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About the BCF

Foundation

The Brentwood Choirs Festival was founded in 1991 as The Five Choirs Festival, on the initiative of David Taylor and Joyce Norris of Billericay Choral Society. As their conductor, David had collaborated at various times with Brentwood Cathedral Singers, Brentwood Choral Society, Ingatestone Choral Society and with the Brentwood School Choir. Joyce Norris took on the organisation of a Festival involving all these singers and continued to cast her organisational spell over it for the next ten years.

The Festival was planned to take place biennially in November, to be conducted in turn by the conductors of the individual choirs. From the beginning it was possible to take advantage of the rebuilding of Brentwood Cathedral , finished by May 1991, and of its splendid new organ. Because the Five Choirs title was found to be somewhat limiting, it was changed in 2005 to the Brentwood Choirs Festival with the same aims and ambitions. The following paragraphs give the history of the Festival, showing that it has taken a central place in choral music making in Brentwood and in the surrounding area.

Mr. David Taylor has continued his association with the Festival: He was its Chairman until 2012 and is now its president. Mr. David Worsfold took over as Chairman in 2012.


Participating Choirs

The following list gives the names of choirs which have taken part in the Brentwood Choirs Festival since 1991 or have sung with us sometime in the period from 1991.

Society

Years Participating

Society's Conductors Over These Years

Billericay Choral Society

1991 - 2013, 2015, 2016

David Taylor, Benjamin Rous, Ian Walker, David Todd

Brentwood Choral Society

1991 - 2018

Edgar Brice, Bruce Pennick, Alex Chaplin, Geoff Davidson, Nicholas Sherwood, Mich Sampson

Brentwood Cathedral Singers

1991 - 2011, 2015, 2016, 2018

Andrew Wright

Ingatestone Choral Society

1991 - 2018

Bruce Pennick

Brentwood School Choir

1991 - 1993,
2005 - 2011

David Pickthall

Maldon Choral Society

1995 - 1999

Brian Brown, Andrew MacFarlane

St Cecilia Choral Society

2003

David Taylor

Bravissima

2010 - 2014, 2016, 2018

Julia Wilson-James

Members of Hutton and Shenfield Choral Society

2013 - 2014

Tim Hooper

We were pleased to welcome choirs from local Primary Schools in 2007 and from Brentwood Preparatory School and the Brentwood Cathedral Girls Choir in 2009 and 2011.

Works Performed

The works performed in the years 1991 to 2018 are listed in the following table together with the conductor for the event. In some cases two or three conductors have shared the performance. The works have usually been chosen to enable individual choirs to sing works which they might find impossible by themselves.

Year

Work(s)

Conductor(s)

1991:

Elgar - the Dream of Gerontius.

Andrew Wright

1993

Rachmaninov - Vespers

Bruce Pennick

1995

Handel - Dixit Dominus. Duruflé- Requiem

Andrew Wright

1997

Verdi - Requiem

David Taylor

1999

Mendelssohn - Elijah

Nicholas Sherwood

2001

Stravinsky - Symphony of Psalms
Puccini - Messa di Gloria

Andrew MacFarlane

2003

Bach - Motets
Rachmaninov - Vespers

Bruce Pennick

2005

Vaughan Williams - Serenade and Five Mystical Songs
Walton - Belshazzar's Feast

Benjamin Rous
David Pickthall

2007

Orff - Carmina Burana
Opera Choruses and Folk Songs
The Old Red Wall (a work written by David Pickthall)

David Taylor
Ian Walker
David Pickthall

2009

Rutter - Magnificat and Mass of the Children

Nicholas Sherwood

2010

Haydn - Creation

Andrew Wright

2013

Verdi - Requiem

David Taylor

2014

An All-Elgar concert with a theme of Elgar and World War I. Hosted by the BCF for the Brentwood Arts Festival:
Spirit of England, Cello Concerto in E Minor, Carillon and Le Drapeau Belge, Sospiri and Polonia.

David Pickthall
Andrew Wright

2015

Mozart - Coronation Mass. Mozart - Flute and Harp Concerto. Howard Goodall -Eternal Light:a Requiem. Howard Goodall - Theme Music to the 'Vicar of Dibley' TV Series.

David Pickthall

2016

Elgar - Dream of Gerontius

David Hill

2018

Rossini 'Petite messe solennelle'
Haydn Motet 'Insanae et vanae curae'
Various solo works

Jonathan Schranz



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