City Chorus is celebrating its 100th Anniversary in 2020 with a special birthday concert on 23rd October 2020. Please join us to hear 100 choral voices, accompanied by Instrumentalists from the Royal College of Music and professional soloists. We will perform Mozart’s Coronation Mass and Ave Verum Corpus, and Handel’s anthems My Heart is Inditing and Zadok the Priest, in the stunning setting of Southwark Cathedral in London.
The City Chorus began life in 1920 as a choir set up by staff of the National Provincial Bank, as it was then known. From the first, it was a significant London musical group, attracting distinguished soloists and performing the core classical repertoire.
After an inaugural performance in Westminster Central Hall of Coleridge Taylor's Hiawatha, the National Provincial Bank Musical Society went from strength to strength, and in 1922 was honoured to have the composer Ralph Vaughan Williams conducting his own Fantasia on Christmas Carols. The repertoire expanded to include works by Elgar, Brahms and Holst, and one of the choir's concerts was shown on television, a novelty at the time.
In 1965, the choir underwent a fundamental change when it appointed its first ever professional conductor, Ian Humphris. Another change occurred in 1969 when the Provincial's merger with Westminster Bank led to the change of the choir’s name to the National Westminster Bank Choir. The Nat West Bank, now part of the Royal Bank of Scotland, has subsequently provided much appreciated support throughout the years.
Since then, the choir has changed its name to City Chorus and performed a wide range of music from the sixteenth century to modern choral compositions and arrangements, including works by Clucas, Grabu, Fauré, Lotti, Rossini, Orff and Elgar. To celebrate the choir’s 90th birthday, City Chorus commissioned a new piece, ‘Still Roar’, from British Composer Award winner Kerry Andrew.