World premiere coming up

02/06/2016 17:20

On Saturday July 2nd 2016 at 7:30 pm at St Ann’s Church, Manchester, M2 7LF


The Manchester Chorale likes to have a theme for their concerts and this time they have chosen ‘Stories, Strawberries and Shakespeare’ – an intriguing concoction. An outline of the concert will explain how the theme will be explored.


Stories Many of the Chorale’s favourites tell a story. Nicolette meets a wolf, then a page, then an ancient, ugly lord and falls for his money – a perfectly formed little song by Ravel. Eric Whitacre’s Seal Lullaby uses Kipling’s tale of a mother seal singing to her pup and overlays it with rich harmonies. Alice is inspired by Lewis Carroll and the Chorale have to sing the story in a suitably mad way: ‘Twinkle, twinkle little bat’! Byrd and Henry VIII may also feature on the night. However, pride of place in our stories goes to the world premiere of Rouen composed by the Chorale’s own  Chris O’Hara . Chris has taken a poem by May Wedderburn Cannan, who was a volunteer at the railhead at Rouen during the First World War. She evocatively recalls her mixed emotions as trains were dispatched to the battlefront: ‘the sudden awful silence when the last train swung to darkness’. Chris has matched his music to the changing emotions.


Strawberries The Manchester Chorale probably won’t be singing about strawberries, but they will play a major role in the refreshments.


Shakespeare The Chorale has an extensive repertoire of songs by a variety of composers who have set Shakespeare’s words to music. This includes O Mistress Mine, Caliban's Song (Hamilton), Double Double Toil and Trouble (Mantyjaarvi), Shall I Compare Thee to a Summer's Day (Lindberg) and It was a Lover and his Lass (Rutter). We will also be performing a selection of songs from the Matthew Harris Shakespeare Songbooks. Some of these even tell a story – two for the price of one.


Our Musical Director


Jill Henderson-Wild has been with us since 2006.

Her biographical notes are in the People page.

Our Assistant Musical Director

Dave Robinson

See the People page for more details

2024 Concert Dates:


  • 29 June 2024, 7:30pm, at Emmanuel Church, Didsbury 
  • 6 July 2024, 7:30pm, at the church of St Michael and All Angels, Hawkshead
  • 19 October 2024, 3:00pm, at St Margaret's Church, Prestwich
  • 7 December 2024, 3:00pm, at Didsbury Baptist Church
  • 24 December 2024, 3:00pm in the Bridgewater Hall
  • 15 March 2025, 7:30pm, with Bury Youth Big Band at Bury Parish Church
  • 10 May 2025, 7:30pm, with the Master Singers at All Saints Parish Church, Cawthorne
  • 5 July 2025, 7:30pm, at the Bridge Church, Otley
Tickets can be reserved here