Programme 2019

Next concert – Saturday 14th December 2019

Puccini’s Messa di Gloria

Ambleside Parish Church 7.30 pm. Tickets on the door or via choir member

Tickets £12 (including a glass of wine) on the door

Coming up

9th May 2020 – J S Bach: St John Passion

Past concerts:

Our last concert – 7.30 pm Saturday 4th May 2019 – Josef Haydn: The Creation at Ambleside Parish Church

this 3 part oratorio is scored for soprano, tenor and bass. We are delighted to announce our soloists:

Tracy Penwarden – soprano representing Archangel Gabriel and Eve

Robert Thompson – tenor representing Archangel Uriel

Ashley Kirkham – bass representing Archangel Raphael and Adam

South Cumbria Ensemble led by Mark Wilson

8th December 2018 – Bach’s Christmas Oratorio parts 1-3

Here’s what the reviewers said about us:

Bach Triumphant at Ambleside

 Bach’s Christmas Oratorio has never enjoyed as high a profile as The Messiah in the seasonal offerings of local choirs, but Ambleside and District Choral Society’s ambitious concert featuring the first three parts of this masterpiece left one wondering why.  A capacity audience heard Jolyon Dodgson conduct an exuberant performance, characterised by superb orchestral playing, excellent contributions from the soloists and impassioned singing from the choir. 

 The work is richly scored, and the South Cumbria Ensemble, led by Julian Cann, were fully equal to Bach’s exacting demands.  Special mention should be made of AndrewDallimore’s virtuosic rendering of the fiendishly difficult high trumpet part and of Christine Lorriman’s limpid flute solos. The rich blend of oboes, cor anglais and flutes were a particular delight in the Sinfonia, which opens the second part and heralds the appearance of the shepherds in the Christmas story; Handel was to follow this example very closely eight years later in the Pastoral Symphony of The Messiah. 

 On the vocal side, the tenor Stephen Newlove anchored the performance in the role of the Evangelist, whilst also rising to the challenges posed in his florid aria urging the shepherds to hurry to meet their Saviour. Amy Shaw made the most of the opportunities to display her warm mezzo tones in her arias of expectation, repose and reflection.  Bass Paul Im Thurn revelled in his swaggering aria “Mighty Lord and King of Glory”, thrillingly partnered by the trumpet.  The choir, clearly inspired by the orchestra and by Jolyon’s direction,entered fully into the spirit of the work, jubilant in Bach’s taxing choruses and sensitive to different moods of the chorales.

Twelve-year old Martha Alban, who had a cameo role as the Angel of the Lord in the Oratorio, launched the Christmas carol section of the programme with a winning solo in Once in Royal David’s City.  As well as the traditional favourites, rousingly sung, it was a particular pleasure to hear the Shepherds’ Farewell of Berlioz performed with full orchestral accompaniment. 


28th April  2018 – Mozart Requiem plus Regina Coeli & Haydn: Little Organ Mass; Insanae et Vanae Curae

December 2017 – Charpentier: Messe de Minuit, Ralph Vaughan-Williams: Fantasia on Christmas Carols and other Christmas music

May 2017 – Vivaldi: Gloria (RV589 and 588)

December 2016 – Haydn: St Nicholas Mass and other Christmas music

May 2016 – Schutz: the Pharisee & the Publican, Woman, why weepest thou, Montiverdi: Mass in Four Voices, Standford: Songs of the Fleet, Britten: Rejoice in the Lamb

December 2015 – Handel: Messiah

May 2015 – various choral pieces by Louise Verne and Gabriel Faure

December 2014 – Dvorak: Mass in D plus Christmas music

May 2014 – Mozart: Missa Brevis, Divertimento in D, Ave Verum Corpus, Mass in C, Laudate Dominium

December 2013 – Christmas music by Vierne, Faure, Berlioz and others

May 2013 – Handel: Judas Maccabeus

December 2012 – Christmas music by Vivaldi, Britten, Rutter and others

May 2012 – Haydn: Nelson Mass, Handel: Zadok the Priest, Mozart: Solemn Vespers