2021 September | Langrish Celebrations

We were delighted to be invited back to St John the Evangelist in Langrish, near Petersfield in Hampshire, to assist with their 150th anniversary celebrations this year. We sang a ‘Mixed Bag’ of a concert on the Saturday (featuring our director hurling a banana at a priest who happened to be in the audience), and a celebratory Eucharist on the Sunday. It was a joyous, moving, and profoundly happy weekend, and we are grateful to all who fed and hosted us, and facilitated the logistical arrangements.

2018 August | Madrigals @ Hurstbourne Priors

Sunday 5th August 2018, 3pm
St Andrew’s Church, Hurstbourne Priors, near Winchester

By popular request we returned to the delightful village of Hurstbourne Priors, in Hampshire, for a tea-time concert, this time featuring a set of madrigals from the richest repertoire of 16th-century England. It was lovely to have the church so full and to see so many familiar faces in the audience.

2018 February | Baroque by Candlelight

Saturday 10th February 2018, 7.30pm
St Peter’s Church, Petersfield

Purcell  Motets
Handel  Organ Concerto Op. 4 No. 1 in G minor
Chilcott  My Prayer
Handel  Dixit Dominus

Vox Cantab
Southern Pro Musica

Conductor  Jonathan Willcocks
Organ  Luke Fitzgerald
Soloists  Carys Brown, Louisa Dawes, David Lewis

It was an absolute joy to perform such great music in the wonderful candle-lit setting of St Peter’s Church, where we have sung so many times before. Fortunately the weather didn’t discourage our sell-out audience, and the whole atmosphere made for a very special evening indeed.

March 2017 | Petersfield Musical Festival

Edward Thomas 1878 – 1917 | A Centenary Concert

We were honoured to participate in this concert as part of the 2017 Petersfield Musical Festival. The programme featured settings of the work of celebrated local poet Edward Thomas, and we were joined for some of the programme by musicians from Bedales School and a fabulous line-up of soloists.

Friday 17th March 2017
7.30pm, Petersfield Festival Hall, Petersfield, Hampshire

Vox Cantab

Bedales Cecilia Consort

Richard Pearce & Helen Cawthorne  Accompanists
Frances Kelly  Harp
Judith Treggor  Flute

John Barker, John Lofthouse, Thomas Athorne, Catherine White  Vocal soloists
Piers Burton-Page  Reader

Jonathan Willcocks & Nicholas Gleed  Conductors

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 | The French Connection | Feb 2015

February 2015

‘The French Connection,’ St Peter’s Church, Petersfield

‘The French Connection’
Southern Pro Musica & Vox Cantab
Saturday, 21 February 2015
St Peter’s Church
Petersfield

The title of this concert, given by Southern Pro Musica and Vox Cantab, was The French Connection. The large audience were treated to wonderful music by Fauré, Duruflé, Poulenc and Rameau. Vox Cantab, founded in 2010 by Louisa Denby, is a highly accomplished group of current and former choral scholars from Cambridge University. They immediately showed their outstanding musicianship in Poulenc’s four unaccompanied motets for the time of penitence. The settings are homophonic with many finely articulated moods. There are sharply defined dynamic contrasts, phrase by phrase, with bloc-like shifts, which are the hallmarks of Poulenc’s style. The singing had eloquence and the intensity of the music was idiomatic. Duruflé’s four motets on plainsong themes for unaccompanied voices show an astonishing conciseness. They were all sung with love, warmth and precision….wonderful!

Richard Pearce was the exemplary soloist in Poulenc’s exciting organ concerto. The single movement work displays Poulenc’s ability to effect an abrupt change of mood, from high spirits to melancholy, seamlessly. The many contrasting sections, which differ in style, tone and texture were superbly registered by Richard Pearce. This was an exhilarating reading of great fluency and authority and beautifully supported by the strings and timpani of the orchestra.

The main work of the evening was Duruflé’s Requiem. Written in 1947, the layout is based on Fauré’s masterpiece. The work is based on themes from Gregorian chant, but Duruflé skilfully integrates the plainsong with a romantic approach. The chamber version of strings, harp and trumpets was used tonight with great effect. There was a good balance between the sudden outbursts of agitation and the work’s mysticism and warmth. The choir sang ardently throughout with moments of great tenderness – as in the Agnus Dei with the flowing accompaniment of harp and strings – and the passionate outbursts in the blistering Sanctus with its dramatic trumpet calls. The solos were sung with deep feeling and imagination. The Pie Jesu was plaintively sung by the ravishing soprano, Catherine White, and the dark, rich bass of Richard Latham was a joy. This was a deeply expressive, sensitive performance from the excellent choir and orchestra, directed with love and passion by Jonathan Willcocks.

The concert opened with music by one of the great French Baroque composers, Rameau. Southern Pro Musica played movements form his opera-ballet, Les Indes Galant. This attractive work is full of dance numbers which are tuneful, dramatic and imaginative. The playing was light and rhythmic, but I wish the timpanist had used hard sticks to give the performance a little more bite.

Thank you to everyone for an evening of outstanding music making.

Ann Pinhey

February 2015 | Duruflé Requiem

This coming Saturday, Vox Cantab and Southern Pro Musica join forces to present a concert of music by French composers Rameau, Poulenc, Fauré and Duruflé, conducted by Jonathan Willcocks.

Southern Pro Musica Logo

Saturday February 21st 2015

7.30pm

St Peter’s Church, Petersfield

Programme:

Overture from Les Indes Galantes – Rameau
Quatre motets pour un temps de pénitence – Poulenc
Cantique de Jean Racine – Fauré
Four Motets – Duruflé
Organ Concerto – Poulenc
Requiem – Duruflé

Organ – Richard Pearce

Tickets:

£15 (£5 Under 18s) available from Petersfield Tourist Information Centre
Tel. 01730 268829;
petersfieldinfo@btconnect.com

A Magical Evening at Chalton Church

“The choir from Cambridge University proceeded to fill this ancient church with angelic and enchanting music. The effect was just breathtaking.  The audience at Chalton Church were privileged to experience a first-class choir that could have performed in a professional venue anywhere in the country.  It was a very special evening that made a deep impression.”
Anne Cleaver (original article)

August 2014 | Services at Portsmouth Cathedral

Services at Portsmouth Cathedral

Director Louisa Denby; Organ Ian Tindale

2014 Cathedral group photo

Eucharist

Victoria – Jesu, dulcis memoria

Haydn – Little Organ Mass (solo Catherine White)

Lassus – Ave verum corpus

Evensong

Walford Davies – Blessed are the pure in heart

Clucas Responses

Brewer – Magnificat & Nunc dimittis in D

Bairstow – Lord, I call upon thee

 

Peter Leonard, Residentiary Canon at Portsmouth Cathedral

August 2014 | Outreach

Outreach Activities at The Rowans’ Hospice & Steep House Nursing Home, Hampshire,
plus a private home visit

A small number of us visited the Rowans’ Hospice, Waterlooville, and Steep House Nursing Home, in order to entertain the residents with a varied selection of music. 

We also visited our 94-year-old friend in his home, where we were treated to a sumptuous tea and a glimpse of a ‘Great Bible,’ dating from the 16th Century.

Repertoire included:

The Rowans Hospice, Waterlooville, Hampshire, August 2014

The Rowans Hospice, Waterlooville, Hampshire, August 2014

Tallis – If ye love me
Vautor – Sweet Suffolk Owl
Holst – Swansea Town
Trad. Botswanan, arr. L’Estrange – Jesu ukukhanya
Handel, arr. Gritton – Three-minute Messiah
Carter/Hudson, arr. Sund – Goodnight sweetheart

Looking at a copy of Henry VIII's Great Bible

Looking at a copy of Henry VIII’s Great Bible