Blackheath Choir is a mixed chorus of approximately 70 voices of all ages and backgrounds and was founded in 1971 as The Ascension Choir. We aim to achieve high vocal standards with exciting repertoire choices, whilst maintaining a relaxed, friendly and inclusive social atmosphere. Alongside established choral favourites, we explore lesser known works, contemporary composers and even premiere new commissions.
There are 3 main concerts per year, usually on Sunday evenings at the end of each school term. These are accompanied by established ensembles and soloists, though there are often opportunities for members to sing smaller solos. We value the opportunity to work with and learn from high calibre vocal soloists and instrumentalists.
In addition to the main concert programme, the choir takes part in workshops and competitions, sings carols for charity at Christmas, and holds a variety of social events. We participate in additional events, both locally and further afield, including Blackheath celebrations for the Olympics and Platinum Jubilee, and have sung national anthems for the Rugby World Cup at the Olympic Stadium.
The choir rehearses on Tuesday evenings in term times, 7:30-9:30pm.
Patricia Williams – Music Director
Patricia Williams is a prize winning graduate of the Guildhall School of Music, where piano accompanying was her principal study and working with singers her greatest love. After leaving college she studied singing with John Carol Case, Marjorie Thomas and Gordon Stewart.
Patricia’s early freelance career included a year as pianist at the Royal Ballet School, accompanying choirs such as the North London Chorus and the Horniman Singers, and tutoring in both Higher and Adult Education. She also led vocal and choral workshops ranging from complete beginners to advanced students. Her firm belief that singing is a joy that can be shared by everyone makes her an enthusiastic advocate of good singing practice.
In 1986 Patricia joined Blackheath Choir as Accompanist and in 1991 was invited to be its Music Director, since when she has conducted them in three or four concerts per year. Programmes include the major oratorios but also explore lesser known works, particularly by British composers.
Patricia teaches singing privately and at James Allen’s Girls’ School, where she also directs the Jags Madrigalists and the Holst Choir. The Holst Choir has been a finalist in National Competitions and has appeared at the major London Concert Halls . It gave the first performance of Stanley Glasser’s ”Zulu Proverbs 2” at St John’s, Smith Square.
Patricia also gives song recitals and herself appears as a soloist in oratorio. She accompanies other singers in concert and presents her own “one woman shows” singing from the piano. In May 2002 she released a CD, ”She Sings Comic Songs” which is a testimony to her versatility as a performer.
Andrew Tait – Accompanist
Andrew Tait studied at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, the Franz Liszt Academy, Budapest, and Trinity College of Music. Andrew has been privileged to have performed in major concert halls from Sweden to South America. His concert activities are diverse and extensive, performing as a soloist, chamber musician, accompanist and continuo player.
He is an experienced repetiteur having worked with Collegium Musicum of London, London Oriana Choir, The Fourth Choir, Pegasus Opera, Midsummer Opera, Scherzo Ensemble and British Black Music Foundation Voices. Internationally, he has also recorded for radio, television and film, more recently playing Chopin Preludes for the film, Keyboard Fantasies: Beverley Glenn Copeland (dir. Posy Dixon).
In addition to his work as a performer, he teaches at the Royal Academy of Music (Junior Dept). The lighter side of his career includes performing on Top of The Pops with ‘Boy Bands’ of the 1990’s. He also has a keen interest in choral music and was for several years the director of Koruso! Southwark Community Choir, London.