Charity at Home and Abroad at St Albans Bach Choir’s Christmas Concerts

Wed, 4 December 2013

For many, the St Albans Bach Choir’s Christmas concerts at St Albans Cathedral mark the start of Christmas. At this year’s events on Saturday, 14 December, as well as having the opportunity to enjoy festive music, you will be able to support two charities: one local to St Albans and one based in Africa.

The 3.00 pm concert is aimed particularly at young children, with pre-concert face-painting and storytelling (from 2.15 pm), favourite children's carols and a guest appearance from St Columba's Prep School Bell Choir. This concert supports Hands at Work in Africa, working in vulnerable communities across eight countries in sub-Saharan Africa where HIV/AIDS, poverty and numbers of orphans are highest and support structures are very low. The charity supports community leaders in developing a locally-owned organization working to increase the community’s capacity to provide effective care for all, regardless of race, class or religion.

The evening programme, at 7.00 pm, includes well loved carols and seasonal choral classics, interspersed with readings and a guest appearance from the Columban Ringers. The charity supported is The Living Room, which provides structured group therapy for people who are in danger of becoming addicted, or who already have an addiction; it also supports their family and friends. The charity is now looking for bigger premises in St Albans, in order to serve more clients.

St Albans Bach Choir will be fresh from a high-profile appearance at the Royal Albert Hall on 12 December, where they will be taking part in celebrated composer John Rutter’s Christmas Celebration along with choristers from St Albans Cathedral, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and Cathedral Assistant Master of the Music, organist Tom Winpenny.

On 14 December, former Cathedral Assistant Master of the Music Andrew Parnell makes a welcome return to play the organ, Organ Scholar Michael Papadopoulos plays the piano and Cathedral Master of the Music Andrew Lucas conducts.

Both concerts offer the chance to enjoy beautiful music in the spectacular setting of St Albans Cathedral while helping good causes. What better way to start Christmas?

Tickets are available at the door only from 2.15pm and 6.15pm. 3.00 pm: adults £5, children £1 (if seat needed). 7.00 pm: adults £10, disabled/students £5. All seats are unreserved.

  • St Albans Bach Choir gave its inaugural concert in March 1924 with a performance of Bach's St Matthew Passion which, along with Bach's other major choral works, the choir still regularly performs.
  • The choir presents a wide variety of music in its concert programmes, whilst continuing to perform the major works in the choral repertoire.
  • The choir engages orchestras and soloists of the highest calibre, but also has a tradition of engaging young singers, many of whom have since developed international careers.
  • The choir is privileged to perform in the Cathedral and Abbey Church of St Alban, as it has since its inception. In keeping with tradition, Andrew Lucas, the Cathedral's Master of the Music, is the choir's Music Director. Michael Papadopoulos, Organ Scholar at the Cathedral, is the choir's accompanist.
  • St Albans Bach Choir is a member of Making Music, the National Federation of Music Societies.
  • Choir website:
  • Reviews of recent concerts

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