The orchestra is joined by St George’s Parish Church Choir.
Mendelssohn Octet in Eb major op. 20
Haydn Adagio cantabile for solo cello (slow movement of symphony 13)
Schubert Mass in G D167
Nicholas Holland – Cello
Susannah Groome – Soprano
Niki Zohdi – Tenor
Paul Bonter – Bass
Alasdair Friend – Organ
Dominic Moore Leader
Marcus Wibberley Conductor – Director of Music St George’s Church
Tickets available on-line here, Beckenham Bookshop and Parish Office Only
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Online ticket sales for this event are closed.
Beckenham's Parish Church Choir
The choir of St George’s is well-known locally, nationally and internationally. It has recently been described by one cathedral dean as, “The finest Parish Church Choir in the Country”. In addition to singing for two fully choral services on Sundays and for major weekday festivals, it has a long history specialising in singing the services in the country’s major cathedrals when their choirs are on holiday, in broadcasting and in international touring. The repertoire is vast, and is based on that of a cathedral choir.
The choir is comprised of auditioned volunteer adults who in many cases are professional musicians, teachers and ex professional singers. Many work in London and the surrounding areas, and several travel some distance on a regular basis to be members of the choir.
More recently, the Choral Foundation has developed paid choral scholarships for men and women in their late teens and early twenties. This has provided a wonderful opportunity, and the choir is immensely grateful for the support of the Friends of Cathedral Music, who have recently awarded a grant of £25,000 to help fund the choral scholarships and augment the FCM’s initial grant of £10,000 which they generously made several years ago.
Susannah Groome is a Lyric Soprano specialising in Early Music, Oratorio and English Song. She has made many solo appearances in Cathedrals across the UK, many Central London Churches and on both BBC radio and television. Susannah sings regularly with the choir of St George’s Beckenham and professionally in the choir of St Matthew’s Westminster, where she has been part of a small chamber ensemble in BBC broadcasts, podcasts and concerts. She is looking forward to broadcasting Choral Evensong on Radio 3 and Sunday Worship on Radio 4 with St Matthew’s Choir in the Autumn. Susannah graduated with a First Class Degree from the London College of Music in 2004 where she also won several College prizes. Susannah currently studies singing with Sarah Pring.
Paul is well known in the Bromley area and has performed with many leading choirs locally both as chorus singer and soloist. He sang for nearly twenty years at St. Paul’s, Crofton in Orpington before moving to Bromley Parish Church and later St. Giles Cripplegate in the Barbican Estate. He has now been a regular member of the choir at St. George’s Beckenham for over 8 years.
He first trained with Rodney Williams (formerly of Westminster Abbey) and subsequently with Nigel Beavan at St. Paul’s Cathedral. His London appearances as a soloist have included ‘St. Matthew Passion’ at The Royal Albert Hall with Sir Willard White and numerous concerts at The Royal Festival Hall and Purcell Room with The London Cantata Choir. Paul currently performs with The Purcell Singers and Exmoor Singers of London in venues including St. Paul’s Cathedral, St. James’s Piccadilly, St. John’s Smith Square & St. Martin’s-in-the-Fields.
Some recent solo performances include Handel’s Messiah, Christus in Bach’s St. Matthew Passion, Mozart’s Requiem, Stainer’s Crucifixion, Faure’s Requiem, William Lloyd Webber’s The Saviour, Haydn’s Nelson Mass & Bach’s Christmas Oratorio.
When singing engagements allow, Paul is Company Secretary to a national charity.
Organist and Director of Music of St George's
Marcus Wibberley is Organist & Director of Music here at St George’s, Beckenham. Since his arrival in August 2017, he has introduced new repertoire and new members to the choir, conducted the choir at a number of cathedrals, worked in conjunction with the Hammig String Quartet and – in July 2018 – will be taking the choir on tour to Estonia, its first foreign tour in a number of years.
Before returning to Beckenham (he was ‘Organ Student’ here in the late 1990s), he was Director of Music & Organist of Hexham Abbey, where his responsibilities included training and directing the Abbey Choirs. In addition to the four weekly choral services at the Abbey, he appeared with them in concert both elsewhere in the UK and in Germany, Belgium and Estonia. Marcus was also Festival Director of the annual Hexham Abbey Festival of Music & Arts, for which he developed the scope of the programme and secured majority funding from the Arts Council of England.
Marcus was a Chorister of Westminster Abbey under Martin Neary, and his organ teachers included Martin Baker and John Scott Whiteley. He studied at Dulwich College, where he was a Music Scholar, and the University of Hull, where he was University Organ Scholar, graduating with first class honours in Music. He held organ scholarships at Chichester Cathedral, Beverley Minster (while a student in Hull) and latterly York Minster before becoming Sub-Organist of Portsmouth Cathedral and the Diocesan Music Adviser of The Diocese of Portsmouth in 2005.
Marcus is in demand as a recitalist, and has travelled extensively. Recent performances have been given in prominent venues in Japan, France, Belgium, Germany, Denmark and Estonia, as well as most of the major cathedrals and abbeys in the UK.
Versatile 21st Century Cellist
Spanning all areas of performance, Nicholas enjoys being a versatile cellist of the 21st Century.
At the unusually young age of 16, Nicholas won a scholarship to the Royal Academy of Music to study under Florence Hooton, Derek Simpson and Douglas Cummings. After concluding his studies there with many prizes and First Class Honours, he subsequently achieved first prize at the coveted Jacqueline du Pre Award from The Royal Society of the Arts. With kind support from various trusts, he continued lessons under Radu Aldulescu and Janos Starker.
At the age of 19, Nick became principal cellist in the Italian Toscanini Orchestra where he remained for a year before moving on to tour the world as principal cellist and soloist of the Heidelberg Kammer Orchestra. Nicholas is a keen chamber musician having recorded flute quartets for the EMI label (BMV, Holland) and having been a member of the English String Quartet for nine years, notably participating at their London Festival of Chamber Music – a regular feature of the classical music scene in London every Autumn.
Nicholas has been a member of the ‘Balanescu Quartet’ for twenty two years and tours the world with the quartet, performing in such venues as Sydney Opera House, La Scala (Milan), QEH & Royal Festival Hall. The quartet has had much critical acclaim for their latest folk/classical album entitled ‘Maria T’ on the EMI label. The group have recorded eleven albums under Decca and Mute labels. Their collaborations have included performances and recordings with Rabi Abu Khalil, David Byrne, Spiritulized, Petshop Boys, and Kraftwerk.
Nicholas regularly records albums and soundtracks and has played on the soundtracks for films from ‘The Mission’ to ‘Harry Potter’ as well as TV dramas. He has been soloist in the recent period dramas, ‘Emma’,’The Crown’,’Victoria’ and movies ‘Brighton Rock’ and ‘Dorian Gray’ and played for the entire recording of the soundtrack for the recent drama ‘Bodyguard’ using an electric cello of his own design.
His next project is to record a newly commissioned concerto for cello with bass extension and orchestra by the jazz trumpeter and composer, Guy Barker.
Alasdair and joined the choir at St. George’s in February 1982. He studied the organ at St. Dunstan College in Catford, and was organ student at St. George’s from 1985 to 1987 passing his ARCO exams in 1986. From 1987 to 1990, he was organ scholar of Downing College, Cambridge, where he read Music and History. While at Downing, he conducted the college choirs and orchestra, and sang in a number of university chamber choirs. Since graduating, Alasdair has been assistant organist at a number of London churches, before returning to St. George’s, where he now plays regularly. He has also accompanied various choral societies on tours to Italy, Austria, France and the Czech Republic. When not playing the organ, Alasdair works as a solicitor in London.
Musical Director and Leader St George's Chamber Orchestra
Dominic Moore is leader and musical director of the SGCO. He studied violin & piano as joint first instruments at the Royal College of Music. Dominic has performed as leader with the Ulster Orchestra, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, Bournemouth Symphony, Orquestra Nacional do Porto, Presteigne Festival Orchestra, Birmingham Royal Ballet and is assistant leader of the West End production of Phantom of the Opera.
Beckenham's Professional Orchestra Resident at St George's
The St. George’s Chamber Orchestra (SGCO) was founded in 2004 as the professional orchestra for the South East in order to give local music lovers the opportunity to hear orchestral concerts of the highest standard on their own doorstep, and indeed for the musicians to enjoy making music together on their own doorstep!
The orchestra is drawn from an extraordinarily talented, experienced and versatile pool of musicians, a large number of whom are past winners of prestigious awards and musical competitions in the UK and elsewhere. Many either are or have been members of the leading London orchestras and a significant number are principals in those orchestras. Many others are members of Britain’s best known chamber ensembles.
St. George’s has a long, strong and respected musical heritage, and boasts one of the finest church choirs in the UK. With its spaciousness, good acoustics and warm friendly atmosphere the church is an ideal venue for a chamber orchestra.