The History of Concordia
Concordia Voices started life as The Apocalypse Singers
having been founded in 2000 by Christopher Hodges,
a former New College, Oxford Choral Scholar who went
on to sing with The Clerkes of Oxenford and then with
The Sixteen, of which he remains a Trustee. See
The choir was renamed Concordia Voices in 2003 at
the time of Neil Ferris's appointment as Musical Director.
Neil was a choral scholar at Royal Holloway, University
of London and has a Master’s degree in Performance
Studies from the Royal College of Music, where he
specialised in conducting. See
photographs of Neil's first concert.
After eight rewarding years of development for the
choir, Neil was succeeded by William Petter in September
2011 and an exciting new phase in the choir's history
began. William started his singing life as a chorister
at New College, Oxford, under the direction of Edward
Higginbottom and completed his postgraduate studies
at the Royal Academy of Music, for which he gained
the highest award, distinction with DipRAM.
The choir has been fortunate to have excellent accompanists,
all of whom have taken rehearsals from time to time.
Christopher Cromar was the first, then Alex Chaplin
and currently Paul Ayres. Read more about Paul on
the page Accompanist.
The choir has performed many concerts, both in southwest
London, where it is based and also further afield.
Highlights include two Midland Sinfonia Concert Series
appearances in Alvechurch, a summer concert in St
John Smith Square, singing the services at Llandaff
Cathedral, a nationally reviewed Messiah in Christ
Church Spitalfields and regular Advent concerts in
St. Luke's Chelsea. The choir has made tours to Berlin,
Caen, Paris, Brussels, Luzerne
and Bruges. Equally important have been the concerts
supporting various charities, for example Eyes
Right. Notable recent performances have been Handel's
Dixit Dominus with a small chamber orchestra at the
10th anniversary concert and Brahm's Requiem, performed
in the original scoring for piano duet caccompniment.
As well as singing a traditional chamber choir repertoire
Concordia Voices has a keen interest in performing
contemporary works and has sung works by Jonathan
Dove, James MacMillan, Jonathan Rathbone, Paul Ayres,
Morten Lauridsen, Eric Whitacre, John Tavener and
Patrick Larley. In 2005 the choir gave the London
premiere of Naji Hakim's Messe Solennelle and in 2009,
the first performance of a specially commissioned
piece by Paul Spicer.
Ein Deutsches Requiem by Brahms in March 2016 was
William's last concert with the choir. William gave
the choir nearly five years of inspirational and enjoyable
music-making which was exceedingly rewarding and beneficial
for the choir.
During the autumn 2016, Jack Apperley
was appointed musical director for the choir and will
take up his position in the new year. Find out about
Jack on the page Musical Director.