Tatton Singers


Knutsford Guardian Preview - March 2016

TATTON Singers will perform their mid-season concert on Saturday March 12, taking on the iconic Mozart’s Requiem. The concert, which will take place at St John’s Parish Church, is part of the group’s 40th Anniversary season. The famous Requiem will be performed under musical director John Powell who has been with the choir for more than a decade....... Tony Wood, (Chairman) of Tatton Singers, said: “From the poignant opening, with the orchestral colour enriched by the wonderful sound of the basset horns, the music progresses through drama and great tenderness, reaching its conclusion in the mighty final fugue. The choir has really enjoyed a term spent getting under the skin of this great piece. By way of contrast, the concert opens with Schubert's setting of the Mass in G- short, lyrical and gentle, but no less profound.” The choir will be joined by its regular orchestra, Tatton Sinfonia, led by Pia Oliver and a quartet of soloists. Mozart's Requiem was left unfinished when he died and later completed by a pupil. “It is always a favourite work with performers and audience,” added Tony, “And Saturday's performance promises to be a powerful occasion.”

Praise For Bach B Minor Mass, November 2015

"It was an enormous pleasure to take part in your B minor mass. I thought it was beautifully paced and the choir did an excellent job."(Soloist)
"I’ve never heard the choir sing better or seem better prepared, or seem to enjoy themselves more. Some of the big moments (Et in terra pax, Sanctus) were as good as I’ve ever heard."(Audience member)
"It was absolutely stunning – follow that!! Totally amazing."(Audience member)
"....... you made us feel that we were part of the performance too ......... the overriding feeling was of an entity, with everyone completely engrossed ...... everyone listening to each other ........."(Audience member)
"Please will you pass on to the choir my congratulations on Saturday's stupendous achievement. I thought it was the best performance I've ever heard you give - perfect diction, superb musicality bringing out the dramatic contrasts and above all you communicated a wonderful joyousness - I found it tremendously uplifting. Thank you all for such a wonderful evening."(Writer and friend of TS)
Perhaps the best accolade of all,"when I grow up I'm going to be a Tatton Singer!"(6 year old girl)

Tatton Singers musical director looks forward to 'Everest' performance of Bach's B Minor Mass

John Powell has chosen the piece for the 40th anniversary to engage the choir in such a special occasion. TATTON Singers is gearing up for its ‘biggest performance’ yet as the group take on its most challenging repertoire to date. The group will perform Bach’s notoriously difficult mass in B Minor as part of its 40th anniversary celebrations, which will also include a number of concerts throughout 2016. To take place on Sunday November 21 at 7pm at the recently refurbished hall at St John’s Church, with accompaniment from the Northern Baroque Sinfonia. Under musical director, John Powell, Tatton Singers has been rehearsing the mass since February, and the former head of choral music at Chetham’s School of Music is confident that this will be the best concert to date. “It is extremely difficult,” he said. “It is top of the pile in terms of excitement and how challenging it is. “I wanted to do something that the choir had never done before. I wanted to really engage the choir and get their attention and make them feel it is incredibly special. “I also wanted to do a work in which the choir had a very large part to play; in some works they can be dominated by soloists.” John explained that the choir has been able to prepare for such a technical piece thanks to the dedication of all of its members, who have regularly been practising in their own time to ensure success. He said: “It is certainly an Everest, a project not to be undertaken lightly, nor without sufficient time in preparation. “It is a very difficult piece to perform, stretching all to their technical limits and it is a piece that requires a very high degree of commitment; the reward is a remarkable sense of emotional and intellectual satisfaction.” “I joined the choir in 2005 and I wouldn’t have dreamt of doing anything like that then. But it has grown in size and ability. There was only 50 or 55 members when I started and now, more than 70. “We are looking forward to performing in St John’s Church, it is bright and cheerful and invitingly beautiful so it is a very attractive place to spend the evening.” As well as the concert next Sunday, the Tatton Singers also plans to perform a number of concerts in the new year, including Mozart’s Requiem. Tony Wood, chairman of the choir, has described the concert as ‘the absolute highlight of the Tatton Singers’ career to date.’ Tickets are priced at £12 and £5 for students, which includes a glass of wine or soft drink after the concert (Knutsford Guardian, November 2015).

Tatton Singers celebrate 40th anniversary with most challenging programme yet

FOR forty years a group of dedicated and talented singers have entertained people across the region, generating a huge amount of support from Knutsford residents. September 2015 marks the beginning of the Tatton Singers 40th anniversary and the choir are gearing up to celebrate with their most challenging programme yet. Tony Wood, chairman of the Tatton Singers, has revealed that under musical director, John Powell the group are set to perform one of history’s most demanding choral works, Bach’s B Minor Mass. The mass will be complete with professional soloists and a baroque orchestra. Tony said: “The concert is going to be huge. It’s because of John’s direction that we are able to perform the mass. “It is a major work for a non professional choir to undertake, but I can assure you our musical director would not let us undertake it if he didn't think we would put in a good performance. The choir, which started with six members in 1976, now boasts 80 musically talented individuals who commit at least three hours a week to practising together. “Over the last 40 years the Tatton Singers group has grown dramatically,” said Tony. “I remember when we used to do our summer concerts in the Heritage Centre, which was fantastic. “But now we average audiences of 250 to 300 people so we can’t all fit in. We really get a great deal of support from the Knutsford people. “On top of that we always have the Mayor of Cheshire East and the Mayor of Knutsford attending our concerts, which is so encouraging. It’s is very beneficial to have them there. Performing four concerts a year, the Tatton Singers attract people from across the north west and in the choir’s forty years, members have performed at venues including the Royal Northern College of Music and enjoyed collaborations with renowned musicians. Having gained momentum over the last four decades, the choir now welcomes musicians from a range of backgrounds and of different ages. Tony said: “The average age of the choir has dropped quite dramatically. But this isn’t a bad thing. We like to encourage younger up and coming soloists (Knutsford Guardian, August 2015)

Glowing Praise For Handel's Messiah (Complete) 15th November 2014

Spontaneous Standing Ovation

I thought it was a great finish and wasn't surprised to see the audience stand …...... but ….. it's not a common thing and I think it was pretty much everyone who COULD stand!(member of orchestra)
A brilliant evening, a very successful choice of soloists, and perhaps the best choir performance so far - shown by the audience at the end (choir member)

A..... heartfelt "bravo" for a very special "Messiah". As I said to you it was marvellous to find oneself really listening to and marvelling at this amazing piece most of us have lived with all our lives, and to which we continue to strive to do justice....- it was riveting.(Soloist)

As you can imagine I have sung Messiah many times and I must say your choir was one of the best amateur choirs I have sung it with. The soprano line, which so often sags, remained bright and high all the way through the rehearsal and performance which helped them sound youthful and energetic.(Soloist)

Reviews From Newspapers

A CHORAL masterpiece is on offer for Knutsfordians as the town's premier choir performs..Faure's Requiem.. in the heart of the town next week.... This concert will be an opportunity to hear a varied programme of French Religious Music....all equally stirring and heartwarming...(Knutsford Guardian, March 2015)

This weekend sees Tatton Singers' summer gala concert taking p;lace - a varied programme - ranging from British composers Purcell and Stanford to the highly popular contemporary American Eric Whitacre..(and).. a chorus from Beethoven's opera Fidelio, folksong arrangements, a delightfully quirky re-telling of the 'Alice' story, even some jazz. (Knutsford Guardian, June 2015)

Tatton Singers will present the work complete - allowing the wonderful drama of the piece to unfold as Handel intended. This performance promises to have a great sense of occasion (at).....St.John's Church, in the centre of Knutsford (which) has just completed its splendid and ambitious renovation. (Knutsford Guardian, November 2014)


Extraordinary Elgar - Tatton Singers at the Royal Northern College of Music - by Liz Foy

A large audience at the Royal Northern College of Music was hugely privileged on Sunday night to listen to a performance of Elgar's The Dream of Gerontius given by the Tatton Singers, together with Sale ChoraI Society and the John Powell Singers, accompanied by the Tatton Sinfonia under the baton of John Powell. Elgar wrote his masterpiece for the Birmingham Festival in 1900. The poem he set to music was Cardinal Newman's The Dream of Gerontius, a very Roman Catholic image of Purgatory, wonderfully portrayed in Elgar's music. From the opening bars of the orchestral introduction we knew we were in for a stunning evening, The orchestra played throughout the work with such sensitivity, tension, energy and excitement that one felt totally involved in the performance. The soloists - Adrienne Murray (mezzo-soprano) as the Angel, Joshua Ellicott (tenor) as Gerontius and Mark Rowlinson (baritone) as the Priest and the Angel of the Agony - were uniformly superb: their singing was quite mesmerising. And the choir! Their performance of this work reached new heights and one could feel them being swept along by the music to give every ounce of their being. There were so many spine-tingling moments, both in the beautifully controlled quiet passages and in the glorious climactic sections. The conductor knew just what he wanted from them and they delivered. This was a marvellous performance from all involved; let's hope we hear much more of this ensemble.