VIDEO: Renaissance Choir prepare for their latest concert - in conversation with Phil Hewitt/SussexWorld

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now
Music lovers are invited to join Emsworth’s Renaissance Choir to enjoy a concert of choral music at St Peter’s Church in Petersfield on Saturday, April 1 at 7.30pm.

Chairman Simon O’Hea said: “They will hear a selection of the best Renaissance music from Italy, Spain, the Netherlands and England that the choir has performed over the past three years over four successive concerts in Petersfield. Joining them will be fabulous Chichester-born guitarist, Zoe Barnett, who will be playing a number of works for guitar.”

Full price tickets: £15, including a full-colour programme. Children/students: £2. Tickets are available from, One Tree Books (Petersfield) and on the door. Box office: 01243 379724.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Simon added: “Imagine a greatest hits of all time concert of classical music. Beethoven’s 5th Symphony, Vivaldi’s 4 Seasons, the 1812 overture, Bach’s B minor mass… would they be your favourites? What would you leave out? The Renaissance Choir faces a similar problem with this concert. Conductor Peter Gambie was faced with an awful dilemma: which jewels to leave out of a treasure trove of stunning pieces. Five years ago, the choir embarked on a series of the best music from the Low Countries, Spain, Italy and England, all of which have used the spine-tingling acoustic of St Peter’s, Petersfield as their backdrop. Now the very best of these concerts has been put together for a performance on Saturday, April 1.

Renaissance ChoirRenaissance Choir
Renaissance Choir

“The music is grand, it’s spacious, it’s splendid. Written for the massive acoustic spaces of St Mark’s, Venice, Seville Cathedral and Westminster Abbey, much of the music challenges the choir by being in eight or even 12 parts. The programme is not entirely about music, with Renaissance painters’ use of chiaroscuro (light and shade) being featured, both in sound and pictures. The choir's sumptuously-illustrated programme features paintings by Leonardo da Vinci, Velasquez, Bruegel and many others as they seek to draw parallels between the two art forms.”

Simon added: “We're mostly acapella so that means we sing unaccompanied and that makes quite big demands on our singers but that's part of the challenge and the fun of it. We were founded in 1976. We’re 34 members based in West Sussex and south-east Hampshire and what we really love to do is sing acapella but it's also split into two, sometimes three parts per voice. Although we are called Renaissance Choir and our motto is keeping the traditional Renaissance music alive, we do also sing contemporary lesser-known music. We've tried very hard over the years to make the music that we sing accessible and also to establish links between the various forms of music, artists and writers so although we're Renaissance we will be singing all sorts of stuff, certainly at this concert. We usually do five or six (concerts a year). We generally do two at Christmas, two in Petersfield, one in Southsea and one other. This year we're actually going on tour so we're probably going to be doing about nine. We're going to Glasto. We're going to be singing in Glastonbury Abbey. It's the other Glasto! We're going to Glastonbury, Bridgwater and Wells Cathedral which is so exciting. It’s the most beautiful place to sing.”

Related topics: