I am delighted to be able to share my enthusiasm for the Coventry Philharmonic Choir with you. The choir was founded in 1943 – a particularly dark time for the city of Coventry, and a time when hope for the future must have been at a premium. Our founding members probably did not imagine that they were starting a Society that would last well into the new millennium. No doubt they focussed on their first concert, and then on the concert after that. But in doing so they founded a tradition of striving for excellence in choral singing, coupled with open access to the Choir for anyone who would enjoy what we do, that succeeding generations have maintained right up to the present day.
Along the way we have achieved a number of choral “firsts”; for example, the first performance outside London of Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana, at a time when it was an experimental (not to say a distrusted) work and an early performance of A Child of Our Time under the direction of its composer Michael Tippett. We still try to seek out less familiar works, alongside the major set-pieces of the choral repertoire, and recent concerts have featured Haydn’s St Cecelia Mass and Handel’s The Ode for the Birthday of Queen Anne which are not often performed.
The 2015/16 season will be our seventy-second, and we have planned a full and varied concert programme culminating in Vivaldi's Gloria in May 2016. Along the way we have a Christmas concert to look forward to and will also be joining musicians from Oriflamme to perform a Schubert Mass in January.
We all of us greatly enjoy the challenge of learning new works and performing them to a high standard. Most of all, however, we sing to make a contribution to the musical life of Coventry and Warwickshire and to enjoy the experience of making music together. It would be our pleasure to welcome you to the choir should you choose to join us.John Atkins