We have learned with great sadness of the death on February 14th of Maureen, the wife of our President, John Mitchinson
Maureen studied at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama. Subsequently, singing under her maiden name, Maureen Guy, she had a distinguished career as a mezzo-soprano in opera, oratorio and on the concert platform.
Mitch has been our President since 2005 – and was our vice president from 1996 – and during all that time Maureen has shared his great love for and interest in Philomusica. They attended many of our concerts together, notwithstanding the long journey they had to make from their home in Pembrokeshire in order to do so. We always valued Maureen’s perceptive comments and, above all, her encouragement. To recognise their shared support for Philo we intended to make Maureen as well as Mitch an Honorary Life Member of Philo at our AGM in March. Sadly, Maureen has left us too soon. However, she knew of our intention and was thrilled and touched by the proposal, so much so that she told people completely unconnected with Philo of her great delight.
Maureen and Mitch met when both were engaged as soloists in a performance of Elijah in Wales. They were married on 8 May, 1958 at the chapel in her home town of Penclawdd, Glamorganshire. It was quite an occasion; the photographs show large crowds of local people had turned out but, as Mitch ruefully admitted, they hadn’t come to see the tenor!
We mourn the passing of a fine singer, a dedicated teacher but, above all, of a gracious lady and a great friend.
We extend to Mitch and their two sons, David and Mark, our deepest sympathies.
For more details of Maureen and the highlights of her career please download the file below.
Some rare live performances by Maureen on YouTube
Sadly we have also lost one of the stalwarts of our violin section: Jeremy Ballard. Jeremy has played with us for as long as I can remember and we were so fortunate to have someone of his ability and personality!
Hi son, Jonathan, gave a very moving tribute to Jeremy at his funeral on Ferbruary 20th and you can read it below and marvel at a life so full of talent and kindness.
Philomusica for music and fun - the friendliest choir in the Three Counties
Welcome to the website of Philomusica, the place for music, variety and fun!
We have a vision for Philomusica: we're continuing to build the choir that:
- everyone wants to join
- everyone wants to hear
Our Spring Concerts: Mendelssohn's Elijah
Rehearsals for our spring concerts are now well under way. Our choir and soloists are going to be giving three performances of one of the greatest nineteenth century oratorios: Elijah by Mendelssohn.
Linda is looking forward to conducting the performances very much. She says:” The first performance of Elijah, which took place in Birmingham in 1846, was a huge success and it’s been a firm favourite with British singers and audiences ever since. It tells the story of the Old Testament prophet in a dramatic, exciting way.
The choir last performed Elijah in 2005 and Linda knows everyone is keen to perform it again. “It’s no surprise that Elijah is such a favourite”, she says. “It contains many truly memorable arias and some very exciting choruses.”
Our first two performances will be accompanied by our organist, Simon Bertram. Details are as follows:
28 March. Holy Trinity, Longlevens, Gloucester GL2 0AJ
18 April St John-in-Bedwardine, Worcester WR2 5BS
On 25 April for our final performance we shall be joined by our orchestra, led as usual by Christopher Horner. That concert takes place at Tewkesbury Abbey
All three concerts start at 7.30 pm. Tickets are available at firstname.lastname@example.org
Come and hear us in one of the most uplifting choral pieces ever written – and do take a look also at our ‘Where to Hear Us’ page for details of our other concerts in 2015.
Or….Why not sing in Elijah?
New members are always warmly welcomed and currently we’d particularly like to increase the numbers in our excellent bass section. Singing with Philomusica is varied, exciting – and fun! And there are no auditions: we let all new members have a trial period during which they pay no subscription and see if they like singing with us – almost invariably people stay with us. If you’d like to know more please contact Linda either by emailing email@example.com or by calling 01684 850426. We’d love to hear from you!
Becoming a Member
If you would like to join Philomusica as a chorus member please contact the relevant Group Representative:
Worcester – Worcester@philomusica.org.uk
Gloucester – Gloucester@philomusica.org.uk
If you’d like more details of the singing opportunities as a soloist with Philomusica, then please contact Linda at firstname.lastname@example.org
We’d love to hear from you.