Highlights of Season 49


  • On the Spain tour, The choir performed the final concert to a packed-out and hugely appreciative audience in Salamanca Cathedral
  • On a boiling hot June day in St Mary’s  Church, Burghfield, choir recorded six pieces for a new CD to be issued for the 50th Anniversary Season.
  • The snowfall from the ‘Beast from the East’ nearly ended up cancelling the Annual Concert. Fortunately it stopped snowing the day before, so people were able to get to Reading.
  • In January Reading Phoenix Choir launched The Walter Hussey Composition Competition, with a £750 prize and a line-up of top judges
  • We did our first ever ‘Facebook Live’ at a December rehearsal  – a short broadcast via Facebook  to showcase some of the music and to generally promote the Carol Concert.
  • The rather neglected Reading Phoenix Choir music archive was dug out, re-indexed (huge job..) and re-distributed among choir members to store
  • The Great Phoenix Bake-off was established – Once a month a choir member volunteers to bake a cake which is then raffled during choir rehearsal break. At £1 a pop, it is a fun and tasty way to raise additional working funds for the choir – Crumbs!
  • Our green credentials were raised following the introduction of personalised ceramic mugs for rehearsal tea breaks. No more single use polystyrene cups.
  • Choir organised and ran a well attended and surprisingly competitive Quiz Night at Charvil Village Hall in February
  • To help engage more followers to the choir, a series of choir member profiles was run. It was delightfully fun and often surprising to read about other choir members background, favourite music and choral pieces – plus best and worst choir experiences!
  • With the 50th Season fast approaching , a sub committee were assembled in order to start planning the events and to make it a memorable year for choir, ex-members and friends
  • Choir and friends were all saddened to learn the death of Mike Taylor in October 2017. Mike was involved with the choir for more than three decades – as stage manager, riser organiser, lighting designer, tour arranger, ticket system developer and much more. He was a kind and gentle man and will be greatly missed by many.


  • Choir memories and Spanish pronunciation were stretched to the limit by Lauridsen’s  Soneto de la Noche
  • Howells Requiem featured heavily in many performances and was performed in full from memory at Checkendon
  • Chile con Carne and Life on Mars became firmly established as the concert  ‘sign-off pieces’ of the season

CHAIRMAN   Chris Riley


23 September 2017 – Swiss Church, London
21 October 2017 –  St Laurence’s Church, Reading in aid of Brighter Berkshire
11 November 2017 – Douai Abbey, in aid of the Army Benevolent Fund
16 December 2017 – Carol Concert, Reading Minster
27 January 2018 – The Barn, Ipsden concert was unfortunately cancelled
03 March 2018 – Annual Concert, Reading Concert Hall

04 April 2018  – Iglesia de la Asunción de Nuestra Señora, Melgar de Fernamental, Burgos
05 April 2018 – Santuario de la Peregrina, Sahagún, León
06 April 2018 – Auditorio de San Francisco, Ávila
07 April 2018 – Catedral Vieja, Salamanca

21 April 2018 – St. Mary’s Church, Twyford – joint concert with The Jewel Tones
09 June 2018 – St Mary’s Church, Whitchurch on Thames
29 June 2018 – St Peter and St Paul Church, Checkendon
14th July 2018 – Come and Sing, Reading Minster

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