The City of Bath Bach Choir (CBBC) is a group of about 80 musical people who share a passion for singing beautiful and demanding choral works and songs, from any era, to a high standard. We love a challenge, we’re committed, and we aim to give really great performances, with sensitivity, humour and zest.
Our repertoire begins before Bach and ends in the present: in fact Summer 2009 saw us performing Will Todd’s Mass in Blue, a jazz work, for which the composer himself played the piano. In 2008 Elis Pehkonen came to hear us perform his edgy and exciting Russian Requiem in Bath Abbey; and we have given some of the earliest performances of works by Dr Karl Jenkins. We commissioned Ed Hughes to compose a work to commemorate our 60th anniversary, and duly gave the first performance of his Song for St Cecilia at Wiltshire Music Centre in 2007.
We are equally at home with Vivaldi, having performed his wonderful Gloria from memory in 2008; with Duruflé, whose deeply reverent Requiem formed the cornerstone of our French programme in 2008; with Handel, whose Messiah Part II featured at Easter 2009; and we marked the 50th anniversary of the death of Ralph Vaughan Williams (a former President of the choir) with his lyrical motet Valiant for Truth.
The choir also tours: in recent years it has sung at Notre Dame in Paris, at Chartres Cathedral, and in Hungary, Belgium and Germany. In January 2008 a group sang Karl Jenkins’ Requiem at Carnegie Hall in New York, and in October 2009 we travelled to Leipzig to sing in the Thomaskirche; the church where J.S. Bach was of course choirmaster for 27 years.
The CBBC’s Musical Director is Nigel Perrin, well known as one who sparkles with musical talent and energy. In 2010 he will have been conducting the CBBC for 20 years, and some of the choir have accompanied him on the whole journey. Nigel brings everything to life, and thanks to his vision we can perform a wide repertoire to a very high standard.