“One of my favourite choirs” David Mellor, Classic FM
“A fantastic choir” Greg Beardsell, BBC Radio 3
“Gorgeous sound” BBC Music Magazine
What are we doing?
In celebration of the 100th anniversary of women in Britain receiving the vote (some of them, at least), Blossom Street will be recording a Naxos disc of works for upper voices by British women composers, including Elizabeth Maconchy, Judith Weir, Elizabeth Poston, Judith Bingham, Kerry Andrew, Roxanna Panufnik, Cecilia McDowall and many more fantastic musicians. Most of these works will be recorded here for the first time, both new and old.
Who are we?
Blossom Street is a versatile chamber choir comprising some of the UK’s best young singers, which performs regularly on TV and radio as well as on the concert platform, and has released two critically acclaimed CDs with Naxos.
Directed by Hilary Campbell, a graduate of the Royal Academy of Music, the group was formed over a decade ago, while the singers were studying at the University of York, and relocated to London in 2007. Whilst in York, Blossom Street filmed a medley of Christmas carols for BBC2, which was broadcast during the snooker final in 2005, and since then has performed nationwide and beyond. They sang to Prince Charles on ITV1 as part of his 60th birthday celebrations, and gave their debut in Queen Elizabeth Hall as part of the Voicelab series in 2009. Recent projects include performances in Sweden, Japan and Spain as well as at the Edinburgh Fringe, broadcasts on BBC Radio 3 and 4, recording projects for Resonus and Guild, several education projects and corporate, concert and festival work. The group has featured regularly on BBC Radio 3, performing live on The Choir and In Tune. Their most recent BBC Radio 3 broadcast was in September 2017, when they broadcast The Choir: Proms Extra edition of the Last Night of the Proms, an engagement they have undertaken two years in a row. The group also works in partnership with the Royal Academy of Music, running an annual composition project for postgraduate students, led by Judith Weir, Master of the Queen’s Music. In 2015, the group filmed for the remake of ‘My Best Friend’s Wedding’ for Columbia Pictures, and the following summer filmed for a new Film 4 project entitled ‘Animal Shadows’, due for release in early 2018. The group has just recorded for the Eden Project’s 2017 Festival of Light and Sound, and will be undertaking a third Naxos recording in 2018, in celebration of the 100th anniversary of women in Britain receiving the vote.
On the concert platform, Blossom Street has performed at many of the major London venues including Wigmore Hall, St John’s Smith Square and St James Piccadilly, and further afield at places like the Royal Palace, Madrid. Their Naxos CD, ‘Sleep, Holy Babe’, was released in 2011, tracks from which featured on BBC Radio 3’s ‘The Choir’ and on Classic FM. They performed tracks live on BBC Radio 3’s In Tune, and the disc was announced as ‘Christmas CD of the Year 2011’ on David Mellor’s New CD Show, Classic FM. It was also CD of the Week on WQED Radio (Pittsburgh, US), and received several 5* reviews. In 2013, their second disc, ‘Down by the Sea’, a compilation of a cappella choral folk songs, many of which are premiere recordings, was released by Naxos, again to critical acclaim (“At the risk of prejudicing any latecomers and with 2013 barely half gone, I declare this release to be my choral album of the year. I’d be stupefied if anything stronger comes long. Five stars.” Norman Lebrecht). In 2014, they released a disc of Warlock repertoire on the digital label, Resonus (“A programme offering a genuine expansion in our understanding of Warlock... Gorgeous sound; highly engaging, dedicated performances” BBC Music Magazine).
Want to listen to the group?
Here's a taste of Blossom Street's sound, in a track from Down by the Sea:
Mo Nighean Dubh
Though our Warlock disc predominantly featured mixed voice repertoire, we also included some upper voice works, including this gem:
The Bailey Berith The Bell Away
Blossom Street in concert, highlighting our upper voices and also one of the composers to be featured on our disc, Judith Weir:
Love Bade Me Welcome
Why do we need support?
As is the case for many musical ventures, we're passionate about what we do, and believe wholeheartedly in the group and in our project. We're committed to showcasing neglected composers and works and to encouraging emerging musicians, and particularly given the centenary, recognise that now is the opportune time to offer a platform to this music. However, as is also the case for most ensembles, the associated costs of such a project are vast, and we therefore need your help! We're lucky to have received some assistance from trusts, but as a professional ensemble without government funding, we are compelled to seek additional support. Recording is an essential element for any group, and will allow us to bring this somewhat overlooked repertoire to new audiences, but we can't do it without you! Please read on for details of what we can offer in return.
Thank you very much!