Bob Chilcott

Come and Sing with Bob Chilcott

Saturday 27 April 2019, 10.30am - 4.30pm

Amey Theatre, Abingdon School, Park Road, Abingdon, Oxfordshire, OX14 1DE


We are delighted to welcome the former King's Singer and internationnaly renowned composer and choir master Bob Chilcott to the Amey Theatre, Abingdon on Saturday 27 April 2019, where he will give one of his ever-popular Come and Sing workshops.Whether you are an experienced choral singer or are just starting out, this is a great opportunity to work with, and learn from, a master in his field. Under his entertaining and encouraging tuition you will work through a number of Bob's works, learning a wide variety of techniques to help you improve your choral singing technique, how to quickly get to grips with new pieces and to increase your enjoyment of choral singing.

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About Bob

Bob Chilcott

As a composer, conductor, and singer, Bob Chilcott has enjoyed a lifelong association with choral music, first as a chorister and choral scholar in the choir of King’s College, Cambridge, and for 12 years as a member of the King’s Singers. He became a full-time composer in 1997, embracing his career with energy and commitment, and producing a large catalogue of music for all types of choirs which is published by Oxford University Press.

He has written substantial sacred works including the St John Passion for Wells Cathedral Choir and the Salisbury Vespers. A Little Jazz Mass and the Requiem are amongst a number of works which continue to be performed worldwide. Other works include The Angry Planet, composed for the 2012 BBC Proms, and The Voyage for Age UK Oxfordshire, which in 2017 was nominated for a Royal Philharmonic Society Award. He has written many pieces for children, including his much-loved song, Can you hear me?, and a significant amount of music for the church. In 2013 he wrote The King shall rejoice for the service in Westminster Abbey to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the coronation of Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II.

Bob has conducted choirs in more than 30 countries worldwide and has worked with many thousands of amateur singers across the UK in a continuing series of Singing Days. For seven years he was conductor of the Chorus of The Royal College of Music in London and since 2002 he has been Principal Guest Conductor of the BBC Singers.

His music has been widely recorded by leading British choirs and groups including King’s College, Cambridge, Wells Cathedral, Westminster Abbey, The King’s Singers, The Sixteen, Tenebrae, The BBC Singers, The Bach Choir, Commotio, and Ora. In 2016 Bob enjoyed a collaboration with the celebrated singer Katie Melua and the Gori Women’s Choir on the album In Winter, which reached the top 10 in the album charts in the UK and Germany. His first Christmas disc, The Rose in the Middle of Winter, was recorded by Commotio and released on the Naxos label. A third Christmas disc will be released in 2017, recorded by Washington, DC-based choir, Choralis, on Signum. Also in 2017 Commotio releases All Good Things, which includes the Nidaros Jazz Mass and Jazz Songs of Innocence.

In 2017 Bob was awarded an Honorary Fellowship of The Royal School of Church Music.

You can find out more about Bob by visiting his website.

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Workshop Repertoire

Workshop participants will work on the following pieces with Bob:

Aesop's Fables

This engaging choral work sets five of Aesop's famous fables. Bob's masterful musical setting brings each story to life, from the groaning mountain to the dozing tortoise at the end of the race, resulting in a characterful portrayal of these moral tales that is sure to appeal to audiences of all ages. This is a wonderful addition to the choral repertory and an ideal concert work for all mixed-voice choirs.

Bob's choral setting covers five Aesop's Fables - The Hare and the Tortoise, The Mountain in Labour, The Fox and the Grapes, The North Wind and the Sun and The Goose and the Swan.

Thou knowest, Lord

With a restrained tempo and expressive harmonies, this tender anthem sets an extract from the Book of Common Prayer that implores God to listen to our prayers. Originally published as the sixth movement in Bob's Requiem, Thou knowest, Lord contains a new organ accompaniment specially prepared for this leaflet edition. Choirs can alternatively perform this anthem with a small ensemble or orchestral accompaniment.

Because it was you

Bob was commissioned to compose this piece for the 80th birthday of Mr Keichii Asai, the founder and director of the Kyoto Echo Choir, and past president of the Japan Choral Association. Premiered on 24 October 2018 by the Kyoto Echo Choir conducted by Mr Asai. This brand new text is by Delphine Chalmers, a former student of The Abbey School, Reading, now studying at the University of Oxford.

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Book a Place

Places on the workshop cost £20 per head. No concessionary prices available, but we are able to offer one free ticket for every ten tickets purchased at the same time.

Places on the workshop can be booked from the Amey Theatre box office in person, by telephone on 01235 849063 or through their website.

After booking, you will be sent a form via email regarding your singing voice type (soprano, alto etc). Please provide this information as accurately as possible as it will help Bob to tailor the workshop to suit the participants attending.

Places on the workshop are suitable for anyone aged 14 or older.

Book tickets for Come and Sing with Bob Chilcott workshop
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Venue & Getting Here

The Amey Theatre is situated within the grounds of Abingdon School. It is easily accessible by car and public transport.

Arriving by Car

The post code for Abingdon School is OX14 1DE.

There is ample free parking in the school's main carpark (on the right driving down Park Road, opposite the school's entrance) or within the school's grounds, accessible from Park Road. Please do not park directly on Park Road or Park Crescent as these are private roads and wheel clamping units are in operation.

Further parking is available in Abingdon's car parks, a short walk from the Amey Theatre. For directions and parking charges, please visit the Vale of White Horse District Council website.

Arriving by Bus

Abingdon is well served by local bus companies, with bus stops in Abingdon on Stratton Way (two minutes' walk to the Theatre) and the High Street (five minutes' walk).

Four bus companies serve Abingdon; please visit their websites or call them on the numbers below for information on their services to Abingdon.

  • Oxford Bus Company: Website or 01865 785400
  • Stagecoach Oxfordshire: Website or 01865 772250
  • Heyfordian Travel: Website or 01869 241500
  • Thames Travel: Website or 01491 837988

Arriving by Train

The nearest large train stations to the Amey Theatre are Didcot Parkway, Oxford and Oxford Parkway. For train times please visit the National Rail Enquiries website. Each train station is well served by buses from the bus companies listed above.

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Drinks (bottled water, tea and coffee) and biscuits will be provided for all workshop participants.

Lunches will not be provided, and workshop participants will need to either bring their own packed lunches or go to one of Abingdon's many cafes and coffee shops (Abingdon town centre is a five minute walk from the Amey Theatre).

We ask that workshop participants bringing packed lunches refrain from bringing nuts (including nut-based products) in case other workshop participants have nut allergies.

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We will post additional information about the workshop here; if you have any further questions please use the Contact form below, and we will get back to you as quickly as possible as well as posting the information here to help other workshop participants.

  • I'm keen to take part, but have never done anything like this before; is this ok? Absolutely. It doesn't matter if you've never done any choral singing before. All that's required is that you are enthusiastic, and keen to learn and take part.
  • Will music be provided? Yes, we will be hiring music for use on the day, although participants will need to return this at the conclusion of the workshop. Music and other merchandise may be made available for sale to workshop participants.
  • Do I need to be able to read music to participate? The ability to read music would be a definite advantage, although is by no means essential.
  • How long will the workshop last? The workshop will last approximately six hours, including breaks, and will start promptly at 10.30am. The theatre will open at 9.30am for registration.
  • I'm thirteen but really keen to take part in the workshop. Is the "fourteen and older" age range mentioned above set in stone? No, there is some leeway on this; enthusiastic singers who are secondary school aged are welcome, although the workshop would be unsuitable for younger participants.
  • I've booked a place on the workshop but have not received the form you mentioned above relating to my voice type. What should I do? Please fill in the form below, telling us the voice types of everyone you booked places for. If you contact us below and the form then arrive, please don't respond to the email form as this would give us an inaccurate idea of the voice types to expect.
  • I've booked a place but unfortunately cannot make it anymore. Can I get a refund? Under normal circumstances unfortunately refunds cannot be given unless your place can be resold.
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If you have any questions about this workshop, please fill out the following form and we will get back to you as quickly as possible. If appropriate we will put the answer to your question in the FAQs section, above.

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