Summer Gala

Pre-concert talk from 6.40pm to 7pm in the main hall with John Rutter, Toby Spence and David Ogden, chaired by the Editor of BBC Music Magazine, Oliver Condy

Conducted by John Rutter and David Ogden
With Toby Spence tenor
Erica Eloff soprano
Martin Le Poidevin bass

City of Bristol Choir
Westbury-on-Trym Parish Church Choir
Bristol Youth Choir
Exultate Singers
Singers from The Red Maids’ School

Bristol Ensemble

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City of Bristol Choir is joined by Exultate Singers, Bristol Youth Choir, choristers from Westbury-on-Trym Parish Church, singers from The Red Maids’ School and the professional orchestra the Bristol Ensemble to perform John Rutter’s moving Mass of the Children, conducted by the composer himself in the year that he celebrates his 70th birthday.

The Mass blends wonderful writing for children’s voices with adult choral forces and rich orchestration in a setting that sets parts of the traditional mass and English poetry. John Rutter is a master of both melody and orchestration and combined with rhythmic vibrancy and joyful optimism, the Mass of the Children is an uplifting piece to hear live in concert.

Jonathan Dove’s cantata There Was a Child is a big, warm-hearted modern masterpiece in the spirit of Britten and Vaughan Williams, written as a tribute to a friend’s son who died tragically young. It is filled with both joyous celebration and heartfelt emotion. This performance features the soprano Erica Eloff, and tenor soloist Toby Spence, who appears at the 2015 BBC Proms under the baton of Sir Simon Rattle.

“Jonathan Dove’s There Was a Child is a major addition to the choral repertoire, and will surely be taken up by societies up and down the country, perhaps with reduced orchestration for economy’s sake. Emotionally soul-baring, sharing an umbilical cord with Finzi’s Intimations of Immortality and even Dies Natalis, this panorama of a young life draws texts from so many fine poets and therefore demands consummate clarity of presentation.” Birmingham Post

City of Bristol Choir is an auditioned choir of 90 singers, which gives regular concerts in Bristol and around the South West, and has appeared on BBC radio and television.

The concert is given in aid of Wallace and Gromit’s Grand Appeal for Bristol Children’s Hospital.

Tickets are available in three price bands, from £20 to £40.

Telephone 0844 887 1500 or buy online at or in person at the box office from 10am to 6pm Monday to Saturday