VIVALDI GLORIA | RUTTER GLORIA | STRATHCLYDE MOTETS
Luminosa Prepares for Energising, ‘Glorious’ Return
There is a certain charge and energy in the air each Tuesday evening at The Maltings in Alton since the successful choir, Luminosa, returned to live singing in preparation for their winter concert. Thrilled to be singing together once again after many months of Zoom choir rehearsals, there is unmistakeable vitality and spirit in their collective sound.
With much to celebrate, not least many new members, the two adult choirs, Luminosa Voices and Chamber Voices, are relishing their singing community and the vibrant programme of music which they are eager to share with music-lovers and supporters after their absence from live performance for almost two years.
Antonio Vivaldi’s Gloria and John Rutter’s Gloria will form the explosive and energetic centre of the programme, celebrating Luminosa’s return in a wall of exhilarating sound. The two pieces performed as companion pieces make for a positive and uplifting experience. Vivaldi’s Gloria RV589, celebrated as ‘the’ Vivaldi Gloria, crackles with excitement and tension and marks a seminal moment in the history of sacred music in early 1700.
With the opera genre flourishing, audiences were beginning to expect church music to live up to the dramatic, expressive, theatrical music they heard in the opera house and Vivaldi delivers that and so much more.
Rutter’s Gloria is also electrically exuberant but very different, making a powerfully stirring impact. Contrasting intimacy with drama is a hallmark of Rutter’s work. His harmonising, proclamatory, prayerful and joyful melodies create moments of reflection and haunt the memory.
A selection of James Macmillan’s Strathclyde Motets, to include the electric ‘O Radiant Dawn’ will be performed by Luminosa Chamber Voices whose clarity and refinement of singing accentuate the moods created by Macmillan and highlight words with dignified and profoundly moving effect. The harmony of ancient and modern is the essence of the selection of motets from his two collections.
The concert will also feature Luminosa’s two youth choirs, Young Voices and Rising Voices, performing a range of works based on the theme of Gloria!
The choirs are honoured to be accompanied by Katherine Dienes-Williams who was the first-ever female member to be elected to the Cathedral Organists’ Association and is currently Organist and Master of the Choristers at Guildford Cathedral, the first woman to hold such a post in the Church of England.
Luminosa is delighted to be performing at St Andrew’s Church, Farnham on Saturday 27th November at 7.30pm. The choirs have performed there many times and are excited to once again fill the beautiful, spacious and welcoming church with a ‘glorious’ sound which will bring joy, energy and hope.
Tickets are available on TicketSource at Box Office | Luminosa (luminosamusic.com)
OPEN REHEARSAL | TUESDAY 5 OCT |19:45-21:30
FRIENDLY CHOIRS WITH WARM HEART ARE OPEN TO ALL!
This Autumn, we are delighted to announce that all four Choirs, including our two youth choirs, will be back singing face-to-face at The Maltings in Alton from September 7th.
Luminosa’s adult choir, Luminosa Voices, is excited to announce that they will be running their annual Open Rehearsal once again and welcoming any singers who would love to get back into singing, perhaps after an enforced ‘Covid break’. The Open Rehearsal will take place from 7.45 until 9.30 on Tuesday 5th October at The Maltings, Alton (a Covid-secure venue). The evening will be filled with joyful singing of movements from the up-lifting, celebratory and magnificent Vivaldi Gloria.
The Choir has maintained its membership throughout the pandemic, with new members even joining during lockdown. Due to the collectively positive attitude of its Choral Director, Rebekah Abbott, and its members, who not only sing together but who genuinely care for each other, the choir has a professional but warm, friendly and welcoming feel. Luminosa is home to singers from all walks of life, experiences and backgrounds.
As well as being Luminosa’s charismatic Choral Director, Rebekah works full-time as Head of Voice at the Royal Marines Band Service. She has an innovative and inspiring teaching style and vast knowledge of the practices needed to build a robust and healthy voice. Many a strong singing voice has been dormant for the last months and singing confidence may be at a low ebb for even the most dedicated singer. During the rehearsal, Rebekah will use her caring, energetic and inspiring approach and techniques to rehabilitate voices, revitalise confidence and encourage focused singing once again.
Being a mum of young children herself, Rebekah understands how tricky the balance of ‘you’ time can be in an all too busy life. The choir is lucky to have members who balance successful careers in the city, who are young mums, professionals and retirees alike, but all who have a passion for singing choral music.
Luminosa look forward to welcoming you warmly at this rehearsal and to singing together again. There will be no cost but please book your place at email@example.com. ‘Covid clean’ copies of the score will be available for use on the night.
If you cannot come along on 5th October for the Open Rehearsal, then you are welcome to give Luminosa a try ANYTIME. Just get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org
LUMINOSA YOUNG AND RISING VOICES
‘Together’ They Sing and Shine
Luminosa’s two Youth Choirs, Young Voices and Rising Voices, have been going from strength to strength and, despite working online for the majority of the last year and not hearing one another, they have grown in confidence and have come back in full swing with an amazing sound. Conductors, Jonathan Upfold and Josh Robinson, have watched proudly how these young, talented singers continue to flourish and have been inspired by all that they have achieved. Josh, leader of the 10-16 Youth Choir, Rising Voices, comments, “I have been especially proud of Rising Voices for their composition work of their original song, Together. This was a real team effort and has been a fantastic new skill! The focus moving forward is on building a stronger foundation in vocal technique, allowing everyone to grow in confidence as individuals. We will also be working more with harmony, which is a listening skill that will bring everyone closer together and working as a team to create an even more incredible sound.”
Leader of the 6-10 Youth Choir, Luminosa Young Voices, Jonathan Upfold, is certain that the opportunity to sing together whilst online has kept Luminosa’s young singers’ spirits up. The rehearsals every Tuesday helped remind us all that we are still a part of something even when we aren’t together. Singing back in the same room has been an amazing experience and everyone is very excited for the projects coming up this term!
Later this year, Young Voices and Rising Voices will join the adult choirs in a concert in November. There will also be a musicals workshop in October half term and, in Spring 2022, there will be a competition at Leith Hill Music festival where both choirs came second in their class in 2020. A concert with African drummers and dancers and a tour are planned for the near future too.
Luminosa Youth Choirs, Young Voices (from ages 6-10) and Rising Voices (from 10-16), welcome new members anytime to join them in their energetic and fun rehearsals.
LUMINOSA PERFORMANCE CALENDAR 2021-22
VIVALDI - Gloria
RUTTER - Gloria
With Organ and Brass Ensemble
Chamber Voices: MacMillan Strathclyde Motets
With additional performance by Luminosa Youth Choirs
St Andrew’s Church Farnham, 7.30pm
100 YEARS OF AMERICAN CHORAL MUSIC
Lighter repertoire, Music from Film, Broadway, and Jazz
Classical Repertoire to include: Lauridsen Lux Aeterna
With additional performances by Luminosa Chamber Voices and Youth Choirs
St Lawrence Church Alton, 7.30pm
THE MUSIC OF AFRICA
With African Band, Drummers and Vocalists
With additional performances by Luminosa Chamber Voices and Youth Choirs
St Peter’s Church, Petersfield: 7.30pm
With Orchestra and Soloists
Venue & Date TBC, 7:30pm
Mc DOWALL: Da Vinci Requiem,
VAUGHAN-WILLIAMS: 5 Mystical Songs,
WILLIS: Salve Deus
Celebrating 13 Years of Luminosa Music
With a pre - Concert Talk by Cecilia McDowall
IMPORTANT UPDATE RE: COVID-19
Face to Face singing will return in the autumn term
The whole family of Luminosa Voices choirs will be returning to face to face singing in the Autumn term 2021. In line with government guidelines Luminosa Voices, Chamber Voices and the Young and Rising Voices will return to the Alton Maltings on Tuesday 07th September for face to face rehearsals.
We are lucky to be able to work with such a committed and fantastic venue.
The Maltings team have created a Covid-19 secure environment with thorough and effective cleaning, ventilation and distancing facilities.
The Luminosa team have added in our own risk assessed procedures to create a safe and secure environment for the choirs to come together and sing once more.
The Choir that Keeps on Singing
It hasn’t been the best time for the arts but the local family of choirs, collectively known as Luminosa, has been quietly but consistently conserving its passion for music throughout the pandemic and striving to keep its members singing together and continuing to plan for the future. They have maintained their standard of singing, firstly on-line each week on Zoom and, more recently for 8 weeks before the subsequent lockdown, at their regular rehearsal quarters of The Maltings in Alton, a Covid-secure venue. The fact that this choir has galvanised its resources to keep music alive is testimony to the power of singing to prevail.
Inspired by its talented and charismatic choral director, Rebekah Abbott, who is currently Head of Voice with the Royal Marines Band Service, and its patron, Neil Ferris, Chorus Director of the BBC Symphony Chorus, members are always motivated to excel, and Covid-19 has not diminished the choir’s ethos of singing captivating music at a high level of expertise.
Luminosa is proud of the ‘connectedness’ of its membership which is one of the mainstays of its success. During the pandemic this has been a particular blessing, sustaining the emotional and mental health of its members, young and old, enriching self-esteem, confidence and community through singing. One young singer commented that singing each week has given her the chance to express herself during a difficult time and ‘socialise in a fun way with friends’ away from the ‘troubles of the world’. Another commented: ‘It makes my week’. Many adult members would certainly agree.
The Choir was due to celebrate its 10th anniversary with a landmark concert in March 2020 with an exciting programme of music, including an inspiring commission. Plans are being made to celebrate Luminosa’s decade of choral success as soon as possible.
In the meantime, homes of Luminosa members of all ages are filled each Tuesday evening with the strains of uplifting singing. The main choir, Luminosa Voices, are rejoicing in Haydn’s Creation, full of unsullied optimism expressed in some of the most loved and life-affirming music ever composed. This is in preparation for a summer concert which the Choir is optimistically planning, to include Haydn’s magnificent oratorio and other positive music full of light and hope, with singing by the Chamber Choir, Luminosa Chamber Voices, along a similar theme.
Luminosa Rising Voices (ages 10-16) and Luminosa Young Voices (ages 6-11), the choirs creatively led and managed by youth music specialists, Jonathan Upfold and Josh Robinson, are working on an exciting virtual choir project in which young singers are collaborating in the composition of an original song which they will perform on-line later in the year. They are also continuing to sing pieces on the theme of radiance and light (Here Comes the Sun, I Can See Clearly Now and others) and will also perform in the summer concert.
The choirs look forward to the time when they can meet and sing together once more and perform in a post-pandemic concert. In the meantime, they wish to thank administration and staff at The Maltings in Alton for their significant support enabling the Choir to sing live when government guidance has allowed. The Maltings have worked intelligently and with a consistently supportive and positive attitude throughout this time, collaborating with the Choir on risk assessments, operation of QR codes, spacing and temperature checks to allow the choir to sing together as safely as possible. Luminosa cares for its members and will continue to follow stringent guidelines when rehearsals can once more be live at The Maltings.
Luminosa is one of Hampshire’s most vibrant choral groups. Sponsored and supported by Polestar, local pension & investment advisers, the Choir is keeping alive what is in danger of being lost through this difficult time. Always keen to hear from new members, there is a collective warm welcome waiting! Why not come and trial a rehearsal for free?
10th Anniversary Commission
Alison Willis and the Inspiration for
Salve Deus, Rex Judaeorum
Alison Willis is a gifted pianist, organist, vocalist and musical director. However, it is her significant talent as the composer of their tenth anniversary commissioned cantata, Salve Deus, Rex Judaeorum, that Luminosa are particularly proud to be show-casing and celebrating in their 10th Anniversary concert.
Ali already has an impressive and substantial catalogue of works that have been performed and broadcast internationally.
For inspiration, Ali draws on historical sources and events and her work has been described as ‘intensely moving’, ‘beautiful yet pragmatic’ and yet economical in message. Inspiration for her work comes from her passion for the written word (she often starts with text) and bringing into the light voices which have been silenced in history, mainly but not exclusively, women’s.
SINGING THE PRAISES OF LUMINOSA
Our recent concert of Handel's Messiah in the beautiful surroundings of St. Andrew's Church, Farnham was Heralded as a great success.
Performed in a Baroque style, underpinned by the exquisite control of the Surrey Chamber players, the accompaniment really allowed the performance to breathe and gave the choir and soloists great room for expression in navigating this much loved work.
We are incredibly proud and humbled to have performed this work to a packed audience of around 300 people whilst raising £1000 for our chosen charity Cystic Fibrosis at Frimley Park.
A heartfelt thanks to those of you who continue to support us and make our performances what they are!
A CHORUS OF PRAISE FOR LUMINOSA VOICES
Opera Choruses Review - St. Peter's, Petersfield, 13th July 2019
Luminosa Voices’ latest concert in St Peter’s Church, Petersfield, performing to yet another capacity audience on Saturday 13th July, did little to disappoint. The Choir, coming up to its 10th Anniversary year, left the audience in no doubt that they continue their reputation as one of the strongest choral sounds in Hampshire.
Led expertly and with great warmth from the rostra by Artistic Director, Rebekah Abbott, the programme comprised Opera Choruses from the era of the Baroque through to the 20th Century.
BBC RADIO SURREY INTERVIEW
Kathy Caton's BBC Radio Surrey's 'Takeover' features 'Wey Valley Radio's' Brian Player talking with our Artistic Director - Rebekah Abbott about our beginnings in a humble village hall in Holybourne, our move to the Alton Maltings, and the positive benefits of singing for those with mental health issues.
She also discusses the development of the choir's, our growing youth choir and our mission to attract and develop experienced singers from all walks of life.
(interview begins 1h08m into the programme)
WELCOME TO THE HOME OF LUMINOSA
For our 2019 season of concerts we will be supporting Cystic Fibrosis at Frimley Park, as voted for by our choir members.
We recognise the excellent level of support for those suffering from the symptoms of Cystic Fibrosis, that the multi-disciplinary team at Frimley Park provides for those living with this condition.
Proceeds from our 2019 concerts and fund-raising efforts will be donated to help support the vital work this charity does.