August 2016 | Tour to Ireland

St Fin Barre's Cathedral

St Fin Barre’s Cathedral

In August 2016 we ventured abroad for the first time, to sing a concert and two services at St Fin Barre’s Cathedral in Cork, Ireland.

The concert on the Saturday, based loosely around the theme of ‘prayer,’ featured works by Renaissance composers from England, including Byrd’s Be unto me, O Lord, a tower and Tomkins’ Arise, O Lord, and Europe (Palestrina’s Exultate Deo and Lobo’s Versa est in luctum were particular highlights), as well as a selection of more modern pieces with organ accompaniment, of which Andrew Millington’s joyful setting of Psalm 150 went down especially well with the large audience. Following a short break and rehearsal for the following day’s services, we hit the town (!), spending an enjoyable and slightly surreal evening sampling the local nightlife.

In concert.

In concert.

The following day we returned to the Cathedral to sing for the morning Eucharist – Palestrina’s Missa sine nomine – after which we were plied with coffee and biscuits (so many versions of custard creams!) by members of the congregation, before a delicious lunch at the nearby Flying Enterprise.

Evensong consisted of Howells in E, and the Rose responses for men’s voices, followed by Wood’s haunting View me, Lord, rounded off by a fabulous rendition of the Toccata from Duruflé’s Suite V, played by the equally fabulous David Warren.

2016 Aug CORK poster


April 2016 Easter Tour | All Creatures Great & Small

This year our Easter mini tour saw us singing two concerts and a morning service in the Hampshire/West Sussex area. The weekend was a huge success and we were very warmly received by our audiences and congregation, who were extremely generous in their donations to the Veterinary Benevolent Fund, the charity for whom our late bass, David Bee, was fundraising when he died in June 2015, and to whom the weekend was dedicated.

Saturday 2nd April 2016
7.30pm, Holy Trinity Church, Bosham, West Sussex

Sunday 3rd April 2016
3pm, St Andrew, Hurstbourne Priors, Hampshire

‘All Creatures Great & Small’

The programme included:

Scapulis suis – Palestrina
El grillo – Josquin
Audite nova! – Lassus
The Ape, the Monkey and the Baboon – Weelkes
Lerchengesang – Mendelssohn
The Lamb – Tavener
Old McDonald had a Farm – Mitchell
The Blue Bird – Stanford

In concert, April 2016

In concert, April 2016

Sunday 3rd April 2016
10.30am, St Andrew, Hurstbourne Priors, Hampshire

BCP Matins

Responses  Clucas
Canticles  Boyce in C
Anthem  God so loved the world – Stainer

Organ  Jack Butterworth

Review | Music for Queens | March 2016

We were very pleased to receive the following from the congregation at St Mark’s Church, following our performance there of ‘Eternal Source of Light Divine’ – Music for Queens on 5th March 2016.

“A large audience waited in an atmospherically-lit St Mark’s church on Saturday for our Choir Director, Louisa Denby, to conduct her own choir and ensemble, Vox Cantab, and The Rosemary Consort Brass Ensemble, in a cleverly-selected programme of 17th- and 18th-century music. The concert was in three sections: ‘Funeral Sentences and Motets’ by Henry Purcell, ‘Music from the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II,’ and ‘Birthday Ode for Queen Anne.’ The theatrical elements that Louisa had devised produced a dramatic, riveting concert – natural brass and drum in the gallery and around the building, a choir processing elegantly in black for the sacred music, then in lively colours for the coronation and birthday music. Several of the more experienced – and reputedly judgemental – songsters of St Mark’s voted it the best singing they had heard in the church in many a year. A first-class concert by a first-rate choir!”

John Bachelor at the newly-refurbished organ.

John Bachelor at the newly-refurbished organ.

“They began with funeral music written by Purcell. It was composed when he was just 35 years old and I suspect all those creating the music for us were even younger. I had shivers down my spine at the end of the piece. There was a feeling of overwhelming solemnity and sadness, and it seemed right to be in the church where so many funerals have taken place.
“The second half was a glorious celebration of praise and thanks and a complete change of mood, and the wonderful singing and music was presented in a celebration of colour.”

Funeral Sentences and motets - Henry Purcell.

Funeral Sentences and motets – Henry Purcell.

“The concert was exciting to listen to…the singers and musicians showed their delight in all that they did, but we must give the highest award to Louisa…she has such a wide grasp of all that she is doing…her qualifications are remarkable…thank you Louisa for such a glorious evening.”

We are grateful to all at St Mark’s for their assistance on the day of the concert, and for allowing us to present such an event in their lovely church. We intend to take up the invitation to return!

March 2016 | ‘Eternal Source of Light Divine’ ~ Music for Queens

Saturday 5th March 2016
7.30pm, St Mark’s Church, Barton Road, Newnham, Cambridge

We were very excited to present a semi-theatrical performance of some stunning music written in honour of a number of queens of England. We were also delighted to collaborate with members of the Rosemary Consort and to support them in raising money for The Rosemary Foundation ‘Hospice at Home.’ Click here to read the review from St Mark’s.

Music for Queens, 5th March 2016

Music for Queens, 5th March 2016

Purcell  Funeral Sentences & motets
Handel  Ode for the Birthday of Queen Anne
plus a selection of music performed at the 1953 Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II, including Handel’s Zadok the Priest

Vox Cantab

The Rosemary Consort Brass Ensemble

Director  Louisa Denby
Organ  John Bachelor
Soprano  Catherine White & Julia Kemp
Alto  David McGregor
Bass  Matthew Innes & Thomas Mullock

January 2016 | Fitzwilliam Museum

Full company.

Full company.

Sunday 31st January 2016
1.15pm, Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge

In what has become an annual fixture, Vox Cantab returned once again to the Fitzwilliam Museum on 31 January for a Sunday-lunchtime recital, consisting of a semi-staged performance of John Rutter’s Wind in the Willows.


The Magistrate sentences Toad.

The Magistrate sentences Toad.

Matthew Innes  Mole
Chris Patrick  Toad
Addison Shore  Rat
Thomas Mullock  Badger
Julia Kemp  Gaoler’s Daughter
Frank Lee  Magistrate
Toby Matimong  Usher

Assorted Wildlife  Will Bosworth, Toby Matimong, Catherine White, Carys Brown, Rhian Davies, Julia Kemp

Andrew Watts  Narrator

Louisa Denby  Piano


August 2015 | Summer Tour

Vox Cantab’s 2015 summer tour began with a much-anticipated return to the lovely Trefin Chapel, near St Davids in Pembrokeshire, where the Choir were extremely warmly-received in 2013. We also gave a performance in St Mary’s, Haverfordwest, and in St Davids Cathedral, as part of their summer recital series. The week finished with Evensong at the Cathedr2015 Aug VC TUESDAY beach1al, and we were delighted to have Dr Rowan Williams in the congregation.


We were pleased to welcome back prize-winning organist Tim Parsons to play and conduct for us once more, along with our director Louisa Denby. The Choir also undertook visits to local hospices and nursing homes as part of our Summer Outreach Project.


St Davids 2015 Tour Schedule

Sunday 16th August, 7.30pm
Trefin Chapel, Trefin, Pembrokeshire

Family Concert

The programme included a range of music both sacred and secular, from 16th-century polyphony through to our own arrangements of Welsh Folk Songs. The audience joined in enthusiastically when the opportunity arose!


Monday 17th August, 7.30pm
St Mary’s Church, Haverfordwest

Wednesday 19th August, 7.30pm
St Davids Cathedral, St Davids

Like as the Hart | A Concert of Psalm Settings

In concert.

In concert.


Laudibus in sanctis – Byrd
Dextera Domini – Lassus
Sicut cervus – Palestrina

Jauchzet dem Herren – Schütz
Hear my prayer, O Lord – Purcell

Richte mich, Gott – Mendelssohn
Wie der Hirsch – Mendelssohn

Wie lieblich – Brahms
O Clap Your Hands – Vaughan Williams
Wash me throughly – Wesley

The Lord is King – Timothy Parsons
Like as the Hart – Howells
I was Glad – Parry



Tuesday 18th August, 9.30pm

Trefin Chapel, Trefin, Pembrokeshire

Choral Compline

Introit  Jesu, the very thought – Bairstow
Anthem  My soul, there is a country – Parry
Antiphon  Salve Regina – Poulenc




Pre-service hilarity.

Pre-service hilarity.

Thursday 20th August, 6pm
St Davids Cathedral, Pembrokeshire


Responses  Reading
Canticles  Tomkins Second
Anthem  Locus iste – Bruckner

June 2015 | DCMS Recital – ‘Sounds of Summer’

Monday 1st June saw Vox Cantab return to Downing College to give a Music Society recital in the E-staircase Music Room (where Tchaikovsky once stayed before receiving his honorary Cambridge degree!).


Best of The Beach Boys – Wilson/Usher/Love arr. Lojeski

Ain’t misbehaving – Waller & Brooks/Razaf arr. Gritton

Tea for Two – Youmans/Caesar arr. Gritton

Blue Moon – Rodgers/Hart arr. Blackwell

Selection from Abba’s Greatest Hits – Anderson/Ulvaeus/Andersson arr. Allwood & Sansun

Mamma Mia
Super Trouper
Money, Money, Money
Thank You for the Music

Our thanks to Nadanai Laohakunahorn for accompanying us again so ably, and to Dick Taplin of Downing College, for declaring us ‘Super Troupers’ as he thanked us for the music, before taking this rather arty photograph.


Vox Cantab after the DCMS recital

Vox Cantab after the DCMS recital


May 2015 | Downing Evensong

The new Tickell organ at Downing College, Cambridge.

On Sunday 17th May at 6pm, members of Vox Cantab sang Evensong in the splendidly-refurbished Chapel at Downing College, Cambridge, accompanied by the fabulous new Tickell organ. The music included anthems by Williams Byrd and Mundy, and an organ voluntary by Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck.

Members of Vox Cantab after the Downing service

Members of Vox Cantab after the Downing service



April 2015 | An Easter Celebration

In April 2015 Vox Cantab returned to St Michael and All Angels, Chalton for a concert of one-to-a-part seasonal music by composers from 16th-century Europe.

The same concert was given at St Peter-on-the-Green, Froxfield, and the Choir also sang Byrd’s Five-part Mass at a Eucharist service at All Saints’, Steep, on the Sunday morning.

We had a lovely daffodil-filled weekend, and are grateful to everyone who made donations to our 2015 Summer Outreach Project.

2015 April Tour - Froxfield (8)Programme

Victoria – Surrexit pastor bonus
Morales – Regina caeli

Lassus – Ave verum
Lassus – Regina caeli a6
Lassus – Adoramus te

Lotti – Regina caeli
Anerio – Christus factus est
Soriano – Regina caeli

"...Upon the greeny grass..."

“…Upon the greeny grass…”

Morley – April is in my mistress’ face
Morley – Now is the month of maying
Farmer – Fair nymphs, I heard one telling

Stanford – When Mary thro’ the garden went
Wood – Haec dies
Stainer – God so loved the world

March 2015 | Carmina Banana

‘Carmina Banana’, Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge

Director Louisa Denby; Piano Elis Reed; Readers Richard Blakemore & Debbie Pullinger

The programme included works by 16th-century composers Thomas Morley and Clemens non Papa, through to Quilter’s arrangement of Drink to me only with thine eyes (beautifully sung by soprano soloist Catherine White), Rutter’s Banquet Fugue from The Reluctant Dragon, and Frederick Bridge’s humorous tale of The Goslings.

The musical numbers were interspersed with readings serious and light-hearted, including extracts from Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (J.K. Rowling), Vanity Fair (William Makepeace Thackeray), Alice in Wonderland (Lewis Carroll), and a Shakespeare sonnet.

Spot the banana...

Spot the banana…