Christmas music is just around the corner…

It’s been a few years since we did a full-length Christmas concert in London, and we’re excited to offer our audience the chance to hear us in the heart of the City, with music ranging from Mendelssohn to Part, with well-loved English Christmas anthems mingling with works from Sweden, Estonia and Ukraine (some of which may be more familiar than you think!). Heartwarming readings for the season and the gleam of candles in the church will complete the atmosphere.

Click here to find out more details, and to book your tickets.

A London premiere

Our concert “Song Shards: From Darkness to the Light” presented works ranging from the late Romantic yearning of Verdi and Elgar to the 20th-century mysteries of John Tavener and Arvo Pärt.

Gabriella Swallow joined us for the London premiere of Colin Riley’s song cycle Roads Shining Like River Up Hill After Rain for solo cello, choir and vocal quartetRiley’s settings of fragments of poetry by Edward Thomas, arranged by writer Robert Macfarlane into a sequence tracing a journey from the expansiveness of the South Downs to the ghostly no-man’s-land of the first world war where Thomas met his death, formed the centrepiece of our concert.  For a recording of the performance, click here.

Here’s a selection of the comments about the concert from our audience:

An innovative and adventurous programme beautifully performed.

Pegasus creates a sound all of its own. Heavenly.  Thank you!

Really exquisite – loved the Edward Thomas/Colin Riley.

An absolute delight! A beautifully compiled programme, excellent performances and an enchanting premiere! This concert was a treat!

Having come from Westminster Abbey for Battle of Britain Remembrance, this performance finished a day of sorrow and joy. Thank you very much.

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Colin Riley talks to Pegasus about his new work

Matthew Altham rehearses Pegasus and cellist Gabriella Swallow

A (rainy) day in the country…

Sixteen members of Pegasus, directed by associate musical director Jessica Norton, performed on July 22 at Goddards, a house designed by Edwin Lutyens in 1900 and now owned by the Lutyens Trust and leased to the  Landmark Trust. The Landmark Trust’s Open Day saw several hundred visitors wander round the large house and its exquisite garden in the village of Abinger Common in Surrey.

We performed four fifteen-minute sets of music for the visitors, including folksong arrangements by Vaughan Williams (who lived nearby), Robert Pearsall’s “Lay a Garland”, which drew appreciative comments from the audience, and, on the lighter side, Cole Porter’s “Let’s Fall in Love” and Gershwin’s “Summertime”.  The last piece was on the programme in spite of – rather than because of – the weather, since it rained steadily all afternoon and we only manged to sing part of one set out of doors between showers, retreating to the library and common room for the rest of our performances.

When not singing, we made ourselves at home, sampling books from the library, playing skittles in the skittle alley (they knew how to design houses back in the day), and feasting on a picnic – albeit an indoor one. The Abinger Hatch pub made an excellent retreat to quench our thirst at the end of the afternoon.

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Jessica Norton is Pegasus’s new Associate Musical Director

PegaJessica Norton smallsus are delighted to welcome Jessica Norton as our first-ever Associate Musical Director, chosen from a strong field of outstanding candidates. During this year-long appointment she will assist our Musical Director, Matthew Altham, with rehearsals, programming and planning, and we hope that our audiences will have the opportunity to see her leading the choir soon.

Jessica studied music at the University of Surrey and holds a master’s degree in choral conducting from the University of Birmingham, where she studied with Simon Halsey. She is musical director of the London Concord Singers and the East London Chorus, and concert manager for Bach to Baby, a classical music concert series for babies and toddlers. Jessica has a diploma in singing performance and has sung with the City of Birmingham Symphony Chorus and the London Symphony Chorus, for both of which she has also served as assistant chorus master. Jessica is also active as a composer and arranger and has received commissions in the UK, the USA and Germany.

Pegasus seeks Associate Music Director

Pegasus invites ambitious choral conductors to apply for the role of Associate Musical Director for a 12-month placement commencing in April 2017.

This paid position will provide an opportunity to gain experience working with a prestigious and active chamber choir, and rehearsing a wide range of challenging music to a high standard. The intention is that this will act as a springboard to the candidate’s career as a successful choral conductor.

For full details please download the job description.

Pegasus jumps into 2017

We wish all our followers and supporters a very happy new year!  We’re looking forward to a rich range of concerts in 2017, beginning on January 29 with Elizabethan sacred music and English Romantic partsongs in the evocative surroundings of the Great Chamber of the Charterhouse in London – a free concert celebrating the opening of that ancient institution’s new museum. Space is limited, so visit our events page to reserve your ticket. Next up will be Miserere, a late-night programme of Renaissance and Baroque sacred music on the theme of mercy, on March 24 at St Martin in the Fields. We’ll be changing gears in May and joining forces with two other choirs for Mahler’s massive and uplifting “Resurrection” symphony, marking our debut at Barbican Hall. And later in the year we have a trip to Leicester Cathedral, and the Christmas Oratorio for Tilford Bach Society. More details of those closer to the time, but before then we hope to see you at the Charterhouse and St Martin in the Fields!

Christmas with Pegasus

Following the success of Pegasus’ recent outing to Grayshott for Mozart’s glorious Mass in C Minor for the Grayshott Concerts series Christmas begins in earnest for the choir.

On Saturday, Pegasus meet for an extravaganza of a rehearsal in the run up to what promises to be a busy time for the choir. As well as two London based concerts at Trinity Hospice, Clapham and Charterhouse, Pegasus travels to Claygate for a concert in aid of the Princes Alice Hospice.  Our programme features music by Peter Warlock, Gustav Holst and C.H.H. Parry, as well as carols for all to sing. Frank Renton, presenter of BBC Radio 2’s “Listen to the Band”, will be the compere, and Michael Aspel is the guest reader. Tickets can be purchased via the events page of our website –  http://pegasuschoir.org.uk/event/a-candlelight-christmas-4/

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Pegasus goes to the ballet

Pegasus took to the world-renowned stage of the Royal Albert Hall at the beginning of October for a marathon five performances supporting the superb Carlos Acosta. In this, his “Classical Farewell”, Carlos produced a tour de force of ballet repertoire including both historical and contemporary choreography. The choir were privileged to have once again been invited to support the Cuban ballet prodigy in what turned out to be an extremely emotional set of concerts, setting us up for a busy autumn and Christmas period.

From the first night to the last, our band of 40 singers accompanied a moving rendition of Poulenc’s Gloria followed by a hauntingly atmospheric Offertoire from Fauré’s Requiem. With the choir described as a “superb and magical bonus” in the London Dance Review and “sublime” by the British Theatre Guide, we’re sure this performance will live long in the memories of all involved.

The audience awaits the start of the performance

The audience awaits the start of the performance

Backstage with Carlos

Backstage with Carlos

Ready to sing!

Ready to sing!

Up next, we travel to St Luke’s Church, Grayshott, Surrey on November 19 for Mozart’s Mass in C Minor, joining the superb London Handel Orchestra for the fourth time this year, under the direction of maestro Adrian Butterfield. This performance part of the prestigious Grayshott Concert series.

With Christmas just around the corner, we will continue with an action-packed and mince pie filled December. On December 8 we head to Holy Trinity Church, Clapham Common for a carol service in support of Royal Trinity Hospice. This is closely followed by performances on December 10 in Claygate, Surrey and December 13 at the Charterhouse in London. Visit our Events page to find out more about our concerts during the rest of our 21st anniversary year and to book tickets.

A packed autumn schedule

As rehearsals begin in earnest for the choir, Pegasus are thrilled to have been joined by a number of new members, increasing the size of the choir for these performances to around 40 singers. This promises to be a fantastic festival of music and dance; with tickets selling fast ensure you don’t miss out.

Pegasus in a previous performance with Carlos Acosta, at London's Coliseum.

Pegasus in a previous performance with Carlos Acosta, at London’s Coliseum.

Looking into November and beyond, the choir will travel to Grayshott in Surrey on November 19 for Mozart’s Mass in C Minor, once again with the superb London Handel Orchestra. With Christmas around the corner, we will continue with an action-packed December and concerts at Charterhouse, Clapham and Claygate.

Visit our Events page to find out more about our concerts during the rest of our 21st anniversary year and to book tickets.

 

Sumer is icumen in!

Our performance of the B Minor Mass for the Tilford Bach Festival in June, repeated the following evening at St John’s Smith Square in London, was one of the highlights so far of our anniversary year. The fantastic playing of the London Handel Orchestra, and the marvellous vocal soloists, inspired us all, and buoyed us along for the especially fleet, dancelike tempi of our conductor, Adrian Butterfield! We were particularly thrilled that a good number of Pegasus alumni responded to our invitation to join us to sing in the London performance.

Our concert in honour of Shakespeare at the beginning of July gave us the opportunity to treat our ever-welcoming audience in Winchelsea with pieces not just by the usual suspects – Vaughan Williams and Quilter – but also by farther-flung composers such as Frank Martin and Jaakko Mäntyjärvi. Readings by members of the local community, and an evocatively decorated church, created a beguiling atmosphere.

After a summer break, we resume in September, giving the opening concert of the Brandenburg Choral Festival of London Autumn Series, at St Martin in the Fields in London. In October we have no fewer than five appearances at the Royal Albert Hall – our debut in that (very big!) space – at the invitation of ballet star Carlos Acosta, who has invited us to participate in a fifth collaboration with him as he gives his farewell performances.

November will take us to Grayshott in Surrey for Mozart’s Mass in C Minor, once again with the London Handel Orchestra. And then it will be time to get ready for Christmas concerts at Bankside, Charterhouse, Clapham and Claygate!

Visit our Events page to find out more about our concerts during the rest of our 21st anniversary year.