History (Continued)

Whilst performance of the highest standard remains the choirs aim, some of the choir’s proudest achievements have come in their work to support and raise funds for charitable causes. Throughout the life time of the choir it has raised money for charities as diverse as famine relief in Darfur, Riding for the Disabled, RNLI and the Bailiffs Tsunami appeal. Each year the choir has supported charities which have been in the public eye. They have also been delighted to sing Evensong – a corner stone of the English choral tradition - as guests of several Bailiwick Parish Churches.

The choir has benefited from many fruitful relationships with sponsors without whom concerts quality would never be achieved. Past sponsors include: Guernsey Gas, NatWest, Barclays Private Bank, NM Schroder, and the Channel Islands Stock Exchange (CISX) with whom the choir enjoyed a five year sponsorship deal.

In 2008, the choir was delighted that Deutsche Bank agreed to sponsor the performance of the St Matthew Passion on 4th April 2009. This started a year of planning and rehearsals. This huge work was set for two separate choirs and two orchestras and this lead to a modest expansion of the core choir by inviting additional local singers to join them, and to recruit two orchestral groups – many of whom would need to be soloists accompanying solo arias. Two invited violinists were engaged to lead each orchestra - NAME 1 & QUALS for choir 1, and NAME 2 of the Britten Sinfonia for choir 2. The Guernsey Schools Music Service under Christine Anthony provided the Ripieno choir that sings in opening chorus. Five professional soloists – all specialists is the field – were engaged to act a the Evangelist, Jesus and aria Soloists. In all nearly 200 performers were involved – and the first time they all performed together was at the performance on the 4th April 2009, in St Stephen’s Church. The performance was a great success and is a huge tribute to the patience and musicianship of Helen Grand.

For many years, the choir had visited France to present a wide range of European Church music. Contacts between the Town Church and St Malo Cathedral led to a formal invitation to the Guernsey Chamber Choir to take part in the 36th Annual Festival of Sacred Music in St Malo Cathedral – and joined SEVEN? Other international choirs and TEN? Organists and opened the Festival on Saturday 18th July 2009.

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