Formed in 1989 by Roy Wales as an extension to the English Concert Singers (also formed in 1989 by Roy Wales), the English Concert Chorus has established itself as one of the major choirs on the national choral scene.
It is a large, flexible choir that can appear as a choral ensemble ranging from 50-150 voices. It draws its singers from all walks of life.
Since its inception it has regularly performed in major concert halls in London and Birmingham and at a number of festivals nationwide. It has performed in many Raymond Gubbay promoted concerts in the Royal Albert Hall, at the Barbican, in Birmingham Symphony Hall and the National Indoor Arena with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. After one of its Classical Spectacular Concerts, the Birmingham Mail described the choir as follows:
“The English Concert Chorus provided outstanding vocal backing.”
In another Birmingham concert in the National Indoor Arena with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, the Birmingham Mail wrote:
“The English Concert Chorus excelled.”
In addition to working with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, the Chorus has worked with many other fine top professional orchestras, including the London Symphony Orchestra, the Hallé Orchestra, BBC Concert Orchestra and the English and London Concert Orchestras.
In recent years they have performed annual concerts in Birmingham Town Hall with the English Concert Orchestra (Music Director: Roy Wales), performing major works from the choral repertoire, including Brahms’ A German Requiem, Verdi’s Requiem , The Dream of Gerontius (Elgar) and Mendelssohn’s Elijah, which had been given its first performance in Birmingham Town Hall conducted by Mendelssohn in 1846.
The Birmingham Post described the performance of A German Requiem with the English Concert Chorus, Singers and English Concert Orchestra conducted by Roy Wales as follows:
“There was tenderness and sensitivity from players and singers in the work’s many quiet passages, but no shortage of power when it erupted in the rousing section which proclaims that ‘all flesh is as grass’.”
Other regular performances featured in their concerts in the Royal Albert Hall and Barbican Concert Hall include Carmina Burana, Messiah, Opera Gala. Classical Spectacular and Glory of Christmas concerts.
The Chorus has also featured in concerts with José Carreras in “A Tribute to Mario Lanza” in the Royal Albert Hall and Birmingham and Sheffield Indoor Arenas.
Earlier this year the Chorus and the Singers performed a programme of English Choral Music at Cadogan hall, and in the coming months will appear in “Carmina Burana’ at the Royal Albert Hall and “Messiah” at the Royal Festival Hall. Next year they will give a performance of Handel’s “Israel in Egypt” in St. John’s, Smith Square on April 12.