Category: Cambridge

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


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



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…


February 2014 | ‘Old Wine in New Bottles’

‘Old Wine in New Bottles’
Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge & Selwyn College Music Society, Cambridge

Director Louisa Denby; Piano Nadanai Laohakunakorn


Trad. American arr. Cooper – Circle March

Trad. American arr. Milloy – Amazing Grace

Trad. American arr. Erb – Shenandoah

Trad. English arr. Whittaker – Bobby Shaftoe

Trad. Irish arr. Chilcott – Londonderry Air

Trad. Scottish arr. Vaughan Williams – Loch Lomond

Trad. American arr. Hogan – The Battle of Jericho

Trad. American arr. Chilcott – Buffalo Gals

Trad. American arr. Gerlitz – All Night, All Day

Trad. Welsh arr. Chilcott – Ar Hyd y Nos

Trad. Gaelic arr. Cooper – Orra Bhonna Bhonnagan

Trad. Scottish arr. Forbes – Auld Lang Syne

Trad. English arr. Chilcott – The Lily & the Rose

Trad. N. American arr. McCurry – Parting Friends

Trad. American Spiritual arr. Chilcott – Ev’ry Time I Feel the Spirit

Trad. American – One More Time (Encore)

Oh Shenandoah, I long to hear you!
Oh Shenandoah, I long to hear you!



Fitzwilliam Museum Promenade Concert

We received an enthusiastic response to our concert at the Fitzwilliam Museum in February 2014:

“Last Sunday’s Vox Cantab Promenade Concert at the Fitzwilliam was a triumph! It was so much enjoyed by every member of the audience. There seemed to be something for everybody […]

Your theme and choice of music was beautifully balanced and varied. It takes so much skill to create a good programmme, and once again you have done it. And best of all, the whole choir looked as if they were enjoying singing all those wonderful songs and great arrangements.”

Penelope Robson
Proms Organiser

December 2013 | Carol Service

Carol Service, St Clement’s Church, Cambridge

Director Colin Danskin; Organ Hugh Johns


We were pleased to be able to contribute to the first carol service at St Clement’s Church in over thirty years.