July 2022, Sweet Love's Lament
Cantilena Choir was excited to team up with Bristol’s foremost recorder ensemble, ‘Pink Noise Recorder Quintet’, who introduced us all to the versatility of the recorder by playing no less than six different types of instrument - a wonderful experience!
In a programme of madrigals, airs, and an assortment of instrumental music, old and new, the audience was treated to a delightful journey through the eternal themes of love and courtship in the incomparable works of the Elizabethan age, featuring composers such as Morley, Gibbons, Farnaby and Wilbye.
In a last minute change to our usual summer venue, we were grateful to the community of St Benedict's Church, Glastonbury, who stepped in to enable us to host a fun and enjoyable summer evening, and share a buffet supper and wine with the audience.
We hope to see you all at our next concert on Friday, 9th December.
April 2022, Cantatas
Despite all the nerves felt by the singers at the prospect of performing this demanding programme, Cantilena Choir is not one to shy away from any challenge presented by our Choir Director, Tony Bevan!

The audience enjoyed the concert and we received wonderful feedback from them. It was particularly uplifting to see many familiar faces who have supported Cantilena for so many years, in attendance on the night.

Bach’s cantatas were composed from the texts of the Old and New Testaments of the Bible and express both the pain and suffering of the human state, as well as the hope and trust we still hold.

As the world navigates through this trying time of conflict, distress and worry, we continue to hope that the music we share with you will keep bringing a sense of hope, joy and peace in our communities and beyond.
December 2021, Renaissance
After a 2-year hiatus due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Cantilena Choir were delighted to be able to perform together once again in St John's Church, Glastonbury.

We were grateful to St John's Church for providing a Covid-secure venue in which to rehearse from September to December, and to our conductor, Tony Bevan, for making this possible. We were especially delighted to warmly welcome new singers to the choir.

Renaissance was a fantastic concert polyphony, featuring Missa de Beata Virgine by Josquin des Prez, and the works of his contemporaries from the 15th and 16th centuries.

Missa de Beata Virgine was a work much loved by our former Chairperson, Julia Barrett. Julia sadly passed away in March 2021 and the concert was dedicated to her memory, her love of music, and her outstanding commitment to Cantilena for over 30 years.

The audience was treated to sumptuous evening and a great atmosphere, topped with mulled wine and mince pies during the interval.

From the proceeds of the concert, Cantilena were especially proud to make a donation to St Margaret's Hospice.
December 2019, Light into Darkness
Cantilena's Christmas offering was well received by concert goers, who were particularly struck by the mystery and beauty of the Bernat Vivancos 'Lux Surgit Aurea' as they were by Morten Lauridsen's 'O Nata Lux' and
Robert White's 'Christe Qui Lux Es'.

Mulled wine and mince pies added to the festive feel of proceedings.
July 2019, 40th Anniversary Concert
In front of an appreciative audience, Cantilena recently celebrated their 40th Anniversary with a concert entitled Songs of Summer at The Pavilion, Edgarley Hall (Millfield Prep School), at which they performed a specially commissioned piece, 'Nightingales', by the well-known composer, David Bednall.
Photos of this memorable evening can be seen here ...
40th Anniversary Concert
April 2019, Bach's St John Passion
Cantilena's main concert in their 40th year was a memorable occasion, with the Choir, our fabulous soloists and instrumentalists giving their all for an appreciative audience at St Mary's.
December 2018, Joyeux Noel
‘Joyeux Noel’ attracted a good audience at St Mary's, keen to hear seasonal music of French Composers of the 20th and late 19th centuries. From the lilting ‘Cantique de Jean Racine’ by Fauré and the ever popular ‘O Holy Night’ to the mysterious ‘O Sacrum Convivium’ by Messiaen, there was plenty to savour - in addition to the mince pies and mulled wine generously donated by Burns the Bread and The Grape and the Good respectively! 

As usual, Cantilena was delighted to support the wonderful work of St Margaret's Hospice.
June 2018, A Summer Idyll
It was a perfect evening for Cantilena and their guests on Saturday 30th June at 'The Pavilion', Edgarley,
a beautifully situated and fitting venue for a feast of music and readings on a pastoral theme,
and good food and wine!
We hope to be back there next summer to celebrate our 40th Anniversary in style, so watch this space! 
April 2018, The Cross and the Crown Click here to read Review

Review of The Cross and the Crown

St Mary's Church, Glastonbury, played host to this imaginatively programmed concert on Saturday 21st April.

'The Cross' was represented by Haydn's 'The Seven Last Words of Christ', a work which challenges the performers to maintain the listeners' interest through seven long movements, all of which are of necessity both slow and solemn. Anthony Bevan's assured direction met the challenge in fine style. Avoiding the temptations of mawkish sentimentality, he gave shape and purpose to each phrase and movement, so allowing a far more profound interpretation of this intensely moving work to emerge.

He was ably assisted in this by the string quartet of Alison Townley, Suzanne Swainson, James Swainson and Muriel Daniels. They immediately established the dramatic mood in the opening Prelude, where their subtle, stylish phrasing and meticulous musical details became the hallmarks of their playing throughout the evening.

It was good to hear a group of confident young soloists at the start of their careers, and to see them communicate so effectively with each other, the conductor and the audience. Each voice had its own distinctive character – the ethereal purity of Tallulah Horton's soprano, the robust warmth of Finn Lacey's alto, the effortless projection of Oliver Chubb's tenor and the rich nobility of David Bevan's bass – but they blended beautifully and sang with intelligent understanding of this demanding work.

'The Crown' turned out to be not of thorns but of bejewelled gold, as the mood lightened in the second half for two of Handel's exuberant Coronation Anthems, for which the accomplished organist Michael Cockerham joined the other performers. Cantilena sings with confident entries, clear diction and attention to dynamic contrasts, and these qualities were especially evident in the Handel. It rattled along at beautifully well-judged tempi, bringing a splendid concert to a rousing and festive conclusion.

The same attention to detail that we heard in the singing was equally evident in Cantilena's planning of the whole evening. They attracted a good audience which included an impressive number of under-18s, published an attractive programme, provided convivial refreshments in the interval, and even laid on a thunder storm at just the right moment in the Haydn.

Julian McNamara, Director of Music, Organist & Master of the Schola Cantorum

Cantilena's recent 2018 Eastertide concert, 'The Cross and The Crown', was performed, in front of an enthusiastic and appreciative audience, on Saturday, 21st April at St Mary's RC Church, Glastonbury, when the choir sang Haydn's 'Seven Last Words from the Cross' in German and two of Handel's four Coronation Anthems, 'Let Thy Hand be Strengthened' and 'The King Shall Rejoice'.
Cantilena was delighted to be joined by the soprano, Tallulah Horton, alto Finn Lacey, tenor Oliver Chubb, bass David Bevan and organist Michael Cockerham.
December 2017, A Sound of Angels
Our autumn concert, 'A Sound of Angels' at St Mary's RC Church, Glastonbury, featuring traditional and modern music of the season seemed to go down well with a sizeable and enthusiastic audience.

William Byrd's thrilling 'Laudibus in Sanctis' in particular was well received, as were mince pies and mulled wine on offer in the interval!

Once again Cantilena and their Music Director, Tony Bevan, were pleased to be supporting St Margaret's Hospice.

The Choir, in turn, were most grateful to Burns the Bread of Glastonbury and The Grape and the Good of Wells for their generous support of the concert.
~Like as the Hart - Herbert Howells (1892–1983)
~Hymn to the Virgin - Benjamin Britten (1913–1976)
~Star of the Mystic East - Edmund Rubbra (1901–1986)
~There is no Rose - John Joubert (1927– )
~Ave Maria - Giuseppe Verdi (1813–1901)
~Sweet was the Song - Richard Rodney Bennett (1936–2012)
~Susanni - Richard Rodney Bennett
~Lullay my Liking - Gustav Holst (1874–1934)
~Lux Aurumque - Eric Whitacre (1970– )
~A Sound of Angels – Christopher Tye (1505–1572)
~Laudibus in Sanctis - William Byrd (1543–1623)
July 2017, Music from the Americas
We Got Rhythm Programme
~Little David Play on Your Harp
~De Battle of Jericho
~Deep River
~Were You There
Ukulele Band
~Uke-in The Rags
~Nobody Knows the Trouble I've Seen
~I'm Gonna Sing/Oh When the Saints/Swing Low
~Hawaiian Lullaby
~Black Sheep
~Lil Liza Jane
~Steal Away
Ukulele Band
~I Got Rhythm
~Lazy Bones
~Down by the Riverside
~Freight Train
Choir and Ukulele Band
~You Are My Sunshine
April 2017, Bach's Magnificat Click here to read Review

Review of Bach's Magnificat

It was….Magnificat!

Sometimes, despite all the learning, rehearsing and expectations, a concert falls flat: lacklustre and unexceptional. Sometimes, everything comes together and the musicians excel themselves with a vibrant, sparkling performance. Cantilena came very close to this on Saturday 29 April when they produced a thrilling evening that left the audience wanting more.

It's often a case of confidence. Choir, and perhaps especially orchestra and soloists, projected that in abundance, creating a relaxed but expectant atmosphere where the glorious Baroque music resounded around St Mary's Church, Glastonbury.

The evening opened with Buxtehude's serene Jesus, Priceless Treasure, allowing the choir to express a sweet, well-balanced sound. It was just the right starter. This was followed by the little-known trumpet concerto by Johann Fasch, played with verve and panache by David Bertie. It's a short, three-movement work from a composer whose large volume of work has almost all been lost, with none published in his long lifetime (1688-1768). It's a piece that deserves wider recognition. The first half ended with Bach's intense and beautiful Cantata God so Loved the World. The choir sang with passion and commitment, aided by Bach's wonderfully architectural orchestration.

Fortified by a convivial interval with wine, the audience settled to hear Bach's popular but challenging Magnificat. There were times when the choir struggled to project over the orchestra, including three trumpets; but overall it was a creditable performance. The audience responded enthusiastically and clearly enjoyed the evening.

There were five soloists, including the very young soprano Tallulah Horton a pupil of Downside School. Tallulah displayed a particular purity of tone as well as accuracy, and it was a delight to hear her during the first half of the concert. The other soloists were Juliet Schiemann (soprano), Roderick Morris (counter-tenor), Edward Ross (tenor) and Benjamin Bevan (bass). In particular, Benjamin Bevan was outstanding in terms of timbre and delivery; although that in no way diminishes the contributions from the others, as all were excellent.

The orchestra and organ were terrific, with some wonderful individual playing. Music director Tony Bevan and choir are to be congratulated on a memorable evening. To be able to experience this quality of music-making locally, and for a relatively modest outlay (including a glass of wine!) was a real treat. It was heartening that the audience was a good size, although the event deserved to be a sell-out.

I look forward to Cantilena's next concert on Saturday 8 July, 7:30pm at St Michael's Church, Park Road, Shepton Mallet, where I understand a very different programme will be on offer.

Eleanor Thomas

Bach's 'Magnificat',
Cantata 68, 'God so Loved the World'.

'Trumpet Concerto in D' by Fasch and Buxtehude's 'Joy and Treasure'.

Juliet Schiemann and Tallulah Horton

Benjamin Bevan (Bass)

Edward Ross (Tenor)

Roderick Morris (Counter Tenor)

David Bertie (Trumpet)

December 2016, Music for Christmas
July 2016, Music with Her Silver Sound
April 2016, Vivaldi, Monteverdi, Handel
December 2015, Noel's Sweet Song
July 2015, The Art of Love
April 2015, Mozart Requium