, Bridgewater Hall and Wigmore Hall. He has since performed throughout the UK as a concerto soloist.

17/02/08 - David Joyce (violin) & Richard Silk (piano & harpsichord)

David Joyce is Head of Strings at Shrewsbury School, leader of the Midland Concert Orchestra and a number of other regional professional orchestras.  He has also played with the BBC Concert Orchestra, the National Orchestra of Wales, and the English Symphony Orchestra.  Formerly Director of Studies at Birmingham Conservatoire, Richard Silk pursues a performing career on organ, piano and harpsichord, with broadcasts and concerts in the UK and Europe.

09/03/08 - Chiao-Ying Chang (piano)

An internationally-acclaimed professional pianist, who in 2003 was a prize-winner at the Leeds International Piano Competition. She went on to win the top prize at the Taiwan International Competition and has since given concerts all over the world, including Carnegie Hall in New York and major venues throughout the UK, Germany, Italy, Japan, Hong Kong and Taiwan.  Although aged only 26, Chiao-Ying has already performed as concerto soloist with some of the world’s finest orchestras, including the Royal Philharmonic and San Francisco Symphony Orchestras.

06/04/08 - Neil Crossland (piano) Read Neil's biography here

Yorkshire pianist and composer Neil Crossland studied at the Royal College of Music, where he won major prizes in both piano and composition. Since then he has performed extensively throughout the UK, and in France, Greece, the Czech Republic, the Netherlands and Tunisia.

20/04/08 - Ian Ludford (cello) and Phillip Henderson (piano)

Cellist Ian Ludford joined the Academy of the BBC in Bristol in 1975 and 2 years later joined the CBSO. He combines his orchestral career with chamber music playing, teaching and coaching. He formed a duo partnership with Midlands – based pianist Phillip Henderson several years ago. They have given recitals of major works of the repertoire at venues including the CBSO Centre and Birmingham Conservatoire.  Apart from working regularly as a performer Phillip is also a teacher and coach, and has worked extensively with soloists and choirs.

11/05/08 - Sutton Coldfield Chamber Choir

This local choir consists of present and past members of the City of Birmingham Symphony Chorus and the City of Birmingham Choir, and has given concerts at various venues in the West Midlands, including performances of Vivaldi’s Gloria, Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas and Fauré’s Requiem. Conducted by Gordon Thornett, it regularly takes part in the Birmingham ArtsFest.

15/06/08 - Paul Mocroft (baritone) and John Jenkin (piano)

Worcestershire baritone Paul Mocroft completed his post graduate vocal studies at Birmingham Conservatoire.  This recital of English song will include Finzi’s Earth, Air and Rain and is one of a series the pair are giving across the Midlands.  John Jenkin was an organ scholar at Cambridge before enjoying a successful career as an English teacher.  He is now enjoying a second career as accompanist at Birmingham Conservatoire.

13/07/08 - Helen Reid (piano)

Helen Reid first came to public attention when she appeared on BBC television in the National Keyboard Finals of the BBC Young Musician competition in 1998. In 2000 she won first prize in the Karic International Piano Competition, going on to give recitals all around the UK, including the Wigmore Hall, Purcell Room, Bridgewater Hall, and the Aldeburgh and Buxton Festivals, as well as a broadcast on BBC Radio 3. She is professor of piano at Trinity College of Music Junior Department, at Leeds College of Music and at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama.

14/09/08 - Sutton Trombone Choir 

An exciting ensemble of trombonists who meet informally once a month here at Wylde Green URC, all of whom hail from amateur orchestras and bands across the region. Whilst demonstrating the incredible range of the trombone, they will show that this instrument can not only play as softly and sweetly as the flute or clarinet but as loud and brash as, well, the trombone! They will perform a wide and eclectic range of music, from baroque and classical pieces by Gabrieli, Rimsky-Korsakov and Dvorak to pop / rock by Eric Clapton and finishing with a stunning arrangement of Meredith Willson’s “76 Trombones”.

12/10/08 - Jonathan Dawson (flute) and Andrew Cummings (piano) 

Jonathan Dawson studied flute at the Birmingham School of Music (now Birmingham Conservatoire) with Colin Lilley.  Andrew Cummings studied organ at the Birmingham School of Music with David Saint. He and Jonathan have been making music together for over 20 years. Their recital will explore various aspects of the flute's character and will feature Poulenc's beautiful and poetic sonata for flute and piano.

09/11/08 - Amanda Lipman (violin) & Pat Bennett (piano) 

Amanda won a scholarship to Bedales School and went on to study violin, voice and piano at the Royal Academy and then the Ecole Normal de Musique in Paris.She was a member of the Bournmouth Symphony Orchestra and later the BBC Midland Radio Orchestra based at Pebble Mill. After many years at the BBC she joined the Pact Symphony Orchestra in South Africa. She has taken part in numerous recordings and now plays with her own duo, trio and quartet.

Pat Bennett was educated at King Edward VI High School and Durham and Birmingham Universities. She has accompanied many soloists and choirs both in this country and abroad and more recently worked as an accompanist at Birmingham Conservatoire. In 2004 she helped found OPERAMUS...an Opera Company designed to give opportunities to performers who have recently graduated from performing arts' courses.

30/11/08 - Di Xiao (piano)

Chinese pianist Di Xiao was born in 1980, and studied at the Central Conservatory of Music, Beijing, emerging as the Conservatory’s top student in both academic and piano studies.  After graduating with a Master’s Degree in Piano Performance, achieving one of the highest marks in the history of the Conservatory, she was awarded a full scholarship to study for the Advanced Postgraduate Diploma at UCE Birmingham Conservatoire, from where she graduated with distinction in 2006. Di Xiao is now enjoying a flourishing career as a concert pianist; she also aspires to be an international ambassador for the piano, combining both Chinese and Western repertoire in her concert programmes, thereby creating a bridge between the two cultures.

Mozart Sonata in F Major K322

Schubert Impromtus Nos 3 & 2 D899

Albeniz Evocation from Iberia Book 1

Carl Neilson Humeresque Bagateller

Ravel Alborada del Gracioso

 

2009

11/01/08 - Robert Hunter (piano)

London-based professional pianist, accompanist and chamber musician. Concerto performances have included Schumann, Rachmaninov’s second and Rhapsody in Blue. Robert also appears frequently as a guest musician aboard P&O cruise ships, giving solo recitals of classical music.  As an accompanist he has worked with Mezzo-Soprano, Melanie Marshall, internationally renowned violinist, Kay Matsumoto, cellist Naomi Wright and violinist Finella Humphreys.

 

25/01/09 - Sarah Westwood (soprano) & Richard Silk (piano) 

Midlands-based soprano Sarah Westwood studied at Birmingham Conservatoire and the Royal Academy of Music.  She performs regularly with local choral societies and teaches singing at Abberley Hall School. She is accompanied in this recital by Richard Silk, formerly Director of Studies at Birmingham Conservatoire, and now pursuing a performing career on organ, piano and harpsichord, with broadcasts and concerts in the UK and Europe.

15/2/09 - Paul Mocroft (baritone) & John Jenkin (piano)

Worcestershire baritone Paul Mocroft completed his post graduate vocal studies at Birmingham Conservatoire.  This recital of English song will include Vaughan Williams’ Songs of Travel and is one of a series the pair are giving across the Midlands.  John Jenkin was an organ scholar at Cambridge before enjoying a successful career as an English teacher.  He is now enjoying a second career as accompanist at Birmingham Conservatoire.

8/3/09 – Rivoli String Quartet

This Manchester-based quartet performs throughout the UK for music clubs and societies, universities, and local and international festivals, including a recent recital at St Martin-in-the-Fields, London. They have given concerts in Australia and France including regular performances in a concert series in the Loire Valley, France. They have a broad mainstream repertoire from Haydn to Schnittke, and also enjoy collaborations with living composers from the UK and France, as well as with other instrumentalists, singers, dancers, and actors.

29/3/09 – Wylde Green URC choir

A recital of Easter music and reading featuring the church choirs.

26/4/09 - Duo con brio

Sally Minchin (violin) is accompanied by local pianist Mike Fowler in an entertaining and wide-ranging programme, from classical to jazz. Sally and Mike have been working together for fifteen years. They have performed at many private and corporate functions, concert halls and clubs with the most amazing variety of music. This recital will take in music from all five continents and from many cultures. There will be classical favourites, as well as some improvised music. You will hear music that is familiar as well as music you are unlikely to have heard before. What is most certain is that you are sure to be entertained!

Sunday 10th May - Jill Crossland (piano)

Jill pursues an active concert and recording career at home and abroad, including regular performances at the Wigmore Hall and South Bank in London. In 2006 she gave debut recitals at the Bridgewater Hall and in the Brahms-Saal of the Vienna Musikverein. Jill’s recordings include the Bach Goldberg Variations on Warner Classics, which reached the classical charts on release, and works by Mozart, Beethoven, Handel and Scarlatti on Divine Art. Jill featured in the Classic FM Hall of Fame 2005. Recent critical opinion has described her as a ‘natural Mozartean and praised her ‘magnetic, committed ’ Beethoven (Penguin Guide to CDs) and stated she ‘well deserves her enviable reputation as a Bach pianist,’ (BBC Music Magazine). Jill’s complete Bach 48 Preludes and Fugues will be released this season on Signum Classics.

Sunday 14th June - Sutton Coldfield Chamber Choir

This local choir numbers about twenty, and is drawn principally from present and past members of the City of Birmingham Symphony Chorus and the City of Birmingham Choir.  They perform in churches in the greater Birmingham area, mainly in connection with fund-raising events or special celebrations.  A typical programme includes European choral works drawn from the Renaissance period to modern music, along with solo items performed by choir members.

Sunday 5th July 2009 – Hayley Burton (‘cello)

Hayley is currently in the process of completing her Masters in Musicology as King’s College, London. Despite focusing on the academic study of music, with particular interest in opera, especially the works of Benjamin Britten and Italian opera composers, Hayley has continued to perform throughout her university education. Since performing on the piano at Wylde Green United Reformed Church in 2005, Hayley has been focusing on her ‘cello playing, giving several recitals at venues including St. Paul’s Church in the Jewellery Quarter and Bournville Friends Meeting House. The programme you will hear will form the basis of her DipABRSM examination which will take place at the end of this month.

Sunday 27th September 2009 – Nova Wind Quintet

The members of the Nova Quintet are David Whatley (flute), Alison Whatley (oboe), Sharon Wall (clarinet), Christine Predota (bassoon) and John Geddes (horn). It was a couple of Beethoven's contemporaries who first started writing for this combination, but apart from music of that period, most of the repertoire consists of twentieth century compositions and arrangements, some of a lighter nature, and the quintet will provide a mixed programme for your entertainment.

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Sunday 18th October 2009 – Neil Crossland (piano)

Yorkshire pianist and composer Neil Crossland studied at the Royal College of Music, where he won major prizes in both piano and composition. Since then he has performed extensively throughout the UK, and in France, Greece, the Czech Republic, the Netherlands and Tunisia. His sister, Jill Crossland, is also a concert pianist, and has also played for us.

Sunday 29th November 2009 – José Menor (piano)

José Menor is a young Spanish professional pianist with a growing international reputation.  Born in 1977, he studied at the Conservatorio Superior Municipal de Musica de Barcelona and the Royal College of Music, London, graduating with a masters degree in advanced performance.  He has given concerts in the USA, Spain, Germany, Italy and the UK, and has been a prize-winner at several competitions.  Many of his performances have been recorded by Spanish TV and radio.  He gave the opening concert on the church’s Yamaha piano, and this recital marks the fifth anniversary of that occasion.

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Sunday 24th January 2010 – Rachel Fryer (piano)

Rachel works extensively as a soloist and accompanist, giving recitals and concerto performances in venues throughout Great Britain including Croydon's Fairfield Hall and St. John's Smith Square. Rachel has broadcast on radio and television, including Classic FM. As well as pursuing a performing career, she works as a visiting lecturer in piano studies and accompanist at East Sussex Academy of Music. 

Sunday 28th February 2010 – Kaleidoscope Ensemble

This concert will feature six local musicians: Colin Gough (violin); Cathy Moseley (violin); Amanda Bayley (viola); Eric Martins (cello); Alastair Moseley (piano) and Tonia Price (clarinet). The programme will combine Khachaturian’s soulful Trio for Clarinet, Violin and Piano with Brahms’ hauntingly beautiful Clarinet Quintet. 

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Sunday 28th March 2010 at 6.30 pm – anthems & readings

The Palm Sunday evening service at Wylde Green URC will include Easter music and readings featuring the church choirs

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Sunday 18th April 2010 – Helen Reid (piano)

Helen first came to public attention when she appeared on BBC television in the National Keyboard Finals of the BBC Young Musician competition in 1998. In 2000 she won first prize in the Karic International Piano Competition, going on to give recitals all around the UK, including the Wigmore Hall, Purcell Room, Bridgewater Hall, and the Aldeburgh and Buxton Festivals, as well as a broadcast on BBC Radio 3. She is professor of piano at Trinity College of Music Junior Department, at Leeds College of Music and at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama.

Helen will present Chopin and his Musical World

 

Mozart                 Adagio

Chopin/Scriabin     Preludes

Chopin                 Impromptus no.1 and 2

Chopin                 Nocturnes in C sharp minor and Bb minor

Debussy               Nocturne

Chopin                 Fantasy-Imprompt

 

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Sunday 23rd May 2010 – Adam Brown (guitar)

Guitarist Adam Brown has performed throughout Europe, the United States and South America, including such major cities as New York, London, Los Angeles, Amsterdam, Vienna, Prague, Munich, Budapest, Venice and Lima.  He earned his Masters of Music degree from the Juilliard School in New York where he studied and continued his studies at Juilliard as the first guitarist to be accepted into the institution’s distinguished Artist Diploma program. Dr Brown’s first commercially available solo album, The Rebels Within, has recently been released on the AB Matrix label and features music by Britten, Martin, D’Angelo, and Lennox Berkeley.

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Sunday 13th June 2010 – Miyuki Kato (piano)

Miyuki was born in Japan and came to the UK in 1997. She studied at the Royal Northern College of Music, the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama and the Royal College of Music, who awarded her a Master of Music Degree in Advanced Performance in 2008. She has given a number of concerts in England, Wales and Japan, and she has won many prizes at competitions.

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Sunday 4th July 2010 – Jennifer Bennett (solo violin)

Jennifer is a founding member of the Amphion Consort, specialising in music of the Baroque and Classical eras using period instruments and delivering fresh interpretations that are historically informed, passionate and engaging. In this recital she will be exploring the repertoire for unaccompanied solo violin including a sonata by the Italian virtuoso Francesco Geminiani and the great D minor partita by J S Bach, with its concluding famous chaconne. For more information, see: www.amphionconsort.com

Sunday 19th September 2010 – Enigma Brass Ensemble

Organised by Bernard Moses, brass players from Sutton Coldfield Orchestra, Sutton Brass Ensemble and Sutton Trombone Choir have joined forces to play some of the great music written and arranged for large brass ensemble. The group will play rarely performed symphonic brass ensemble pieces which will include works by Strauss (Festmusik der Stadt Wien), Walton (Spitfire Prelude and Fugue), and Rossini (Largo al Factotum).

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Sunday 3rd October 2010 – Thomas Gould (violin)

A graduate of the Royal Academy of London, Thomas was selected for representation by Young Concert Artists Trust (YCAT) in 2006, leading to recitals in the Purcell Room, Bridgewater Hall and Wigmore Hall. He has since performed throughout the UK and abroad as a concerto soloist to critical acclaim.

Sunday 21 November 2010 - Peter Churchill & Lynne Bulmer (Piano & Flute)

Lynn & Peter are giving a flute and piano recital called ‘East meets West’ as one of the Sunday evening recitals.

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Send mail to Web Master with questions or comments about this web site
Copyright © 2011 Wylde Green United Reformed Church
Wylde Green URC is a Registered Charity, number 1136135

 

Send mail to Web Master with questions or comments about this web site
Copyright © 2011 Wylde Green United Reformed Church
Wylde Green URC is a Registered Charity, number 1136135