Following a successful collaboration on Brahms Ein Deutsches Requiem in 2019, the Beckenham Chorale are joining forces once again with Coro London Chamber Choir and the St Paul’s Sinfonia for a performance of Felix Mendelssohn’s magnificent chorus oratorio ELIJAH. The performance will be conducted by their Musical Director Mark Griffiths, and feature bass Jonathan Brown as Elijah, together with Katy Batho (soprano), Jeanette Ager (alto) and Paul Hopwood (tenor).
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.
Beckenham Chorale is a friendly and welcoming mixed voice choir of about 70 voices. We sing a varied repertoire under our Musical Director Mark Griffiths, who joined us in 2016, and perform three concerts a year at St. George’s Church, Beckenham.
Founded in 1960, we are best known for our spirited performances of the great choral works, and the majority of our concerts are with professional soloists and the St Paul’s Sinfonia. In n recent years, works we have performed include: Britten Rejoice in the Lamb, Rutter Magnificat, Goodall Eternal Light, Bach Magnificat, Vivaldi Gloria, Haydn’s Harmoniemesse, Dvorak Requiem, and Beethoven Mass in C.
The Chorale celebrated its Diamond Jubilee in November 2019 with an outstanding performance of Brahms Ein Deutsches Requiem, together with Coro London Chamber Choir and St Paul’s Sinfonia. In March 2020 our O Radiant Dawn concert featured work by Jonathan Dove, Thomas Tallis, Judith Weir and four of James MacMillan’s Strathclyde Motets; little did we know that within days of the concert Covid would change all our lives…
Our first concerts after lockdown were in November 2021, with Haydn’s Little Organ and St Nicholas masses, followed in March 2022 by Randall Thompson’s Frostiana, Morten Lauridsen’s Sure on this Shining Night and Gabriel Faure’s Cantique de Jean Racine. In June, to a packed house, we gave a triumphant performance of Handel’s glorious Coronation Anthems, with the St Paul’s Sinfonia who also played The Arrival of the Queen of Sheba.
Coro was formed in September 2000 as a London-based chamber choir for experienced singers dedicated to performing a broad range of choral music to the highest standard. Since its inception Coro has undertaken a number of UK and international tours and has successfully participated in many European choral competitions. The choir’s successes include becoming the first Western European group to win the Grand Prix at the Tallinn International Choral Competition and winning the Renaissance Music and the Twentieth Century Music prizes at the International Polyphonic Competition ‘Guido d’Arezzo’ in Italy. The choir has also reached the Grand Final of the Florilège Vocal de Tours in France and was awarded the competition’s special Renaissance prize.
Recently, Coro made its third recording, O Jesu Mi Dulcissime – a disc of music by early 17th-century composers such as Schütz and Gabrieli, released on the Dal Segno label. Coro’s two previous recordings – The Lover’s Ghost and This Christmas Night – are also both available on the Dal Segno label. In addition, the choir has featured on releases from Russell Watson, Friar Alessandro, Katherine Jenkins, Alfie Boe, Sarah Brightman, The Priests and the soundtrack for the film The Sleeping Beauty of East Finchley. Coro was selected by the BBC to represent the UK in the international Let The Peoples Sing competition – Coro’s recording was featured on Radio 3’s The Choir programme. Mark Griffiths is Coro’s Musical Director.
The re-opening of the magnificent baroque church of St Paul in Deptford, after four years of extensive restoration, enabled St Paul’s Sinfonia to launch its inaugural concert season in December 2004, bringing live high-quality classical music to the cultural scene of Lewisham and beyond. After our first seven seasons, we spread our wings and moved slightly further afield, to Greenwich, Lewisham, Blackheath and Catford.
Conducted by Andrew Morley, St Paul’s Sinfonia consists of experienced and dynamic orchestral players from across London. We perform monthly concerts at venues across south London. The Sinfonia draws its repertoire from a wide range of musical styles, from Baroque and Classical to Romantic and Modern, and aims to