Press and Reviews

Review of ‘Lighten our Darkness’ (12 November, 2016)

Musical Opinion Quarterly, January – March 2017

It has been a complete pleasure to compose for and record with Ralph Woodward & the Fairhaven Singers. The choir is an impressive group of singers who all share a passion and enthusiasm which really comes across in the music, and they are lovely people too. Led by Ralph’s stellar musicianship they sang with a wonderful sense of performance. I very much look forward to hearing them premiere Formation in November. It has been a privilege to work with Ralph and the Fairhavens and I look forward to hearing them on the radio very soon!

Thomas Hewitt Jones (composer), October 2013

I have known Ralph Woodward for nearly 30 years, and I’ve worked with the Fairhavens frequently since he took over the choir in 1997. They are a fine (and ever-improving) group of singers, committed to imaginative programming and passionate performances.

Will Todd (composer), March 2012

Magnificent.

Michael Chance  (countertenor), March 2012

The very model of what a good chamber choir should be – flexible, responsive, versatile in its repertoire and a pleasure to listen to.

John Rutter CBE  (composer and conductor), July 2011

What a wonderful evening I had in St John’s! In the first half I really enjoyed partnering with the Sinfonia and the Fairhavens; what a joy to see the voice ranges mingled! You could see the pleasure and hear the lively results. I was so happy to listen to “Ave verum Corpus”: its depth and grandeur in that place took my breath away, and brought all of us I think close to tears. But for me the greatest experience, which I will never forget, was to hear the MacMillan piece; extraordinarily courageous writing, very exacting for choir and orchestra alike, but I cannot imagine it better realised than it was that night.

Emma Kirkby, March 2011

The Fairhaven Singers were conspicuous for vivacity, unanimity of ensemble, sweetness and fulness of tone, flawless intonation, and, when the music called for it, expressive feeling. Long may they flourish!

Robin Holloway (composer and Professor of Music, University of Cambridge), March 2011

Fine, well-blended singing, and bags of energy and vitality.

Christopher Hogwood (founder of the Academy of Ancient Music), March 2011

I enjoyed working with this fine chamber choir: they sang Bach stylishly, displaying good tuning and blend, and had been very thoroughly prepared by Ralph Woodward. They were quick to respond to ideas and suggestions in relation to the music, vocal technique and enunciation of the text, and this made for a stimulating evening’s work.

Stephen Cleobury (Director of Music, Choir of King’s College, Cambridge), February 2010

The Fairhaven Singers is a very accomplished chamber choir, undertaking a busy schedule of concerts and encompassing a large and varied repertoire. I much enjoyed the rehearsal I took; they are able to respond to ideas immediately and sing with a rounded, warm tone. Their intonation is excellent and the training they enjoy on a regular basis is of the highest order.

David Hill, 2008

 

<blockquote>The choir was beautifully balanced and tuned, with a notable purity of tone in the soprano line. The range of sound from pianissimo to fortissimo was achieved as necessary with apparent ease, and there was sensitivity in part singing… the ultimate joyful sound.</blockquote>
<p style=”padding-left: 60px;”>Felicity Sandel, <em>The Mercury</em>, December 2010</p>