On April 29th at Chirbury Church we held a Come and Sing Mozart's Requiem event - Phoenix Style! It was a huge success with about a hundred and thirty singers and twenty-five members of the orchestra. Our conductor Richard Walker decided to warm up the assembled choir by taking us through the Lacrimosa. As soon as we started singing and heard the strong mellow tone ringing round the church we knew it was going to be a wonderful afternoon. We had some lovely soloists from the Phoenix Singers - Susie Newell and Jessica Lamond, Sopranos, Sarah Lee, Contralto, Ashley Turnell, Tenor and Mike Arthur and Bill Finlinson, Basses. We would like to thank Ashley Turnell for joining us amongst his busy singing commitments with Ex Cathedra and other groups. We were ably accompanied by a group of orchestral players, led by Paul Bramwell, including Glen Pollard, trombone who as well as giving us a great Tuba Mirum, managed to weave three trombone parts together into one.
After the rehearsal parcipitants were treated to a home-cooked Phoenix High Tea. The tables were groaning with sandwiches, quiches and savoury treats, whilst another set of tables was laid out with every sort of cake and biscuit imaginable. Tea and coffee were served by Angela Thorpe and Rachel Brook, who also had organised the food and laid it all out. A big thank you to them.
We then sang through the whole work as a performance. Our thanks go to the organisers of the day, Owen and Angela Thorpe and Rachel Brook, who invited players, made labels, organised car parking and toilets and dealt with all the application forms. It was well worth it to see so many people enjoying singing in a big group. One man had not sung since his school days fifty years ago. And last but not least a big thank you to our conductor Richard Walker for taking us through our paces with charm and knowledge.
If you enjoyed the day and would like to join the Phoenix Singers go to the Contact Us page of this website. Thank you for coming and supporting us!
Why Sing with Phoenix?
There are many great choirs in and around Shrewsbury so what makes Phoenix a bit different?
We continue to sing the classical choral repertoire from the 15th century to the present day and to do it really well.
We have a first class conductor, Richard Walker, and choir members have a short informal audition and are expected to read music.
We aim for a high standard of performance which will encourage our audiences to bring their friends and families and spread the joy of hearing beautiful and satisfying music, well performed in inspiring surroundings.
We wish to support local musicians and music teachers and it is this group who make up our Phoenix Orchestra.
We want to support new young composers and we have run two Composition Competitions. The entrants were drawn from all over the world. Our first winner Owain Park has gone on to compose professionally.
We like to employ local young soloists and final year students from the Birmingham Conservatoire.
Phoenix is more than just a choir. We have social events, form friendships and support each other, sharing our love of music.
Why sing in a choir?
Singing has been found to lower your stress levels and relax your muscles.
Give it a try! Go to Contact page for our contact details and facebook and twitter feeds.
Our Conductor - Richard Walker
In January 2012 Richard Walker was appointed as principal Conductor of the Phoenix Singers. His career has been in teaching, first in Scotland at The Edinburgh Academy and then as Director of Music at Daniel Stewart's and Melville College, Edinburgh. During this time he was assistant Organist at St Mary's Cathedral Edinburgh and later Organist at St John's Princes Street Edinburgh. He moved back to England in 1980 firstly to be Director of music at the Leys School Cambridge and then at Harrow School for 20 years. It was at Harrow that Richard gained most of his conducting experience with the Chapel Choir, Cathedral Evensongs and Choral Society concerts with professional orchestras.
Richard is currently Assistant Director of Music at St Chad's Shrewsbury where he accompanies most of the major services, gives organ recitals and organises the Friday Lunchtime Concerts. In July 2016 he conducted the Phoenix Singers in Handel's Messiah as the opening concert of the 50th Church Stretton Music Festival.