Festival Chorus 2023

We are very grateful to the Katoomba Branch of the Bendigo Bank for sponsoring the Festival Chorus in 2023.

The Festival Chorus is the highlight of the Blackheath Choir Festival and closes the festival in the final concert on Sunday afternoon, 27 August. This year the music will be a selection of beautiful baroque and renaissance pieces under the direction of London-based conductor James Dixon.

You will need to be capable of substantially learning the music on your own, with the help of the aural learning resources we’re happy to provide. To make the most of James’ visit to Australia there will be a compulsory all-day rehearsal on Sunday 13 August, 11.30 – 5.30, in a rehearsal room in the cloister area of St Patrick’s Cathedral, Parramatta, as well as a 2 hour rehearsal during the Festival on the morning of Sunday 27 August in the Phillips Hall, Blackheath.

About James Dixon

James Dixon’s love of choral music from a young age was inspired by the music programme at St Aloysius’ College, Milsons Point. After studying organ at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, he caught the conducting bug whilst organ scholar at St Francis of Assisi, Paddington and St Patrick’s Cathedral, Parramatta. Since moving to the UK from Sydney in 2012 to study Choral Conducting at the Royal Academy of Music, he has been in demand as a choral specialist and educator in London, across the UK, France, Singapore and Australia. Working in styles ranging from Gregorian chant to the latest hits, James has a passion for music of the Renaissance and the French and German Romantic schools.

James is the Director of Music at St Francis of Assisi, Notting Hill, Musical Director of Opus XVI Chamber Choir, Streatham, Musical Director of St Cecilia Chorus, Banstead and Curriculum Music teacher and Choir Director at St Joseph’s RC Primary School, Bermondsey as part of Southwark Music’s School Partnership Programme. James also works on a project basis with the Byrd Consort in the UK, France and Australia and is delighted to have been asked to conduct the Blackheath Festival Chorus this year.

2023 Repertoire

J.S. Bach – O Jesu Christ meins Lebens Licht BWV 118
YouTube: The Norwegian Soloists’ Choir with Ensemble Allegria · Grete Pedersen

J.S. Bach – Jesu Joy of Man’s desiring
YouTube: Choir of King’s College

F. Durante/Pergolesi – Magnificat
YouTube: Ghislieri Choir & Consort

F. Guerrero – Duo seraphim
YouTube: The Cambridge Singers

W. Byrd – Ave verum corpus
YouTube: The Sixteen

H. Schütz – Selig sind die Toten
YouTube: The Cambridge Singers

J. Zelenka – Regina coeli

Rehearsal resources

Scores and mp3 rehearsal tracks will become available by Monday 07 March. You will be given a password for this webpage upon registration

To sing with the Festival Chorus in the final concert of the festival join up here:

(Note. Choristers in the Byrd Consort, Bel a cappella and the Hunter Singers need not complete this form, your choir will register for you.)

Note that we may be photographing and audio and/or video recording the Festival Chorus for our archives and for future publicity. By submitting this registration you are agreeing to this.