History of The Phoenix Singers
The Phoenix Singers was set up by Sally Ross in 2014 in the Bicester area under the guidance of David Iles, a musician and creative teacher who continues to teach and run Warwickshire Young Voices. With David, the choir presented two carol concerts and a choral concert – Voices of Light – performing highlights from Haydn’s Creation and music by composers Gjeilo, Lauridsen and Tallis. After the 2015 Christmas concert David moved on to pastures new, having given the choir many opportunities to experience some new and exciting music.
We were then lucky enough to come under the wings of Justin Lavender – a world-renowned tenor who had latterly moved towards vocal coaching and conducting. Having moved to the area, he agreed to take over the baton from David, so in April 2016 we found ourselves lucky enough to be singing with the vocal coach for the men at King’s College, Cambridge and a Professor of Vocal Studies at The Royal College of Music!
We are made up of around 20 experienced singers from around Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire and Northamptonshire who all share a passion for singing choral chamber music in a small choir. As a select group of voices, we enjoy busy rehearsals singing a challenging mix of music – from renaissance through to contemporary pieces.
Over the past 5 years we have built up a good relationship with local audiences in the Bicester area, whilst promoting classical as well as new works in varied and interesting programmes. Our next concert performance – Handel’s Messiah – represents our fifth choral concert together since our inception and our fourth under the baton of Justin Lavender.
During the Christmas period the choir performs Carols by Candlelight concerts in local churches under the guidance of Peter McMullin. Our next Carols by Candlelight concert will be performed on Friday 11th December 2020 at Newton Purcell Church and Sunday 13th December 2020 at St. Peter’s Church, Bicester – COVID restrictions permitting.
We have a very eclectic mix of personalities within the choir, which includes a TV presenter, six teachers, four doctors, a farmer, IT specialists, a massage practitioner, a librarian, an events manager, and a computer analyst.
To accompany our choral works, we enjoy collaboration with Trinity Camerata – a locally based high quality orchestra that performs regularly in St. Edberg’s Church, Bicester.
We are also available to sing at a variety of events such as weddings, funerals, etc. Get in touch to request a booking.