Feltham, Middlesex, UK. Registered Charity No.290120
Musical Director: Philip Buckmaster
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Feltham Choral Society was formed in 1973, when a group of singers got together to perform Handel's Messiah. Since then many types of music have been performed, from Renaissance right through to contemporary commissioned works. We are a friendly choir, currently with around 35 members, and are affiliated to Making Music (formerly the National Federation of Music Societies). We rehearse on Wednesdays at St. Dunstan's Church, St. Dunstan's Road, Feltham, from 7.30 to 9.30pm, with a break for refreshments and a chat.
We usually perform 3 or 4 concerts per year, although there are sometimes other opportunities to sing, eg. Christmas Carols at local venues. As often as we can afford it, we employ professional soloists and orchestral players to enhance our concerts. For Baroque concerts, we usually engage an Early Music specialist orchestra. For details of our future concerts, click here: Forthcoming Concerts
To help cover running costs (eg. hire of church, musical director's, accompanist's, soloist's and orchestral players' professional fees) there is an evening class type subscription fee, which is currently £119 for the year September 2012 to July 2013, with a concessionary rate of £94 for students, senior citizens and unwaged. However, arrangements can be made to pay in instalments if preferred. New members joining during the year pay the remaining proportion of the fee. When you consider that the full fee works out at less than £4 per evening, it is extremely good value for money; also bear in mind that concerts with an orchestra and soloists can cost up to £3,000! We also arrange social and fund raising events throughout the year to help cover costs.
There is no formal audition to join the choir - our Musical Director will assess your ability and progress during the first rehearsals and advise you accordingly. Although the ability to read music is obviously an asset, a quick ear and a willingness to learn and to fit in, both vocally and personally, are equally important. You can sing with the choir for up to 3 weeks before committing yourself.
Bruckner - Os Justi (excerpt) (1.5Mb)
Faure - Sanctus (2Mb)
Note: If clicking these links doesn't work on your computer, you can right click, choose "Save Target As...", select a folder to save in, and download the file. You will then be able to play it. (You can then delete the file after use.)
Go to a Map showing the location of St Dunstan's Road and Church, where we rehearse and hold most of our concerts. St Dunstan's is in the centre square. You can click on the arrows to move the map in any direction. Alternatively, if you click on the words Large Map just below, you can see a wider area. Finally, if you click on the - (minus) sign underneath the map (towards the right hand corner) you can zoom out to see a less detailed map which covers the whole of West London out as far as Bracknell. And so on! The nearest postcode is TW13 4JY.
N.B. Clicking on this link will take you to streetmap.co.uk - to return to FCS, just click on your browser's 'back' button.
Our Musical Director
Philip Buckmaster was born in 1959. After some initial piano lessons with his grandmother, he taught himself to improvise, a skill which has served him well over the years. At age 10 he started formal piano lessons with Tony Russell, and later piano and organ with Gillian Ward Russell. Whilst still at school he enjoyed directing ensembles, often trying out his own compositions. One of his music teachers remarked that "he knew what he wanted from his singers and players, and knew how to get it."
He then attended the Colchester Institute School of Music, where he was awarded an honours degree, studying the organ under John Cooper and Harrison Oxley and gaining the ARCO diploma, the piano under Ruth Harte, conducting under Chris Phelps, harmony and counterpoint under Alan Bullard. He also played the violin in the orchestra and sang in the chamber choir. He then followed a specialist course for music teachers at Kingston University, and now enjoys a varied career based in South West London, playing, teaching, directing, composing and arranging.
For many years he worked at the renowned Elmhurst School of Dance and Performing Arts as a dance pianist, (using those improvisation skills), an A level music teacher and a computer expert, (a skill he acquired in 'later life' through an interest in technical things) until their relocation to Birmingham in 2004. More recently he has taught organ at Hampton School and is currently a music teacher with the Richmond Music Trust, leading children's ensembles, often using his own specially tailored compositions. Since the age of 16 he has held Organist and Director of Music posts at various churches, (St Matthew's, Ashford since 1990) and has arranged, recorded and produced a collection of songs for foreign children learning English. He has been Musical Director of Feltham Choral Society since 1991 and with them has performed several of his own arrangements and compositions. Drawing on his interest in Baroque music and historically informed performance, in 2005 he founded the Ashford Baroque Ensemble, an ensemble of professionals, semi-professionals and good amateurs playing music from the late Renaissance to early Classical periods. The ABE has quickly built up a reputation in the area for its varied, entertaining and high standard concerts, often championing lesser known composers such as the brilliant Thomas Linley.
Always guilty of "spreading himself too thinly", from 1993 to 2005 he also ran a part time business in building, maintaining and upgrading computers - naturally with music applications a speciality - and now supports ICT at St Ignatius RC Primary School in Sunbury. He is married with two children.
Box Office & Choir Contacts
To purchase tickets for concerts, phone 020 8890 0238. Concessionary tickets are usually available for children, students, senior citizens and unemployed, and family tickets are available at some concerts - for example carol concerts with audience participation.
To join the choir or to come and try singing with us, just turn up at a rehearsal, or phone: 01932 783343 (Musical Director) for more information. To become a patron or to sponsor the choir, phone: 020 8894 1520. Or you can e-mail email@example.com for any other information you require.
Some of the choral works we have performed (in chronological order by birth of composer):
Charpentier: Messe de Minuit
Purcell: Ode on St. Cecilia's Day, 1692; selections from The Fairy Queen, Te Deum
Vivaldi: Gloria in D
JS Bach: Magnificat; Cantatas no.131 & 140; Jesu, Meine Freude
CPE Bach: Magnificat
Handel: Messiah; Chandos Anthems: O Praise the Lord with one Consent; My Song shall be Alway; Coronation Anthem: Zadok the Priest
Haydn: Creation; Theresa Mass in Bb; The Seven Last Words of Christ (Passion), The 'Little Organ' Mass, Nelson Mass
Mozart: Requiem; Missa Brevis in F; Missa Brevis in D; Spatzenmesse in C; Coronation Mass in C; Inter Natos Mulierum; Vesperae Solennes de Dominica
Hummel: Mass in Bb
Beethoven: Mass in C
Rossini: Petite Messe Solennelle
Schubert: Mass in G, Mass in Bb
Mendelssohn: Elijah; St Paul
Liszt: Missa Brevis
Offenbach: Orpheus in the Underworld
Bruckner: Requiem & Motets
Brahms: Liebeslieder Waltzes; Gipsy Songs; Motets
Dvorak: Mass in D
Fauré: Requiem, Cantique de Jean Racine
Parry: Blest Pair of Sirens; I was Glad
Léhar: The Merry Widow
Kodaly: Pange Lingua
Armstrong Gibbs: The Turning Year
Barber: Agnus Dei
Britten: Rejoice in the Lamb
Geoffrey Bush: Christmas Cantata
Lennox Berkeley: Missa Brevis
Bullard: This is Our World (specially commissioned by the choir)
Buckmaster: Full Fathom Five; The Christmas Collection
Part songs, folk songs and madrigals
Opera arias and choruses
Complete performances or excerpts from shows such as: Pirates of Penzance, Trial by Jury, The Bartered Bride, The Merry Widow, Merrie England,
Oklahoma, Oliver, West Side Story, The Phantom of the Opera, Les Miserables, etc.
Christmas Concert 2014
Saturday, 13th December
Vivaldi - Magnificat
Parry - Magnificat
Christmas Carols for Choir and Audience
Spring Concert 2015
- date and music tba -
Summer Concert 2015
- date and music tba -
with a buffet supper and wine / soft drink included
Tickets: £15, concessions £13 in
£16 / £14 on the door. Under 18s - £8
Box office: 020 8890 0238
Please book in advance if possible for catering purposes
Click here for a page containing Members' Resources to help you learn the music in our repertoire.
Half term: Wednesday 29th October
Quiz night with fish and chip supper: Saturday 31st January, 2015 @ Christ Church, Feltham
Prospective Soloists Information
We have had many e-mails from singers finding this site. At present we have several soprano and baritone soloists on our books, but we still interested in hearing from professional, semi-professional, student and good amateur contraltos, counter-tenors, tenors and low basses looking for solo work with a smaller choir, and with this in mind we would like to provide the following information:
Being a smallish choir with limited funds, our fees for solo vocalists range from £50 to about £150.
A CV on its own gives little indication of vocal timbre or musical sensitivity, which are the qualities we are most interested in. A simple recording - even a sound clip on a web site - is likely to receive more attention. Baroque specialists are particularly welcome.
Please note that due to pressures of time we may not always be able to acknowledge receipt of information.
Ashford Baroque Ensemble
St Dunstan's Church, Feltham
St Matthew's Church, Ashford