11 July 2023 | Byrd 400 Celebration
23 April 2023 | Evensong at Leighton Buzzard
21 March 2023 | Da Vinci Requiem 
28 January | Byrd & Tallis Choral Workshop Day
13 December 2022 | The City Chamber Choir Christmas Celebration
18 October 2022 | Iberia and beyond Music from Spain, Portugal & the Americas


Byrd 400
7.30pm, Tuesday 11 July 2023

St Mary Aldermary, Watling Street, London EC4M 9BW

Stephen Jones conductor, harpsichord

City Chamber Choir commemorates the 400th anniversary of the death of of one of England’s greatest composers, William Byrd (c.1540–1623), with a programme built around works by the master himself and pieces by composers who influenced or were influenced by him.

Byrd’s teacher at the Chapel Royal, Thomas Tallis, provides four short works, including Why fum’th in sight, better known as the tune used by Vaughan Williams in his Fantasia on a theme of Thomas Tallis. Byrd’s pupils, Weelkes and Tomkins are also represented, together with two modern composers who demonstrate that Byrd’s influence lives on. The well known singer and composer Roderick Williams ‘reimagines’ Byrd’s Ave verum for modern times and Huw Watkins provides a haunting setting of Shakespeare’s allegory The Phoenix and the turtle in which the ‘bird of loudest lay’ is thought to refer to William Byrd himself.

Programme: • Byrd: Ave Verum | Sing we merrily; Blow up the trumpet | Make we joy to God | Come woeful Orpheus | Retire my soul  · Roderick Williams: Ave Verum reimagined · Huw Watkins: The Phoenix and the turtle · Tallis: Why fum’th in sight | If ye love me | A new commandment | O Lord give thy Holy Spirit · Weelkes: O Lord grant the King a long life | O care thou wilt despatch me · Tomkins: O God the proud are risen | Too much I once lamented. · With harpsichord solos.

6.00pm, Sunday 23 April 2023

All Saints Church, Leighton Buzzard LU7 1AE

Stephen Jones conductor | Ivan Linford organ
We are delighted to be going ‘out of town’ to sing Evensong in the beautiful and historic parish church of Leighton Buzzard. Fittingly, on St George’s Day, the music focuses on British composers.

Introit Vaughan Williams: O taste and see
Responses Sanders
Canticles Howells in G
Anthem Mundy: O Lord the maker of all thing

All welcome

Da Vinci Requiem

7.30 pm, Tuesday 21 March 2023

Holy Sepulchre London, Holborn Viaduct EC1A 2DQ

Covent Garden Chamber Orchestra
Stephen Jones conductor | Tamsin Raitt Soprano | Thomas Isherwood Baritone | Tom Jesty piano

We are delighted to be returning to the splendid and spacious National Musicians’ Church, Holy Sepulchre London, for our spring programme
of British music.

The solemn and moving Songs of Farewell by Parry represent a pinnacle of choral writing from the early twentieth century, a fact reflected in the use of one of its pieces at the funeral of HM Queen Elizabeth II.

Bringing us right up to date is the 2019 Da Vinci Requiem. This significant seven-movement work from City Chamber Choir’s President Cecilia McDowall presents an imaginative pairing of extracts from The Notebooks of Leonardo da Vinci with texts from the Latin Missa pro defunctis. Da Vinci’s reflective and penetrating insights into the nature of mortality and all that it encompasses cast new light on the familiar Requiem texts. Sure to become a classic, the work is powerful and mysterious, and reflects the composer’s longstanding interest in Leonardo. It is also full of gorgeous melodies and harmonies.

Gerald Finzi’s serene Eclogue for piano and strings completes the programme.

Download the concert programme.

The City Chamber Choir Christmas Concert

7.00pm, Tuesday 13 December 2022

Voces8 Centre, St Anne and St Agnes Church, Gresham Street, London EC2V 7BX

Stephen Jones conductor| Ivan Linford organ
City Chamber Choir takes you on a magical journey through the Christmas story, with a mixture of much-loved familiar carols and music that’s right up to date, including the winner of last year’s BBC Radio 3 Breakfast Carol Competition by Tamiko Dooley and a piece by our President, Cecilia McDowall. There’s an opportunity to hear some seasonal readings as well as the usual wine and mince-pie fuelled join-in-able audience participation items.

Vaughan Williams Fantasia on Christmas Carols | Pott Balulalow | Tamiko Dooley Love came down at Christmas | Bob Chilcott Remember O thou man; Rise up shepherd | Ravenscroft Remember O thou man | Howells Here is the little door | Warlock Bethlehem Down | Britten Hymn to the virgin | Cecilia McDowall Now may we singen | Paul Ayres Unto us is born a Son
With readings, and carols for choir and audience.

During the reign of the Protestant Queen Elizabeth I it was illegal to celebrate the Roman Catholic Mass, so when Byrd had his three mass settings printed in the 1590s, he made sure that they were in a small and easily concealable format. The Mass for Four Voices would therefore have been used in a private setting, among recusant families who risked arrest if their proceedings were discovered. We also study Byrd’s heartfelt full anthem O Lord Make Thy Servant Elizabeth written for the queen whose passionate love of music perhaps enabled her to turn a blind eye to Byrd’s recusancy. Videte Miraculum, by Tallis is a sublime and hypnotic responsory for Candlemas. It builds a sensuous six-part texture on plainsong themes.

Choral Workshop on Byrd and Tallis
Saturday 28 January 2023

St Mary-at-Hill, Lovat Lane, London EC3R 8EE

Stephen Jones Workshop leader and director of City Chamber Choir
Tom Jesty Accompanist

William Byrd
Mass for Four Voices
O Lord Make Thy Servant Elizabeth

Thomas Tallis
Videte Miraculum

City Chamber Choir, the friendly group that rehearses and performs in the heart of the City of London, invites you to take part in this workshop on key works from the English Renaissance: William Byrd’s Mass for Four Voices and anthem O Lord Make Thy Servant Elizabeth, and Thomas Tallis’s Videte Miraculum.

The workshop is led by City Chamber Choir’s Music Director, Stephen Jones, who has a wealth of experience in all aspects of choral singing, as conductor, singer and accompanist. As well as putting the works into their historical context, he will give you many valuable insights into vocal technique, ensemble singing and tuning.

Our study day ends with an informal sing through at 4.00 pm (open to all – please do invite your friends). If you are an enthusiastic amateur singer, who would like to explore these choral masterpieces, brush up on singing technique and find out about the historical and
musical context of important Tudor works during the course of an enjoyable day, then this is for you.



Iberia and beyond
Music from Spain, Portugal and the Americas

7.00pm, Tuesday 18 October 2022
St Mary-at-Hill, Lovat Lane, London EC3R 8EE

Stephen Jones conductor | Nigel Woodhouse guitar | Forbes Henderson guitar | Luke Bainbridge percussion | Tom Jesty keyboard

For the opening concert of our season we are delighted to be joined by an instrumental ensemble of guitars, percussion and keyboard. Our programme contrasts the austere beauty of church music written by masters of polyphony in sixteenth-century Lisbon, with a heady mix of twentieth century classics from Latin America and Spain, including Ramirez’s charming and tuneful folk mass and Castelnuovo-Tedesco’s wonderfully atmospheric settings of poems by Lorca. Completing the mix is Piazzola’s celebrated Libertango and Ericsson’s exploration of Salve Regina, subtitled ‘to the mothers in Brazil’, which brings us full circle to Lisbon once more, and Francisco Guerrero’s passionate setting of the same text.

Ramirez Misa Criolla | Magalhães Asperges me| Duarte Lobo Pater peccavi | C. de Morales Tu es Petrus | F. Guerrero Salve Regina II | Ericsson Salve Regina – to the mothers in Brazil | Piazzolla Libertango | Castelnuovo-Tedesco Romancero Gitano
With guitar and keyboard solos