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Choir & Organ is the leading independent magazine for all professionals and amateurs in the choral and organ worlds – whether you are an organist, choral director or singer, organ builder, keen listener, or work in publishing or the record industry, Choir & Organ is a must-read wherever you live and work.

Every two months our expert contributors bring you beautifully illustrated features on newly built and restored organs, insights into the lives and views of leading organists, choral directors and composers, profiles of pioneering and well-established choirs, and topical coverage of new research, festivals and exhibitions. In keeping with our commitment to music at the cutting edge, we commission a new work from a young composer in every issue, making the score freely available for download and performance.

Our international news and previews, with breaking stories, key awards and forthcoming premieres, combine with reviews of the latest CDs, DVDs and sheet music, and listings of recitals, festivals and courses, to keep you up to date with events and developments around the world.

The Neoclassical Organ and the Great Aristide Cavaillé-Coll Organ of Saint-Sulpice, Paris

Latest News

Ann Burgess wins BBC Breakfast Carol Competition

23 December 2015

Ann Burgess
Ann Burgess

Ann Burgess has been announced as the winner of the Radio 3 Breakfast Carol Competition.

Listeners voted her setting of Roger McGough’s poem Comes the Light as their favourite from a shortlist of six.

The BBC Singers, directed by chief conductor David Hill, performed Burgess’s winning composition live on Radio 3’s Breakfast programme this morning. The radio station will play the carol throughout Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

Hill, who also chaired the judging panel, described Burgess’s setting as ‘fresh and new, bringing a unique new slant onto the traditional Christmas Carol.’

Burgess studied music at Edinburgh University with Kenneth Leighton. She is director of music at Christ Church, Frome; a piano teacher, accompanist and continuo player; sings alto in the Christ Church Singers chamber choir; and plays organ (she was awarded an associate diploma of the Royal College of Organists in 2002).

Radio 3 Carol Competition 2015: Ann Burgess

NHS Choir takes UK Christmas number one

23 December 2015

The Trust Choir with Gareth Malone
The Trust Choir with Gareth Malone

The Lewisham and Greenwich NHS Choir took the prestigious Christmas number one spot in the UK chart with the song A Bridge Over You.

The choir's mash-up of Simon and Garfunkel's Bridge Over Troubled Water and Coldplay's Fix You received sales and streams equivalent to 127,000 copies.

All proceeds will go to charities including Carers UK and Mind.

The choir, which features physiotherapists, porters, administrators, doctors and nurses, were runners up on Gareth Malone's BBC Two show Sing While You Work in 2012.

Members described themselves as 'absolutely overwhelmed' in a statement, adding: 'It's a brilliant celebration for the NHS across the country so well done and thank you everyone for downloading and streaming. A massive cheer for the NHS, thank you.'

The favourite for the spot was Canadian pop star Justin Bieber, who urged his fans to 'do the right thing' and help the choir to win.

Official Charts Company chief executive Martin Talbot described the choir's success as 'a fantastic result'.

He also said: 'There will be thousands of NHS staff across the country working through Christmas Day, while the rest of the nation is putting its feet up - this success is for them. There couldn't be a more deserving group of winners.'

The Trust Choir

Carols on demand

17 December 2015

The Choir of St Peter’s College, Oxford will be singing carols ‘on-demand’ throughout central London for charity.

The choir has paired up with the Handy app, allowing users to book a performance at their home or office.

Booking the choir is subject to limited availability and requires a £20 donation, with all proceeds going to homeless charity Crisis.

The choir will begin carolling in the early afternoon at St Luke’s Church, Chelsea. Its whereabouts can be traced by following the hashtag #carolsondemand on Twitter.

Click here to download the app.

Choir of St Peter's College, Oxford

Finalists of Radio 3 Breakfast Carol Competition announced

15 December 2015

Poet Roger McGough
Poet Roger McGough

The six finalists of the Radio 3 Breakfast Carol Competition have been announced.

For this year’s competition, amateur composers were asked to write a setting of Roger McGough’s Comes the Light for SATB choir.

The shortlisted entries were chosen by a panel comprising David Hill (chief conductor of the BBC Singers), Judith Weir (Master of the Queen’s Music and associate composer of the BBC Singers), Jamie W Hall (bass with the BBC Singers), Griselda Sherlaw-Johnson (Oxford University Press), and Michael Emery (lead producer, BBC Singers).

Each of the six shortlisted entries will be performed live on Radio 3’s Breakfast show by the BBC Singers, conducted by chief conductor David Hill, and repeated on In Tune and Essential Classics.

Listeners will be able to vote for their favourite composition on the Radio 3 website until 5pm on 22 December.

The winning carol will be announced and performed live on Radio 3’s Breakfast on 23 December, and then throughout Christmas Day.

The finalists are:
David Hill, who chaired the judging panel, said that he was ‘astonished’ by the quality and quantity of the entries and that he was looking forward to hearing Radio 3 listeners’ responses to the compositions.

The Radio 3 Breakfast Carol Competition launched in 2014. Jacqueline Burley won the inaugural competition with her setting of Can It Be True? by Susan Hill.

Radio 3 Carol Competition 2015

Applications open for London International A Cappella Choral Competition 2017

14 December 2015

Applications are now open for the London International A Cappella Choral Competition (LIACCC) 2017.

Sixteen choirs will be selected to take part in the third edition of the competition, which will take place from 25 June - 1 July 2017.

Choirs will be sorted into three categories: vocal ensembles (two or more voices per part); consorts (one voice per part); and youth choirs (singers aged 18 and under).

For each round of the competition, ensembles must present one piece of Renaissance polyphony (1450-1625) and one work by Arvo Pärt (this year's featured composer), plus music of the group’s own choice to make up a 20 minute programme.

Choirs must submit an application form and a 20-minute recording of an unaccompanied performance featuring contrasting styles to info@sjss.org.uk

The inaugural London International A Cappella Choral Competition took place in April 2014 in conjunction with St John’s Smith Square. It is presented in association with Peter Phillips and the Tallis Scholars.

London International A Cappella Choral Competition

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