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Beckenham Chorale Winter Concert
Saturday 3rd December 2016 at 8:00 pm

Geoffrey Bush:  A Christmas Cantata
Mendelssohn:    Weihnachten
Paul Edwards:  No Small Wonder
Gruber/Burton: Stille Nacht
Solos for Oboe and Soprano
Carols for choir and audience
Organ and Chorus
Conductor and Musical Director:  Mark Griffiths
Soprano:       Rachel Crisp
Oboe:            James Hulme
Organ:           Christopher Brayne

Please note tickets will be on sale from Tuesday 1st November and are only available from the Chorale. 

Prices (incl. programme) Numbered seats £13 and £11 in advance (£14 and £12 on the door) and £8 for un-numbered seats.

Please follow this link for full box office details and to buy tickets.


Artist Information

Beckenham Chorale

Beckenham Chorale is a mixed voice choir of about 80 voices founded as the Manor Choir in 1960 by Kennimore Straker, manager of the music publishers Ricordi and Co., who was succeeded in 1964 by Lionel Sawkins. James Blair was Conductor from 1977 until 2015. In 2013 Adam Treadway was appointed Assistant Conductor and subsequently became Musical Director from 2015 until July 2016. Mark Griffiths was appointed Musical Director from September 2016.

The choir is best known for its spirited performances of the great and exciting choral works. In recent years, works performed include Bach ‘Magnificat’, Vivaldi ‘Gloria’, Orff ‘Carmina Burana’, Rossini ‘Stabat Mater’, Dvorak ‘Mass in D’, Tippett ‘A Child of our Time’, Handel ‘Messiah’ and Verdi ‘Requiem’.’ It engages professional soloists and orchestral instrumentalists, with whom it has a long association, to perform with it and has a varied repertoire giving three concerts a year at St George’s Church (its concert base since 1982) with weekly rehearsals from September to June in St George’s Church Hall.

The choir is affiliated to Making Music and the Bromley Arts Council.

For more information please visit the choir’s website via this link



Mark Griffiths

Musical Director

Mark studied at Trinity College, Cambridge and the Royal College of Music and began his career as a professional singer.  He has been Musical Director of the London-based chamber choir Coro since 2003, conducting them to international competitive success, in regular concerts throughout Britain and Europe, and on radio and CD.  He also works with large symphonic choruses including the Philharmonia Chorus and the Brighton Festival Chorus.
Mark has a wealth of experience with younger singers, too, as Director of the award-winning Berkshire Youth Choirs and a music mentor for the National Festival of Music for Youth, and is currently Director of Choirs at the Junior Department of Trinity College of Music.  He has also directed the Young Conductors’ Course for the Association of British Choral Directors.

Rachel Crisp


Rachel Crisp, originally from West Yorkshire, is a recent graduate from the Birmingham Conservatoire, where she gained a first class honours degree in vocal and operatic studies under the tutelage of Christine Cairns.   While at the Conservatoire she won the Winifred Micklam first year prize, qualifying to perform in the Young Kathleen Ferrier Competition, the Birmingham Conservatoire Vocal Prize and the Stuart Cameron French Song Prize.

Rachel has appeared on stage as Susanna in Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro, Sophie in Werther by Massenet, Clorinda from Rossini’s La Cenerentola, Sister Dolcina in Puccini’s Suor Angelica and Sister Mathilde in Poulenc’s Dialogues of the Carmelites and most recently played the lead as Ava in Ava’s Wedding, a new 2015 commission by Michael Wolters and Alexandra Taylor.   She has also recently performed with the Orchestra of St John’s under the direction of John Lubbock at Dorchester Abbey, at Ranworth in Norfolk for Patrick Hawes and at Castle Howard, Hazlewood Castle and Fountains Abbey in Yorkshire and Cartmel Priory in Cumbria.

An alumna of Chetham’s School of Music, the National Youth Choir of Great Britain, the CBSO Chorus and the Birmingham Conservatoire Chamber Choir, Rachel has toured this country and America performing as both a choir member and soloist.   In addition to her performing engagements, she is currently a visiting singing teacher at The Dragon School, Oxford, Kitebrook House in the Cotswolds and Pinewood School in Bourton, Wiltshire.



James Hulme


As an oboist, James Hulme has appeared in all the major concert halls in the UK and has also performed extensively in Europe. Originally from Manchester, he studied the oboe with Anna Cooper and then with Valerie Taylor at Chetham’s School of Music. He then won the Kieron Moore scholarship from the Royal Academy of Music, where he studied under Christopher Cowie (Principal Oboe, Philharmonia Orchestra) and Ian Hardwick (Principal Oboe, London Philharmonic Orchestra). In 2016 he has started a Masters course also at the RAM, but studying for the first year in Düsseldorf with Kai Frömbgen (Principal Oboe, Chamber Orchestra of Europe). James is very grateful to have received financial support for his studies from the RAM Janet Craxton Scholarship, the Help Musicians UK Ian Fleming Award, and the Countess of Munster Musical Trust.

As a soloist, he has enjoyed performances of Bach Cantatas (live on Radio 3), performances of Marcello and Vivaldi Oboe Concertos, and a private concert for Rothschild’s bank in Paris including Mozart’s Oboe Concerto.

James is delighted also to have an active freelance orchestral career including work with the Philharmonia Orchestra, Royal Ballet Sinfonia and trials with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales and BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra. Recent highlights include Bruckner’s 9th Symphony with Thomas Dausgaard and the BBC Proms in the Park.

Christopher Brayne


Christopher Brayne is a freelance organist, pianist and vocal coach and has held positions at Wells Cathedral, Bristol Cathedral and also in Charlotte, USA.  He is currently undertaking accompanying projects for the University of Southampton and the Association of British Choral Directors as well as being staff accompanist and organist at Downe House School for Girls.  He is music adviser for Odiham Parish Church.

Christopher began as a chorister at Lichfield Cathedral before studying at the Royal College of Music and Emmanuel College, Cambridge.  He studied with Jean Langlais, Gillian Weir and Phyliss Palmer.  He is married to Jenny and they have two daughters.  He has worked as a repetiteur for the BBC National Chorus of Wales and the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra Chorus and as an organist has performed at the major venues in the UK as well as travelling to the USA, Germany and New Zealand.

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