Review: Singing Day with Bob Chilcott: 11th September 2021


Our Singing Day with Bob Chilcott – was a remarkable, joyous, uplifting, rewarding, and thoroughly marvellous day.

We sold out of our 100 (covid-safe venue capacity) tickets, with a large proportion being to singers and members of other choirs on the Island, and further afield – such is the appeal of the accomplished, much admired and one of the nations most prominent choral composers, Bob Chilcott.

It was a huge privilege for us all, to be given a master-class in choral singing, by such a warm, infectiously enthusiastic, insightful and encouraging maestro.

After some initial vocal exercises, which informed Bob of the capabilities of our voices, (slightly rusty after the last 18 months) as much as warming them up, we commenced with Songs my Heart has Taught Me.

As Bob’s most recent composition, we were thrilled to be one of the first groups to rehearse it, not least with such bespoke coaching.

Bob’s leadership and direction alternated between practising and polishing – guiding us through more challenging passages, and providing us with insights into the tone, symbolism and resonance of the wording and note composition.

Throughout the rest of the day, we also worked on Bob’s famous The Lily and The Rose, and the first movement from his Aesop’s Fables, with charming anecdotes of Bob’s times as a singer, composer and musical director, throughout his full and varied years of experience.

We rounded off, with a mini-concert to ourselves, of all the pieces on which we had progressed during the day…singing our hearts out until the end.

Bob Chilcott is a fabulous all-rounder, with great flair and taste – a quintessential National Treasure – and we loved, and are very appreciative, that he spent the day with us, here on the Isle of Wight.