TRBC Summer School Singers perform Poulenc’s Gloria with Robyn Allegra Parton and the English Symphony Orchestra beneath the Sutherland tapestry in Coventry Cathedral.

7-12 August 2018


Our 2019 Summer School had a dual musical focus: Puccini’s Messa di Gloria and Poulenc’s Gloria. Neither work was well known to the 160 singers who joined us on Warwick University’s welcoming campus, but the music of both pieces was so uplifting, and the patient teaching of Brian Kay and Chris Finch was so encouraging, that the final performance in Coventry Cathedral was a triumph.

Our soloists for the Puccini were tenor Lawrence Thackeray (standing in at short notice for an indisposed Oliver Johnston) and baritone Jake Muffett, while Robyn Allegra Parton sang the soft high soprano phrases in the Poulenc with apparently effortless ease. After working just with piano accompaniment at Warwick (albeit superbly realised by Chris Finch), the English Symphony Orchestra (led by Zoë Beyers) brought out all the wonderful colours in the scoring, and the choir responded magnificently. Brian Kay commented: ‘The performance of the Poulenc in particular amazed and delighted me – I can only hope that the singers went home with a deserved sense of achievement.’

Everyone stayed in comfortable accommodation at Warwick University and, when we weren’t rehearsing or taking part in afternoon choral technique workshops with Chris Finch, there was Shakespeare to enjoy, with a trip to Stratford-upon-Avon to see the RSC’s production of As You Like It, and a fascinating evening with Brian Kay in conversation with Richard Morrison, chief music critic of The Times.

Click here to view photos taken during the week (opens in a new tab/window).

What our singers said:

‘Such an enjoyable, uplifting and unique experience; it’s impossible to put into words how special these few days are for me.’ (Jim M.)
‘The music was sensational – and challenging(!) but, as ever, Brian worked his magic and it was a joyous concert with wonderful orchestra and soloists.’ (Val B.)
‘Loved the music, the interview, the dinner – all quite tiring but wonderful.’ (Sue R.)

Click here for details of the 2020 Summer School, featuring works by Beethoven and Morton Lauridsen

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