Archive for the ‘News’ Category

The Time Has Come

Posted on December 16th, 2015

unnamedWe were thrilled in November to give the first performance of “The Time Has Come”, by Ēriks Ešenvalds, a powerful setting of part of Nelson Mandela’s inaugural address. Now, to mark last week’s second anniversary of the great leader’s death, we are proud to release our recording of it. It’s available here. Enjoy!

Memorial Concert raises £1000 for Cancer Research UK

Posted on October 8th, 2015

Last Saturday in Cambridge, the Fairhaven Singers and Orchestral Score, under conductor Ralph Woodward, held a memorial concert for Dora Kemp, a member of the choir who died of leukaemia at the age of only 47. Dora, a keen musician and sailor, grew up in Canada but had lived in Cambridge for over 20 years, and worked at the McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research. The concert was attended by many of Dora’s friends, some from as far afield as Canada, who were treated to an evening of her favourite music, including works by Mozart, Beethoven and Elgar. Stan and Ann Salsman, from Halifax, Nova Scotia, said: “It was a great honour to be able to attend the memorial concert in Dora’s memory. We had known the lovely Dora for more than 30 years and watched her develop into the fine musician and cheerful person that she was. We will always hold her dearly in our hearts.” The event raised an impressive £1000 for Cancer Research UK. The Fairhaven Singers’ next concert takes place at 7.30pm on Saturday, November 7th in Queens’ College Chapel, and includes the premiere of a piece based on a Nelson Mandela speech.


Into the Stars is available to order now!

Posted on May 14th, 2015

The new Fairhaven CD we’ve all been waiting for, Into the Stars, has finally been published and is now available to order on our Buy CDs page. A must-have for patrons of new music. We hope you enjoy listening!

Coming Spring 2015…

Posted on July 5th, 2014

A new CD of many of our commissioned works, including Somtow Sucharitkul’s Clare-Voyance (2014), Carl Rütti’s Amen (2011), and Joseph Phibbs’, Lullay, lullay, thou lytil child (2012). We had a brilliant recording session last Saturday, and can’t wait to hear the results.


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A small forest of music stands

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Producer Michael Ponder with conductor Ralph Woodward

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Take forty-seven?

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Eleanor Cramer preparing for her soaring soprano solo

Tour to Bologna and Parma

Posted on June 9th, 2014

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The Fairhaven Singers had a great time on their recent tour to Bologna and Parma. We gave two concerts, one in Parma Cathedral on Friday 30th May, and a joint concert with a local choir, “Coro Euridice”, in San Giacomo Maggiore, Bologna, on Saturday 31st May. We particularly enjoyed listening to the sublime singing of the local choir, and loved the large and friendly local audience they brought with them.    
FS tour to Italy - Bologna 29-05-14 -05_resizedAs well as the singing, there was ample opportunity to sample the amazing local food and drink. The tour officially started with a meal to remember Alyson Harvey, a choir member for many years who left a trust in her will to provide for the choir to socialise on tour. Some members were wowed by the traditional tagliatelle Bolognese, whereas others thought the tortellini with pear, cheese and walnuts the most delicious main course. We all enjoyed the grilled and imaginatively prepared vegetables served with every meal, and many indulged in a few glasses of Prosecco neat, or in a bright orange aperitif with Aperol. Several people tried to fit a whole Parma ham into their carry on bags, but had to settle for a few slices instead.  Most tasted a wide range of gelati (including a sicilian lemon granita to die for!), and some people even went on a gastronomic tour of the city.

FS tour to Italy - Bologna 31-05-14 -34_resizedTo enable us to fit into our seats on the way back, some choir members exercised by walking up the 498 steps to the top of the Torre degli Asinelli, climbing the hill through the 666 arches and past the 15 chapels to the Santuario della Madonna di San Luca, but, for the less hardcore, wandering in and out of the many high-end clothing shops in Bologna between coffee stops was sufficient.  

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 Thanks very much to Ralph and Anna for organising the trip – here’s to next year!

Our new choral scholars

Posted on October 15th, 2013

We are delighted to announce that the winners of the 2014 Sepura Fairhaven Singers Choral Scholarship are Imogen Edge-Partington (soprano) and Tom Mullock (bass). They will join the choir for the Lent Term, culminating in our performance of Mozart’s Mass in C minor and Paul Mealor’s Stabat Mater in King’s College Chapel on March 29th.

Singing for your supper

Posted on November 19th, 2012

Music and food: two of life’s greatest pleasures. Now you can experience both with the Fairhaven Singers. We love to eat, drink and be merry almost as much as we love to sing. So it was only a matter of time before we produced a cookbook. The Fairhaven Singers Recipe Book brings you our favourite recipes, inspired by meals we have shared together at home and on tour. Several of our recent collaborators have also contributed recipes, including Dame Emma Kirkby and composers Will Todd and Thomas Hewitt Jones. Proceeds from sales of this little volume will help support our ever more ambitious musical plans for the future.

This cunningly-designed book has an inbuilt stand for easy consultation on the kitchen counter, and is packed with recipes, memories and photos of us enjoying food and drink world-wide. Tempt your palate with a feast for foodies and music-lovers alike! Buy your copy on our website now, for an introductory price of £8 until January 1, 2013.

A close shave…

Posted on July 11th, 2011
Ralph having his head shaved

Ralph going under the razor

During the interval of our concert at Queens’ College Chapel this weekend, our Musical Director, Ralph Woodward, and tenor Chris Young had their heads shaved for charity on the College’s Erasmus Lawn, cheered on by audience members, family and friends, before performing in the second half of the concert.


Ralph, before...


Chris, before...

Ralph wanted to do something striking to raise funds for the choir’s collaboration with the English Chamber Orchestra in March 2012, but he also wanted to support a charity that benefited both dogs and people, so he selected Dogs for the Disabled. “People have done sponsored runs and swims,” he explains, “but this was something I could do without getting wet or sweaty.” Chris had a more personal connection: “My Mum died from Motor Neurone Disease, so I thought it would be a good idea to join Ralph and support the Motor Neurone Disease Association.” Both were thrilled to have raised over £1000 from generous supporters, but they had very different reactions to the results. Ralph eagerly awaits the return of his hair… but Chris thinks he might stick with the new look for a little while: “Not sure what the kids at school will think, though!” (Chris is a teacher.)

Chris and Ralph, after!

Chris and Ralph, after!

More photos here.

It’s not too late to sponsor Chris and Ralph for this event. Our paypal donation system is temporarily down, but please contact us if you’d like to make a donation!

All photos in this post by Robyn Sorenson.





Back from tour…

Posted on June 15th, 2011
Fairhaven Singers in Collioure

Photo by Robyn Sorensen

Our 2011 tour took us to the south of France from June 2nd through 5th, to the gorgeous seascapes of the Côte Vermeille.  We were based  in Collioure, whose warm Mediterranean sunshine inspired the vibrant colours of Fauvism.  (“No sky in France is more blue than the one in Collioure,” declared Henri Matisse.)  Unfortunately we also experienced quite a bit of warm Mediterranean rain… but not enough to dampen our spirits or to diminish the gem-like beauty of this seaside town. Each venue we sang in, from our formal concert in the Church of Notre-Dame-des-Anges to our impromptu performances on the waterfront, was filled with appreciative, engaged, responsive listeners. At Notre-Dame-des Anges we even received a standing ovation! Our audiences greeted our renditions of works by French composers with special enthusiasm, particularly Marc de Ranse’s lovely, surprising settings of French folk melodies (like ‘Frère Jacques’).  We returned to Cambridge with a higher standard for ourselves and even more enthusiasm for this repertoire – and we can’t wait to share this music with you this weekend in our sold-out summer concert!

Check out our tour album on Facebook for many more photos from Collioure…


Fairhaven Singers in Collioure

Photo by Geraldine Morley


Photo by Robyn Sorensen












Time for a haircut

Posted on April 21st, 2011

A sixteenth-century barber shop. Image courtesy FCIT.

While our lovely audience members are enjoying sparkling wine and strawberries by the river during the interval of our summer concert in July, our Musical Director, Ralph Woodward, and one of our tenors, Chris Young, will have their heads shaved for charity before returning for the second half of the concert!

The proceeds will be divided among three charitable causes: Dogs for the Disabled, the Motor Neurone Disease Association, and the Fairhaven Singers (these funds will be used to defray the costs of our performance of Handel’s Israel in Egypt with the English Chamber Orchestra next year).

Please consider making a donation using the “Donate” button below to sponsor Chris and Ralph as they go under the razor – even the smallest amount would make a difference for these worthy causes.