The music to be sung at the three-day Festival in April is chosen by a Music Committee chaired by Jonathan Willcocks. Each group of four choirs prepares a different set of music in the five main classes:
Each choir will present an ‘own-choice’ recital (max. 20 mins), to include:
i. A piece with accompaniment
ii. A piece sung unaccompanied (a cappella)
iii. A piece written by a living composer
iv. Excerpt(s) from the major work(s) being performed in the evening concert, which will be announced to choirs two weeks before the Festival.
As a ‘prelude’ to the Competitions, there will be an optional Ensemble Competition where groups of between 4-12 singers will perform a single unaccompanied piece, selected by the Music Committee. Choirs may enter as many groups as they wish. The Ensemble pieces for 2020 will be as already announced:
Blue div: Passereau – Il est bel et bon (Novello)
Red div: Finzi – My spirit sang all day (Boosey and Hawkes)
Green div: Ireland – The Hills (Stainer and Bell)
At the traditional March concert all those choir members who want to take part (and a growing number of independent singers) perform in rotation Bach's St Matthew or Handel's Messiah.
This year Bach's B Minor Mass.
Youth Choirs choose two pieces of music to showcase their skill and talent.