IMPORTANT UPDATE RE: COVID-19
The whole family of Luminosa Voices choirs are now rehearsing on Zoom until further notice. We hope to return to the Alton Maltings later in the Spring term, subject to prevailing guidelines.
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.
Come and join us on Zoom – we are looking forward to seeing you.
UPDATE ON PERFORMANCES IN LIGHT OF COVID-19
With Government guidelines on the media, sport and cultural sectors still being worked out, it looks unlikely we will be able to run public performances until Summer 2021. We are still committed to running our 10th. Anniversary concert of Cecilia McDowall’s Da Vinci Requiem and Alison Willis’ Salve Deus as a public performance when the time is right.
In the meantime we are exploring ways in which we can bring you the Luminosa concert experience virtually, in a way that is safe for all of our members.
We plan to run a Gala concert in Summer 2021 performing some audience favourites in-person and socially distanced (government guidelines allowing) - WATCH THIS SPACE!
We would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your continued patience and support during these challenging times. We are still meeting regularly in the virtual world and working on repertoire and we look forward to sharing further news with you in the near future.
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 on the 5th December.
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.