Athenaeum Singers


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 Programme for 2018-2019

Carol Concert Cropped

Our next concert is: Tuesday 11th December 2018  7.30pm

Christmas Concert

An informal Christmas concert featuring solo items, choir pieces and audience participation.

There is no charge but there will be a retiring charity collection for Macmillan and Dorothy House.

The evening will include Gareth Treseder's carol  The Sleep of the Infant Jesus  which has been written for the cancer charity Macmillan.

Christchurch, Weymouth Street, Warminster 
BA12 9NS 

Saturday 1st December  2018.   7pm (Ended)  

Vivaldi       Gloria
Haydn        Little Organ Mass
Posten        Jesus Christ the Apple Tree
Howells      Here is the Little Door
Praetorius  Es ist ein Ros entsprungen

The Minster Church of St Denys, Warminster

Tuesday 8th January 2019  7.30pm

Open Rehearsal

An open invitation to family, friends and interested singers to join our first rehearsal of the new year.  Starts with a welcome drink before we move on to sing through the major choruses of Hadyn's Creation. 

There is no charge for this evening.

Christchurch, Weymouth Street, Warminster
BA12 9NS

Saturday 6th April  2019.  10am

Registration 9.30 onwards

All day Workshop

Warminster Baptist Church 
BA12 9AD

 Saturday 1st June 2019.  7pm

 Haydn:   The Creation

The Minster Church of St Denys, Warminster
BA12 8PQ

Haydn Image 700 Dp

 Saturday 19th October 2019.  9.30am

All day Workshop

Warminster Baptist Church
BA12 9AD

Saturday 30th November 2019. 7pm


The Minster Church of St Denys, Warminster
BA12 8PQ 

  Dvorak Orchrastra Violin_2307_dxo 02

 Ath Haydn Workshop

 Concert Choir Side With Flowers Pucinni Rec


Concert Review: 'Gloria' Saturday 1st December


The Minster was, as ever, packed for this annual December event. While it was advertised as ‘Gloria’ it might have been even better billed as being performed by ‘The New Athenaeum Singers’. Directed by their recently appointed director, Cole Bendall, there was much that was both different and refreshing from past years.


Cole has set out his stall very clearly to his choir and they are already responding well. I cannot recall seeing The Athenaeum Singers demonstrate such rapt attention as they did in singing Elizabeth Poston’s Jesus Christ the Apple Tree. It was not simply that they sang without music so had no option but to look at their conductor: they sang with intense focus, careful attention to detail and, in submitting to their director, the music ebbed and flowed in very musical fashion.


There followed three more very contrasting unaccompanied pieces of seasonal music. It was daring to start with the Poston which is so exposed and, while the Choir used musical scores for the remaining pieces, they still focused firmly on their conductor in Here is the little door by Howells, which demonstrated a sensitivity to the text and clear diction. Es ist ein Ros’ entsprungen by Praetorius was sung with care, though one sensed that the German was unfamiliar territory to some, and Gareth Treseder’s ‘The sleep of infant Jesus’ was a welcome addition to the choral repertoire, placing different harmonic demands on the choir who responded with good dynamic range and careful phrasing.


The Little Organ Mass by Haydn concluded the first half. Simon Dinsdale (organ) selected bright registration and light accompaniment while the Singers demonstrated good musicianship in singing through the lines to give the performance a clear sense of direction. The Sanctus and Hosanna had well shaped phrases and good dynamic contrasts and the Dona nobis pacem was sung with appropriately warm tone.


During the first part of the programme there were occasional uncertainties when confidence wavered and intonation strayed a little. Perhaps a tad more support from the organ in the Haydn might have helped but the altos invariably centred on their entries and had a consistently gentle assurance.


Vivaldi’s Gloria concluded the concert with solos from Jillian Bain Christie and Rhian Davies. Their singing was totally in tune with Cole Bendell’s approach to the evening. They both sang with warmth, sensitivity and precision, conveying the spirit of the text, letting the music do the talking and avoiding over indulgence and excessive ornamentation. This is a joyful piece with some reflective moments. There were many choral high points such as the secure chording in the Gratias agimus tibi and Qui tollis, the agile entries of the altos and basses at the start of the Domine fili section and the way in which the Cum Sancto Spiritu had excellent balance between all four parts and sprightly rhythms. The music concluded with a very firm crescendo and strong forte. It highlighted the fact that this was probably the loudest we had heard the choir whose singing was devoid of any forced tone, heralding an exciting era under their new director. Bravo!


Alan Burgess

ln Burgess







The Athenaeum Singers are looking forward to presenting their first concert under their Director of Music, Cole Bendall on 1st December.  The programme spans more than four centuries, three languages and ranges from traditional choral favourites to contemporary Christmas pieces.
































































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