Reading Festival Chorus is an amateur mixed choir first established in 1945 with a current membership of 75 singers. Our patron is John Lill CBE. We perform three to four concerts a year of sacred and secular music ranging from early to contemporary music in varied venues in and around Reading. We perform with both professional and amateur soloists and orchestras.
The aim of Reading Festival Chorus is to give the people of Reading and its surrounding communities the opportunity to learn, perform and hear varied choral music of the highest standard.
Our rehearsals, on Monday evenings, involve fun, challenge, humour and passion and we aim for a high standard of singing and performance. In addition to our formal concerts we are involved in a variety of other musical events. We have regular exchanges with our twin choir Johanneskantorei in Düsseldorf and sing carols at various venues over the Christmas period where we raise monies for charities. In 2011, we provided a supporting choir for the famous quartet Blake at the Hexagon in Reading.
We provide a choir for weddings and memorial services. If you require a choir for such an occasion, please contact Bill Ellison (see Contact Us).
We also have open evenings throughout the year and singing workshops working on our technique and musicality. We have a lively and varied social life including regular post-rehearsal pub visits, quizzes, dinners and fundraising events such as marshalling at the Reading Half Marathon and singing carols.
We warmly welcome enthusiastic singers who are reasonably proficient at reading music and are able to commit to regular attendance at rehearsals and concerts. For further information, see the Joining Us page.
Edward-Rhys Harry - Music Director
We are very fortunate in having Edward-Rhys Harry as our conductor and music director. He is from the Gower peninsula and brings a wealth of qualifications including choral conducting, voice, composition, teaching, music technology and sound recording.
He has worked with many talented musicians including Simon Halsey, Adrian Partington, Neil Ferris, Francis Pott and Laurence Roman and his versatility enables him to work in many musical genres.
He brings not only his repertoire of skills and experience to our rehearsals but fun, challenge and passion and strives to help us reach a high quality of singing and performance.
Amongst his many activities he conducts the London Welsh Male Voice Choir, the London Welsh Chorale, the Bro Ogwyr and the Harry Ensemble. Recently he has worked in Germany, Russia, South Africa and the United States.
He is in demand as a workshop leader and choral clinician and currently still finds time to fit in his studies for his PhD in Choral Training Techniques.
For further information please visit www.edwardrhysharry.com or www.harryensemble.com.
Judith Creighton - Accompanist
Judith started learning the piano at the age of six and studied Music and German at Southampton University, where she specialised in piano accompaniment. Since graduating she has accompanied many different choirs and theatre groups in and around Reading for rehearsals and performances.
She is currently the regular accompanist for the Twyford Singers and Tamesis Chamber Choir, as well as accompanying solo singers and instrumentalists for exams and recitals.
Judith also teaches piano, at Crosfields School and the Earley Music Centre in Reading, and Shiplake College near Henley, and plays the piano for services at Shinfield Baptist Church.
Judith is married to Phil, the editor and publisher of The Wokingham Paper, and their two children are learning the piano, violin, guitar and recorder between them! Perhaps future accompanists of Reading Festival Chorus...?
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