Somebody has paid their subscription fee but left no contact information. We are not certain if it is new member or an existing member who has changed their name. The name we have is E Bright. Could you please make contact with us via the contact page so we can sort this out.

News from The Sixteen

The Sixteen: A Choral Odyssey 6 part series presented by Simon Russell Beale, broadcast weekly from 18th November – 23rd December 2020. From the 18th November, The Sixteen will be presenting a six-part series of programmes: A Choral Odyssey. Presented by Simon Russell Beale and featuring 1,000 years of choral music performed in iconic, pertinent surroundings – from Byrd in Elizabeth I’s childhood home of Hatfield House, to Purcell in the reconstructed 17th Century Theatre of the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse – this promises a fantastic restoration of the acclaimed Sacred Music series broadcast by the BBC nearly a decade ago. Further details and how to watch can be found here:

For the New Year!

Lets all hope that 2021 will see life slowly start to return to a new and rather easier normal than has been the case for 2020.

All of us at NWEMF wish you a peaceful Christmas and very best wishes for the New Year. Stay safe and here’s to making music together before too long.

Rorate coeli! …and AGM

Since singing is so good a thing I wish all men would learn to sing.

William Byrd, 1588

William Byrd’s music for Advent in the Gradualia I (1605)

An illustrated talk by Dr. David Allinson
10am GMT, Saturday 28th November via Zoom
Followed at 11.45am by the NWEMF AGM

In a year like no other, NWEMF marks the start of Advent with this live online talk by David Allinson. For this seasonal talk David will look at Byrd’s motets for Advent: Rorate caeli, Tollite portas, Ave Maria and Ecce Virgo concipiet. Scores will be sent round electronically in advance, and participants are encouraged to mark up the music as David explores their texts, structure and expressive power. Although it won’t be possible to sing together, you will be able to sing along, muted, when the music is played. There will also be an opportunity to ask questions.


Members of NWEMF can attend for free. For all others there is a contribution of £5. Booking is by emailing David Allen. Please indicate if you are a member of NWEMF and if possible pay by bank transfer using these details:

  • Sort code 09-01-56
  • Account number 79658106

For all the details, please see the event flier.

[Zoom Talk] For the honour of City and Court

We are invited to join our sister organisation MEMF for this talk by Bill Lyons on Zoom, entitled For the Honour of City & Court – the role of wind and brass players in Renaissance Europe on Saturday 22nd August 1100-1200.

This talk will discuss the various and varied roles of wind and brass players in civic and court bands in the 16th and 17th centuries. The splendid sight and sound of shawms, sackbuts, cornetts, trumpets and other wind instruments was considered an essential element in demonstrating wealth and status and Bill will examine the instruments and repertoire of the official bands in European cities and courts, playing examples and demonstrating his own specialised instruments: recorders, flutes, shawms, dulcians, crumhorns and the rackett.

Bill is the Director of the City Musick and the Dufay Collective and is a regular performer with other early music groups. He can be heard on numerous film soundtracks and has composed and arranged music for film and TV, including the original music for the film The Favourite. He has a long association with the Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre as a composer, performer, Musical Director and Historical Music Adviser. Book on the MEMF website.

Sing and Discover Online Workshop with John Hancorn and Richard Wigmore Saturday 11 July, 4-6pm: Bach’s Magnificat and Mass in B Minor

Sing and Discover Online Workshop with John Hancorn and Richard Wigmore
Saturday 11 July, 4-6pm: Bach’s Magnificat and Mass in B Minor

Join John Hancorn and Richard Wigmore for this two-hour online workshop. John and Richard will look at the origins and cultural background of these magnificent works and explore the music in some detail, with recorded illustrations. You will then join in with several choruses.  

The session costs £10 (plus booking fee) and tickets are available from Trybooking – click on the link below: 

Saturday 11 July, Bach:

When you sign up you will receive details on how to join the Zoom online session and links for accessing the music on Youtube. If you have your own scores please do use them. 

We look forward to seeing you at the workshop. 


John Hancorn is music director of the BREMF Singers, Baroque Collective Singers, East Sussex Bach Choir and Eastbourne Choral Society. He leads workshops and masterclasses specialising in baroque repertoire including regular visits to Early Music Fora. He teaches at the University of Chichester and East Sussex Academy of Music and is a specialist examiner for Trinity Laban.

A former professional singer, Richard Wigmore works as a music writer, lecturer and broadcaster for BBC Radio 3. He writes for GramophoneBBC Music Magazine and other journals, appears frequently on BBC Radio 3’s CD Review, is in demand for pre-concert talks at the South Bank, Wigmore Hall, King’s Place etc, and is a regular lecturer on Martin Randall Cultural Tours. His publications include Schubert: The Complete Song Texts and Pocket Guide to Haydn.
John was wondering whether you might be interested in a ’Sing and Discover’ online session for NWEMF in the fairly near future while live events aren’t happening? We’re charging £10 per person for a two-hour session including provision of pdf music and/or Youtube links with ticket booking via Trybooking. John and Richard could do a ’NWEMF only’ session so you’d all know each other and it would be a bit of a ’social’, or we could promote it / them more widely.

They can offer a wide range of repertoire including Handel’s Samson; Purcell anthems and Dido & Aeneas; Bach St John Passion, Magnificat, Mass in B minor. Please see John’s website for full details:

Bachfest Leipzig: LiveStream

We have received information about some online content that may be of interest to members. BachFest Leipzig contains details of several of the concerts that would have been taking place to packed audiences.  The organisers have managed to find a way to make those performances available on a variety of platforms.

You can find the complete program here: Enjoy the trailer here:



  • 13 June, 2.30 pm
    Opening concert – Thomanerchor led by Thomaskantor Gotthold Schwarz
  • 13, 14, 20, 21 June, 4.00 pm
    Warm-Up with Bach Chorales – Calmus Ensemble, amarcord, Ensemble Nobiles, Sjaella
  • 14 June, 8.30 pm
    Johannes-Passion à trois 2.0 – extended version: with embedded videos by more than 200 singers from all over the world. Concept and production of the video: MDR KLASSIK
  • 20 June, 9.00 pm
    At Bach’s Home – with Klaus Mertens and Ton Koopman
  • 21 June, 8.00 pm
    The sing-along-version of the Mass in B minor – with Aelbgut and Camerata Lipsiensis

February Newsletter

The newsletter for February 2020 has been added to the members page.

This is just in time to act as a prompt to register for the workshop with Graham O’Reilly on 15th February.  [All members should already have had a prompt, whether by e-mail or by ‘phone. If not, please update your details with the Membership Secretary.]