CONCERT BY CANTAMUS – Friday, 13th April 2018

“JOY” is a concert with readings, to be presented by Richard Emms’ Chamber Choir, CANTAMUS, together with Three’s Company on:

Friday 7.30pm.  13th April 2018, at Great Wolford Church

Tickets cost £10, including canapés, and donations are invited for drinks.

Please contact 01608 684275 for tickets.


RECITAL BY DARREN JEFFERY – Sunday 30th September 2018

Darren Jeffery (bass baritone, and Stour Singers’ 2017/18 Honorary Fellow), accompanied by pianist Anthony Seddon, will be giving a recital on:

Sunday 30th September 2018, at 3 p.m. in the Townsend Hall, Shipston-on-Stour

Tickets cost £12.50, and include copious tea or coffee and home-made cakes!

Darren, international opera and oratorio soloist, whose roles vary from Wagner to Britten, will be singing classical and opera highlights, together with English Song and pieces from the musicals.

Expect musical treats for all!



Several members of the choir went to Birmingham Symphony Hall recently to sing Brahms’ German Requiem.  Here is a write-up of the event from George Jackson:

Well, it was a truly enjoyable day – well organised at the CBSO end and ours! Transport arrangements worked to perfection for the 11 singers (plus one guest) who, under the leadership of Jane Riley, joined a choir of some 800 -850 in Symphony Hall to sing Brahms’ German Requiem –in full and in German. Sing it we did – three times! First, starting at 1.30 pm with piano accompaniment and pronunciation guidance; second, with the orchestra and two splendid soloists, James Claverton, bass, and Nika Govic, soprano. Third time was the concert itself, ending promptly at 8.15 pm. We were provided with scores already marked up with rehearsal notes. In between we had a short and long break to eat, meet, chat and catch our breath!

This year a number of the CBSO Chorus were seeded amongst us both to help keep us together and to give Simon Halsey easier control. It worked well and Simon Halsey took us through with style, immense competence and great humour. It was a thrill for us all to sing in the world class Symphony Hall, with a world class orchestra like the CBSO and to feel part of a fellowship of singers from all over the country.

The rehearsal pace was fast but insightful and I cannot be alone in coming away with an improved understanding of the music and a feeling that I have grown a little more as a choir member. At one point during the performance I realised that and gave a silent thanks to our own Richard Emms, without whose knowledge, skill, and dedication to our choir, I would not have been able to participate as fully.

The Singalong was real value for money. It was my second but not I hope my last!

Any tips? As always, enjoyment is increased by a little preparation before hand!



Stour Singers are delighted that Darren Jeffery – who excelled in the title role in Handel’s Saul for us in May this year – has accepted our invitation to be the 2017/18 Honorary Fellow.  Darren’s expressive bass baritone voice is very versatile, and he is completely at home on both the operatic stage and the concert platform.  Starting his musical training at the Royal Northern College of Music, Darren was one of the very first singers to join the Royal Opera Young Artists Programme (even singing there with Luciano Pavarotti!).

Darren has built an extensive career, singing a diversity of roles from Handel to Wagner, from Britten to Stravinsky, in some of the great opera houses of the world from our own Royal Opera House and English National Opera to Moscow’s Bolshoi Theatre.  He has also sung at Glyndebourne, Garsington, and the Proms.  Based with his family in Cornwall, he can often be seen restoring Land Rovers and tinkering with tractors as well as encouraging young local singers!

Darren’s programme from now until summer next year includes a premiere at English National Opera, oratorio in Bude, Dartington, and Liverpool, singing ‘Monterone’ in Verdi’s Rigoletto at Covent Garden, Britten in Moscow, and an extensive tour of the Netherlands in the title role of Wagner’s Flying Dutchman.  Closer to us, Darren is singing at Longborough Festival Opera in July next year as the ‘Music Teacher’ in Strauss’s Ariadne auf Naxos.  What a full programme!

When invited to be our Honorary Fellow, Darren said he would love to accept, and was thrilled to be asked.  The thrill is ours!