About Us
The Northampton Bach Choir
 
   
The Northampton Bach Choir is one of the foremost choruses in the region, and the largest choir in the county, numbering some 130 singers.

It owes its formation to Denys Pouncey, a former organist of St Matthew’s Church, giving its first concert there on Palm Sunday 1935. During its time it has nurtured a series of young, enthusiastic, not to say visionary, musical directors, many of whom have gone on to forge careers of national and international significance.

St Matthew’s Church, with its great history of sponsoring music and the arts, continues to be the choir’s home, but for many years it has given one concert a year at the Derngate concert hall, often with one of the major visiting orchestras. The choir has performed with the Hague Philharmonic under Ivan Fischer, the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra under Edward Warren, the Czech Philharmonic under Ivan Fischer, and the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Andrew Litton. In recent years it has formed a regular partnership with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra singing with Tolga Kashif and Owain Arwel Hughes, amongst others.

In addition to regular tours to its twin towns of Poitiers in France, and Marburg in Germany, in the last few years it has sung at the Papal Basilica di San Pietro in Rome, the Cathédrale Notre-Dame in Paris, and in 2017 it sang in the Basilica di San Marco in Venice. Closer to home it regularly sings Choral Evensong in notable Cathedrals, recently in St George’s Chapel, Windsor, St Paul’s Cathedral, and Worcester Cathedral, and in the next year at Worcester Cathedral Westminster Abbey and Winchester Cathedral.

The choir has performed a wide range of music from the choral repertoire, ranging from the sacred music of J S Bach to Stravinsky and George Gershwin. It sang Howells Hymnus Paradisi in the presence of the composer, Berlioz Te Deum in London’s Royal Albert Hall, Tolga Kashif The Queen Symphony under the baton of the composer, and over the last few years has performed Bach Magnificat and Mass in B minor, Britten A Ceremony of Carols, Duruflé Requiem, Fauré Requiem, Haydn Nelson Mass, Monteverdi Vespers, Mozart ‘Great’ Mass in C minor, Parry Songs of Farewell, Poulenc Gloria, Rossini Petite Messe Solennelle, and Verdi Requiem.

To mark the choir's 75th anniversary in 2010 the choir released a recording - Congaudeat! - featuring twenty-one carols, all with a Northamptonshire connection, including eight carols written especially for the choir. Carols by Former Musical Directors Stephen Cleobury (King's College, Cambridge), Simon Johnson (St Paul's Cathedral, London) and Andrew Reid (Peterborough Cathedral) were commissioned, alongside works by the current Musical Director, Lee Dunleavy. This was followed by a further recording of choral classics – I was glad! - which was released in 2012, another recording of Christmas carols – Be Merry! – was launched in November 2014, and a disc of Fauré’s choral music, including the Requiem - Requiem Reflections - released in 2017.