The moments that made our 2021

The moments that made our 2021

The Bach Choir started 2021 singing in living rooms, kitchens and spare rooms. We ended 2021 singing in the Royal Albert Hall, St Paul’s Cathedral and Cadogan Hall amongst others! It’s been a year unlike any other – here are the ten moments that made our 2021.

January, March, June and November 2021 – Come and Sing

Undeterred by our circumstances, we continued our Come and Sing Choral Workshops online this year and reached more of you than ever in the process. This year we had the pleasure of singing Bach, Stanford, Berlioz and Handel in our Choral Workshops, which had the added benefit of accommodating singers from all over the world. We hope that all of you who attended enjoyed yourselves and benefitted from the masterful tuition and coaching that was provided by David Hill.

28 March 2021 – The St Matthew Passion (online)

Unable to perform Bach’s St Matthew Passion at its usual venue of the Royal Festival Hall, on Sunday 28 March we joined together on Zoom to continue our annual tradition of performing the pieceat Easter. Did you know that The Bach Choir’s first performance of this work at Easter was over 120 years ago? 

Thankfully, on 10 April 2022 Bach’s St Matthew Passion will be returning to its rightful place at the Royal Festival Hall to make up for two lost years. We hope to see you there on the day – you can buy your tickets for that here if you haven’t done already. 

24 October 2021 – Returning to the stage at the Royal Festival Hall

Autumn and winter were brimming with excitement as live music finally returned to stages around the country. The Bach Choir’s first performance in over 18 months happened at the Southbank Centre’s Royal Festival Hall on October 24, and the emotional cadence that choir members and our audience alike felt on the day was heightened further by the story of choir member Peter Johnstone. In some truly unique circumstances, Peter returned to the stage to tell his own story alongside the rest of the choir as we performed the World Premiere of Richard Blackford’s Vision of a Garden. The piece was written about Peter’s struggles with and eventual triumph over COVID-19, which you can read more about in a BBC News article here. In a fitting tribute to those who cared for Peter, The Bach Choir and Philharmonia were joined by NHS Chorus-19 on stage, who are a choir of NHS staff members. They were deservedly given one of the biggest cheers of the day and they still today deserve further plaudits as they continue to keep us safe.

Photo: © Clive Barda/ArenaPAL

24 October 2021 – Two ground-breaking films and a World Premiere of The Promise

The World Premiere of Gabriel Jackson’s The Promise was also on the bill at the same concert, which is a piece based on choir member Laura Jane Foley’s striking text. It was captured and accompanied by two separate and equally impressive short films – the performance video The Promise on Black can be seen here, and the cinematic modern-day climate fairytale also entitled The Promise by We Dream Films can be found here. The Promise has since been a finalist and made the final selection in two separate film festivals since!

October – December 2021 – Bach Inspired Kickstarter

In late October, our Bach Inspired Kickstarter was launched. It concluded on Christmas Eve, and we’re hugely excited to start producing and releasing this ground-breaking album based on the St Matthew Passion chorales. Thank-you to everyone who so generously donated to this fund – every penny and pound will go into supporting our six award-winning composers by making sure that the album reaches as many ears as possible. We can’t wait to share the recordings with you in March 2022!

13 November 2021 – Festival of Remembrance

In November, we were honoured to have the opportunity to pay tribute to the Royal British Legion on their centenary year Festival of Remembrance at the Royal Albert Hall. We were joined by the Royal Marines Band Service, Alexandra Burke, Alfie Boe, Gregory Porter, Cynthia Erivo and many others on the night in a service that was broadcast on the BBC. You can still watch it back in full on iPlayer here. 

18 November 2021 – Mozart’s Requiem at St Paul’s Cathedral

While we had the privilege of performing at many iconic venues this year, performing Mozart’s Requiem to a packed house at St Paul’s Cathedral alongside John Rutter and the RPO was a particular highlight. The picture says it all!

Photo by Timothy Lutton/RPO

29 November 2021 – Vocalise! Winter Singalong

Our community engagement programme Vocalise! is now established as an outstanding example of spreading the skill and enjoyment of singing as widely as possible. Since 2010 volunteers from The Bach Choir have come together to sing with primary school children in London in workshops, rehearsals and performances. In November, children from two London schools came to Westminster Cathedral Hall to sing with The Bach Choir and to be conducted by our Musical Director David Hill. All in all it was a wonderful day which was enjoyed by the children, choir members, parents and David alike.

9 December 2021 – Christmas Celebration at the Royal Albert Hall

It was wonderful to hear carols ringing through the air and venues all over the country in December this year, and especially meaningful after the relative silence of Christmas in 2020. Our carolling took us to the Royal Albert Hall alongside John Rutter, the RPO and Nadine Benjamin MBE, before…

Photo by Andy Paradise

20 December 2021 – Carols at Cadogan

The return of Carols at Cadogan with London City Brass! Unveiling our Sir David Willcocks Carol Competition winners’ beautiful pieces was a joyful occasion, but the cherry on the cake for us was in having chance to sing with you, our audience. Thank you for supporting us throughout this year – we can’t wait to share more moments like these with you in 2022.

Photo: © CLIVE BARDA/ArenaPAL;

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