Reading Phoenix does not do the ‘works’ as per a conventional choral society – but pursues an agenda of achieving musical excellence across a wide range of choral styles and pieces. The tonal quality and sound are enhanced by performing ‘off copy’ and in mixed positions. Choir members need to be good sight readers and have to learn their parts from memory. This takes a good deal of rehearsal time plus a commitment to perform in at least one concert per month. However the pay-off is a choir that achieves the highest standards in choral singing, a hugely rewarding pastime and shared experience with a very sociable group of like-minded people.
The choir repertoire ranges from Renaissance to Modern Day. Early composers include pieces by Byrd, Tallis, Palestrina & Morales. From the Baroque era Purcell, Vivaldi, Bach. From Romantic era – Bruckner, Brahms, Saint-Seans, Faure, Parry, Elgar, Debussy, Rachmaninov & Holst. The choir also explores the many contemporary genres and pieces by recent and living composers including Taverner, Gjielo, Lauridsen, Chilcott, Rutter, Whitacre & Macmillan. Over the years, our musical directors have often composed traditional, pop and also ‘cheesey but fun’ arrangements for the choir that add to the overall mix and delight our audiences.