Carlisle, UK [These web pages were last updated 25 February 2016]
Future Programme (B)
Recent Concerts (C)
Choir History (D)
Our Director (E)
Our Committee (F)
Partners & Sponsors (G)
Book Us (H)
Join Us (I)
Contact Us (J)
and Reviews (K)
Support Us (L)
Our founder (M)
The Abbey Singers is one of Cumbria's leading small choirs performing a wide variety of music throughout the county and more widely. Based in Carlisle we draw our membership of rather more than thirty singers from the city and the surrounding area. We are particularly renowned for the broad range of our repertoire, encompassing many musical genres and styles: sacred and secular, classical and popular, spanning choral music of six centuries with diversity from Bach to the Beatles.
Since our foundation in 1962 we have been at the forefront of Cumbrian musical life and have maintained consistently high artistic standards. We perform a capella, with organ or piano accompaniment or with professional orchestras. We also combine with other local or visiting choirs of a similar standard and with professional soloists to present larger scale works including the great choral masterpieces, giving local people the opportunity to hear superb interpretations of these without the need for travel to larger cities. Thanks to the high standard of our members' singing we do not often have to call upon the services of outside soloists. Click on the photo to see a larger image.
In 2012 we celebrated our Golden Jubilee with concerts at the Cathedral and St John's Keswick, where we performed, together with Carlisle Cantate children's choir, a new work The Cataract of Lodore specially commissioned by us from the distinguished Cumbrian composer Adrian Self. The year also marked the retirement of Jeremy Suter as Director and the appointment of our new director Jonathan Millican.
Since the Golden Jubilee, Jonathan has taken us through a musical adventure covering many wonderful works, some in conjunction with the Cathedral choir and Rural Choirs such as Bob Chilcott's Salisbury Vespers, some on our own such as Monteverdi's Christmas Vespers, Louis Vierne's astounding Messe Solennelle, Maurice Durufle's exquisitely moving Requiem and Karl Jenkins' gripping cry for the ending of war The Armed Man, whilst others are delightful miniatures like Eric Whitacre's Sleep and Gorecki's setting of the single word Amen. And on a different note, Gilbert & Sullivan The Gondoliers! Most recently, we supported the Tenor Russell "The Voice" Watson on his visit to the Sands Centre Carlisle in May 2015, and again in 2016.
As Abbey Singers we promote our own concerts, participate in local festivals and welcome enquiries for concerts and for singing at private functions including weddings. We have a strong tradition of touring beyond our region both in the UK and abroad - in 2015 we sang for services in Bristol Cathedral. For more details of the choir's origins and history please visit our History page (D).
Saturday 25th March 2017: Easter concert at St.Andrew's church, Penrith:
"Spanish Renaissance: A journey through the year"
A programme of Spanish renaissance music including works by Tomas Luis da Victoria, Francisco Guerrero, Cristobal de Morales & Juan Esquivel, representing different points throughout the religious calendar.
The Spanish renaissance produced some of the most beautiful polyphony ever composed, resulting from the influence of the Italian renaisssance, the Spanish Catholic Kings and the return of the whole country of Spain to Christian rule.
programme reflects the range and variety of this music, set into the
church calendar and its key moments in the year. Victoria needs no
introduction as probably the best known of the composers, but others are
perhaps less known and certainly less commonly heard, yet their music is
equally beautiful and deserves to be heard more often.
See (B) for details of our forthcoming concerts
See (C) for details & reviews of the most recent concerts
See (K) for reviews of our previous performances
"...Howells’ "St. Pauls" Magnificat was movingly performed with excellent ensemble during tempo changes. It was good to see attention by singers to the director, so important in this music; this was evident throughout the concert..."
Feast of Mary, Carlisle, December 2014
“…a thought-provoking evening with much fine music-making…”
…music sounded fresh and original… a
stunning choral recital…Abbey Singers excelled themselves in this concert,
filling the building with a subtle blend of sound, speaking to the audience as
only vocal music can, communicating their joy in singing…”
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