Singing Days

Our Singing Days are great way to get a taste of singing with the Reading Bach Choir as well as being a thoroughly enjoyable way to spend a day. 

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A Passion for Passions

Saturday 20th January 2024

Choirs across the world will sing the famous Passions from the repertoire come March and April and this was a chance to get ahead on the most well-known choruses and chorales from Bach's timeless St Matthew and St John Passions.

The workshop traced the history of the Passion as a musical form and genre, exploring the traditions that influenced Bach and looking at the music that he inspired.

"Just a quick note to say how much I enjoyed the workshop today. It was full of good music, interesting information about Bach and other composers, adroitly organised and a  pleasure to be in the company of lovely people who are also excellent singers. Well done to the team."

"Aarrgh! Bach! Must admit a bit fearful about approaching Bach.  How wrong I was.
Such a wonderful day of music and learning with friendly, like minded people and lashings of tea.

On Saturday 14 January 2023 we held a workshop on the Levin version of the Mozart Requiem

The most common version of the Mozart Requiem is the one completed by Sussmeyer after Mozart's death.  According to Mozart expert Robert Levin, Sussmeyer did an admirable job but there remained mistakes and curious aspects.  Levin sought to correct these and developed a version that he contends is closer to what Mozart might have intended.  

We had an excellent day with Lloyd Buck expertly taking us through Levin's changes and additions and giving us a thoroughly good sing along the way.

Here is a review from one of the participants:

What better way to spend a dismal, damp Saturday in January than to sing beautiful choral music with like-minded people. When I spotted an advert on Facebook back at the end of last year about a singing day with the excellent local Reading Bach Choir, I saw that they were planning to look at a less well-known completion of Mozart’s Requiem, by Robert Levin rather than the famous Sussmayer version.

I signed up on my own so wasn’t sure if I’d know anyone and was a little apprehensive but I needn't have worried. I was welcomed at the door, a seat was found for me, and my neighbours were very friendly. 

The session was led by musicologist Lloyd Buck (see, who had done an online session for the choir during lockdown. He struck up an instant rapport with the attendees and balanced explanations about versions of the Requiem with plenty of singing. It’s a few years since I sang the piece and some of it was a bit rusty, so the day was very intense but so enjoyable. We even put on an informal concert at the end for family and friends, which gave us a great sense of achievement.

In 2019 our singing day looked at the sublime Rachmaninov Vespers.  The day was a great success.

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