TATTON Singers will be joined by special guests from the Royal British Legion for a concert to mark the centenary of the end of the First World War.

The concert, on Saturday 17 November 2018 at St John’s Church at 7.30pm, when the choir will present a highly suitable work to mark the date, The Armed Man: A Mass for Peace by Karl Jenkins.

The choir’s musical director, John Powell, said:
“Written nearly 20 years ago, The Armed Man has achieved a phenomenal level of popularity, unparalleled in contemporary classical music. “Karl Jenkins is the most performed living composer in the world today.
“On average there are two performances of The Armed Man every week, and Tatton Singers is very proud to bring this music to Knutsford.
“It is work that advocates peace through the use of texts and musical styles from a wide variety of religious and cultural traditions.
“The choir will be accompanied by trumpets, keyboards, wonderful solo parts for piccolo and cello and an extraordinary array of percussion.
“The mezzo-soprano role will be taken by Amy Williamson, a fine young singer with a particularly close association with the music - she has performed and recorded it at The Royal Albert Hall.
“To begin the concert Tatton Singers will sing three short pieces, all on the theme of peace – a new work written for the choir by Martin Lessons and two very stirring anthems by Hubert Parry and John Ireland.”
Tickets are £13 (£10 concessions), available from Knutsford Heritage Centre, online at, by calling 07912 541125 or on the door.
The ticket price includes a glass of wine/soft drink at the end of the concert.(Knutsford Guardian, November 2018).

Classical spectacular to showcase top musicians

Halle Brass and the Tatton Singers to perform this summer

INTERNATIONALLY-acclaimed musicians are to perform in a classical spectacular taking place over three days as part of the second annual Knutsford Music Festival. The event, which is being organised by Knutsford Town Council in partnership with local venues, will see performances by Vale Royal String Orchestra, Tatton Singers, Hallé Brass and Royal Northern College of Music’s Zerbina Duo. The concerts will be held throughout the town centre, with Vale Royal String Orchestra playing at St Cross Church on June 22, Tatton Singers on stage at St John’s Church on June 23 and Hallé Brass and the Zerbina Duo at The Courthouse’s new function room on June 24. The concerts are part of a wider, weekend-long celebration of music in Knutsford between June 22 and 24, with the St Cross and St John's concerts being organised by the churches and musicians, and the Courthouse concert being organised by the town council. Sarah Morgan, deputy town clerk, said: “We’re really looking forward to presenting this diverse range of classical concerts. “These performers are among the most respected in the north west and in the case of the Hallé they are internationally-acclaimed. “For many, it will be their first opportunity to see The Courthouse’s beautiful and newly-refurbished function room, and we’re delighted to again be working with Knutsford’s churches and their cherished community spaces. “St Cross and St John’s have been instrumental in helping us put together this programme of classical concerts by organising their own events, and I would like to thank them for their contribution to the festival.” Vale Royal String Orchestra with oboist Debbie Fuller will perform an eclectic programme including Cimarosa's oboe concerto, a Divertimento by Mozart, Percy Grainger's Molly on the Shore, Janacek's Idyll Suite and a selection from Copland's ballet score, Rodeo. The orchestra, which formed in 1993 and is conducted by Richard Adamson, brings together experienced amateur and professional musicians who perform regularly throughout the year to support charities and community events. Tatton Singers formed in 1976 in Knutsford. Their 78 members perform traditional choral works and lesser known pieces. Under the guidance of musical director John Powell, who has been with the choir since 2005, Tatton Singers have a wide repertoire of works by classical composers. Formed in 1965, Hallé Brass are one of the foremost brass ensembles in the UK formed primarily from principal members of the internationally renowned Hallé Orchestra. The group is also one of the oldest brass quintets in the world that played a leading role in the development of this format of chamber music. In the early years, Hallé Brass gave premieres by eminent composers such as John McCabe, Joseph Horovitz and Edward Gregson. They will be joined by harpist Becki McIlroy and violinist Rebecca Howell, who are known as the Zerbina Duo. Becki is a music graduate from The University of Manchester, currently studying for her master’s degree at the Royal Northern College of Music. Recently she performed with the Piccadilly Symphony Orchestra alongside comedians Jason Manford and John Bishop at The Bridgewater Hall. Rebecca is a postgraduate student at the Royal Northern College of Music. In March 2016, Rebecca, who also leads the Florestan String Quartet, was awarded first prize in Durham’s inaugural Soloists Competition and went on to perform Saint-Saëns’ Violin Concerto No 3 with the University Palatine Orchestra on their summer tour to Paris. Tickets go on sale on Thursday, March 1, and will be priced at £12 with concessions available. Tickets for the Halle Brass and Tatton Singers will be available through Ticket Tailor, and the Tatton Singers tickets can also be purchased from 01565 650641. For all other ticket enquiries call Knutsford Town Council on 01565 653929 and follow the Knutsford Music Festival Facebook for ticket and event updates.(Knutsford Guardian, March 2018).

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.