july, 2023

202308jul7:30 pmByrd Song in Southsea

Event Details

The Renaissance Choir’s Southsea concert covers four centuries of choral music from William Byrd to Roderick Williams.

Read a review.

Learn about the composers and the works featured in “Byrd Song”.

Buy tickets online. £15 for adults, £2 for under 25s.
Tickets are also available on the door.

Music lovers are invited to join us to enjoy a concert of choral music at the Church of the Holy Spirit, Fawcett Road, Southsea, PO4 0DY, on Saturday 8 July 2023 at 7:30pm.

We love singing a cappella (unaccompanied) and we’ve selected music which particularly well shows off our abilities in this regard within the church’s gorgeous cathedral-like acoustic. Also, we’ve chosen music that won’t necessarily be well known.

In this year of the 400th anniversary of William Byrd’s death, we will pay homage to him in the lively and ambitious motet Laudibus in sanctis. This has many off-beat rhythms and nice word-painting. This will be balanced by movements from his Mass for 5 voices.

We will be singing in the round as we perform Roderick Williams’ Ave verum corpus reimagined’ for three choirs. Williams pays homage to Byrd in his contemporary take on an English choral classic, Ave verum corpus. Williams ‘smears out’ Byrd’s phrases and employs radical harmony at several points including clashing ambiguous chords.

The contemporary theme continues with John Cage’s Four² where the singers hold static notes with one letter of the word ‘Oregon’; listening to each other, they decide when to start and finish each note. It’s a Zen-inspired work of inner peace.

Also included is Benjamin Britten’s quirky Five Flower Songs, with their beautiful evocations of spring and summer and superb word painting.

The gentle music of Eric Whitacre sits alongside the highly romantic To be sung of a summer night on the water by Frederick Delius and two romantic part-songs in 8 parts by Robert Lucas Pearsall which will show off the dynamic range of the choir.

The programme will be interspersed with a variety of folk songs, showcasing the choir’s abundance of talented soloists.


Byrd – Mass for 5 voices (Kyrie, Gloria, Sanctus, Benedictus)
Byrd – Laudibus in sanctis
Byrd – Ave verum corpus
Roderick Williams – Ave verum corpus re-imagined
Britten – Flower Songs
Cage – Four²
Delius – To be sung of a summer night on the water
Pearsall – Lay a garland, and Great God of love
Whitacre – Sleep, and This Marriage
Charles Wood – Hail, gladdening Light

Parking is available at Fratton Railway Station, Selbourne Terrace, PO1 5AW for £2 (all day Saturday rate), around 10 minutes’ walk away. Or park in one of the adjacent streets.


(Saturday) 7:30 pm


Church of the Holy Spirit

197 Fawcett Rd, Southsea, PO4 0DY


The Renaissance Choirinfo@renaissancechoir.org.uk Emsworth Community Association, Emsworth, Hampshire, PO10 7DF