Winchester Consort has continued to set very high standards of performance since its very successful inaugural concert in 2012 in the Quire of Winchester Cathedral, which was centred around classical composer Patrick Hawes’ Song of Songs and included the premiere performance of his beautiful setting of Psalm 23.
The first of a series of Christmas Concerts supporting Brendoncare was given in Winchester College Chapel in 2012, conducted by the choir’s founder, Stephen Dean and included the premiere of This Endris Night, composed by Ed Welch.
June 2013 saw Edmund Saddington conducting the Consort for a concert in Holy Trinity Church, Winchester, comprising music concerned with the Visitation of Mary and the feast of Corpus Christi.
The choir performed at Hastings International Composer’s Festival in September 2013; a performance which included the premiere of a number of compositions.
The Consort supported the 2013 Hampshire Singing Competition by providing soloist singing prizes for four finalists in a performance of Handel’s Messiah in November. This very exciting performance in the Quire of Winchester Cathedral was conducted by Tom Seligman.
The Christmas concert in support of Brendoncare in 2013 was a huge success; conducted by Bob Chilcott, the choir sang his work ‘On Christmas Night’ and other contemporary carols and settings by Chilcott, Rutter and Ledger. This annual concert has since been conducted by Edmund Saddington and Timothy Parsons and is now established in the Christmas calendar.
In June 2014, the Consort performed the premiere of Julian Marshall’s settings of William Blake’s Songs of Innocence and Experience in the Chapel of St Cross, conducted by Edmund Saddington.
Romsey Abbey was the setting, in July 2014, for another performance with Patrick Hawes as part of the Romsey Festival; Patrick conducted a similar programme to the choir’s first performance and included his new work, Out of the Depths.
In November, 2014, the choir performed a programme entitled, Conflict and Peace, marking 100 years since the start of WW1 and the 75th anniversary of the start of WW2. A moving and thought-provoking programme, conducted by Edmund Saddington, included the premiere of Nobuya Monta’s choral suite, Conflict and Peace, as well as an emotional interview with Anita Lasker-Wallfisch, a survivor of Auschwitz internment.
Edmund Saddington also directed for a very moving performance in Winchester Cathedral, precisely marking the loss in 1916 of HMS Hampshire. The evening included a wreath-laying ceremony at the HMS Hampshire memorial at the Cathedral.
Performances of the Duruflé Requiem, with Malcolm Archer, and Handel’s Messiah with David Hill, both in Winchester Cathedral, were exceptionally well-received.
The choir has had several opportunities to work with David Hurley and has just performed it’s third concert (May 2019) in Winchester Cathedral’s Lunchtime Concert Series. The theme of Passion and Resurrection enabled a programme of sincere and contemplative music, contrasting with the previous lighter lunchtime programmes. Other concerts with David have included recitals in Sandham memorial Chapel, marking the 100th anniversary of the Salonika Campaign and a Remembrance concert in the Church of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Lower Froyle.
Andrew Hayman, Barry Rose and Martin Neary have directed the choir for their own choice of programme for the Brendoncare Christmas Concert in 2016, 2017 and 2018 respectively.