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A Multitude of Voices

11th March 2023 @ 7:30 pm

Nottingham Chamber Singers
Rachel Parkes conductor

The Music

Nottingham Chamber Singers invite you to join them as they dive in to the rich, exquisite and relatively under-represented canon of choral works by female composers.

Our concert, in the same week as International Women’s Day, will take the opportunity to celebrate 900 years of Passiontide themed motets, both reflective and uplifting from the 11th Century Abbess and Polymath Hildegard von Bingen through to the emerging and talented Kerensa Briggs (b.1991). Throughout the concert, acclaimed Saxophonist John Barker will be weaving transcendent melodies into and around our program, culminating in a second half performance of the beautiful Son of God Mass by James Whitbourn to ease you into Eastertide.

The Performers

John Barker (saxophone) was a Foundation Scholar at the Royal College of Music for 5 years where he achieved a Distinction in his Master’s Degree in Performance. He was a BBC Young Musicians Woodwind Finalist in 1998 as well as winning numerous other prizes and awards. He is now Director of Music at Leicester Grammar School. “John Barker is an astonishingly accomplished saxophonist. Whether on alto or soprano, there appears to be no limit to his technique.” (Stephen Pritchard, The Observer)

Henry Parkes (organ) enjoys a dual career as a university lecturer and freelance performer. After stints as organ scholar at St George’s, Windsor and Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford, he established himself as a church musician, accompanist, and orchestral keyboardist in London. Career highlights have included organ recitals at Westminster Abbey, St Alban’s, Coventry, York Minster, St John’s and Trinity Colleges, Cambridge, and the Buxton Festival, accompaniment for the contemporary music choir Commotio – with whom he recorded James Whitbourn’s Luminosity (Naxos, 2010), often to be heard on Radio 3 – and an array of orchestral gigs, ranging from outreach events to the Wilderness Festival to the BBC Proms, including live CD recordings of Holst’s Planets and Brahms’ Requiem with the London Philharmonic. He holds Fellowship of the Royal College of Organists, with the Limpus Prize for performance, as well as a Silver Medal of the Worshipful Company of Musicians. Since 2020 he has taught music at the University of Nottingham (specialising in medieval repertories) and is an occasional deputy at St Mary’s in the Lace Market.

Rachel Parkes (conductor) was a founder member of the internationally successful a cappella ensemble Voces8 with whom she performed and toured extensively. She was also an active member of the London choral scene for 10 years, performing at the highest level with groups such as Tenebrae, London Voices, Howard Goodall’s Enchanted Voices, and the Eric Whitacre Singers. She has performed a wide range of repertoire, from the classical tradition to Hollywood movie scores, contemporary opera, and classical-pop crossover. Rachel spent 5 years working in the USA as a soloist, choral singer, vocal coach and singing teacher before moving to Nottingham in 2020. She is now thrilled to be back in her homeland, working as MfE Assistant Artistic Director and continuing her work as a vocal and choral animateur. She lives in West Bridgford with her husband, Henry and her two young children, George and Stella.

Formerly known as the East of England Singers, the Nottingham Chamber Singers have a busy concert schedule performing works across the full choral range, from William Byrd to James Macmillan. The choir’s refreshingly dynamic and committed performances continue to receive critical and public acclaim, led by Assistant conductor and Music for Everyone’s Assistant Artistic Director, Rachel Parkes.


In advance: Full £9, Concession £8, Child/Student £4.50
On the door: Full £10, Concession £9, Child/Student £5

Online booking is now closed. Tickets will be available to buy on the door, from 7pm on Saturday 11th March

Available online via the Buy Tickets button or from the MfE Box Office on 0115 9589312.
In person (in advance) – Monday – Friday, 10am – 5pm: 10 Goose Gate, Hockley, Nottingham NG1 1FF. We accept payment by cash, cheque or card.

Also available on the door, subject to availability.

The Venue

The church is easy to find on Trevose Gardens, off Mansfield Road in Sherwood. Parking is available on site with on-street parking near by. The venue is easily accessible by public transport, bus stops are located a few minutes walk away.


11th March 2023
7:30 pm
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St Martin’s Church
Trevose Gardens
Sherwood, NG5 3FU United Kingdom
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