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Lighthouse, Poole’s centre for the arts is delighted Bournemouth Symphony Chorus has accepted an invitation to become an Associate Artist of the venue.

The agreement formalises the highly productive existing relationship between Lighthouse and Bournemouth Symphony Chorus that has seen the choir develop its work at the venue and support Lighthouse with performance, participation and education events and using Lighthouse for its weekly rehearsals.

As a Lighthouse Associate Artist the Chorus will continue its work with the Youth Chorus and the hugely popular annual BIG Sing event in which singers of all abilities from the local community and beyond are invited to spend a day developing a performance with the Chorus and professional musicians. This year more than 700 people participated.

Lighthouse will continue to be the choir’s principal concert venue for performances of traditional repertoire and contemporary works, as well as for new works it commissions from time to time.

In addition, the Chorus will stage an annual concert in aid of Lighthouse.

“I’m delighted to be able to officially recognise Bournemouth Symphony Chorus as our latest Associate Artist,” says Lighthouse Chief Executive Elspeth McBain.

“The choir has been a beacon of excellence in the choral tradition since it was founded almost 110 years ago, and we are proud to have been its home venue for more than forty years. This new agreement reinforces our already close working relationship and enables us to look forward to an exciting future.”

The first fundraising concert, Spring Into Song Choral Spectacular, is on Saturday 23 May and will feature Carl Orff’s perennially popular Carmina Burana as well as a choral medley from Les Miserables and Bernstein’s ‘Make Our Garden Grow’ and songs from West Side Story.

“The Bournemouth Symphony Chorus is delighted to be Resident Chorus at Lighthouse, Poole’s remarkable centre for the arts, and to support its enterprising and inclusive artistic programme,” says Carolyn Date MBE, Chorus Manager for Bournemouth Symphony Chorus.

“We are proud to be in partnership with such an excellent team and also like our orchestra BSO, in making our home in arguably the region’s best arts facility.”

Bournemouth Symphony Chorus has a membership of around 160 singers and although the majority of its concerts are given with Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra it also performs independently with other orchestras, a capella, with organ or smaller ensembles. Conductors with whom it has appeared in recent years at LIghthouse include Marin Allsop, Andrew Litton, Tamas Vasary, Richard Hickox, Kees Bakels, David Hill, Nicholas McGegan, Lawrence Cummings and Kirill Karabits.

The Chorus actively promotes singing with young people and established and manages the Bournemouth Symphony Children’s Choir and Bournemouth Symphony Youth Chorus, which also rehearse at Lighthouse. It has also participated in concerts with youth orchestras, performing major works such as the Berlioz Grande Messe des Morts, Orff’s Camina Burana, Britten’s War Requiem and James MacMillan’s Little Mass.

Gavin Carr was appointed as Chorus Master in 2009 and in 2017 became the Chorus Director of the Bournemouth Symphony Chorus.

:: Bournemouth Symphony Chorus performs Bach’s St Matthew Passion at LIghthouse on Palm Sunday, 5 April.

Published 12 March 2020