Come & Sing
for members
Events diary
About LBC

The Leicester Bach Choir has been described as one of Leicester’s best-loved institutions, since it has performed choral concerts here for more than 80 years. There is now a history available. Reviews attest to a particular style of performance: " The LBC during Richard Laing's time as Music Director has become an exceptional musical ensemble."   " Laing's handling of texture and dynamics showed his instinctive empathy with the idiom."   " The LBC enjoys a tremendous rapport with its gifted and dynamic conductor .... this is reflected in the choir's performances, which have tremendous zest and intensity."   "Balance, attack and dynamic control were impressive Bernstein’s Chichester Psalms... the choir, singing in Hebrew, managed the work’s spiky rhythms, big tunes and lush harmonies with considerable panache."   "Vierne’s Messe Solennelle is vibrant, thrilling and passionate in nature and both choir and organ achieved these effects. It was a truly suberb and enriching evening. "

We were pleased that for our 2016 Come & Sing, we were back at St James the Greater to learn and perfom Thomas Tallis' Spem in Alium again. People who came last time chose to sing a different part, and one singer achieved his ambition of singing all eight parts. 200 singers sang in the round, with some of the audience in the middle, ther rest behind the choirs.

The 2015 Come & Sing was held at Leicester Grammar School, where singers came to learn and perform Bernstein's Chichester Psalms and Lauridsen's O Nata Lux.In 2014 we learned Brahms' German Requiem and in 2013 we sang Carl Orff's Carmina Burana. This followed a highly successful day at St James the Greater, Leicester in January 2012 when our Come & Sing involved rehearsing and performing Tallis' Spem in Alium. Over 210 singers came and the music was stupendous. Look out for details of our 2017 Come & Sing .

We were established by the first Master of Music of Leicester Cathedral and conductors since that time have included Paul Spicer of the Finzi singers, and Robert Hollingworth of i fagiolini. The collective legacy of our various conductors is an interest and expertise not only in performing the works of JS Bach but also in a wide repertoire of British and European music ranging from the fifteenth to the twenty-first centuries. The Choir has around 55 singers, enabling it to perform both fairly large scale and more intimate works. From time to time we also perform larger works such as the Dream of Gerontius and Bach's St Matthew Passion, when we invite other groups of singers to join us.

Choir group

We hold singing workshops for members with experienced and respected vocal trainers from time to time, enjoyable sessions which help us to know one another better and to develop our technique and musicianship. Most recently this was done with Christine Cairns from the Birmingham Conservatoire.

We also have relationships with European choirs, which result in exchange visits and choir trips such as a visit to Bach’s birthplace in Eisenach, Germany. Further details of these are in Cadenza.

Mary Whittaker, for many years a singer with the Leicester Bach Choir, has written a fascinating history of the choir.

The Leicester Mercury said

" …a fascinating study of the choir, its officers and conductors, combining fact, personal reminiscence and programme detail. "

If you would like a copy, you can download the form in either a doc or a pdf version and order a copy from Mary.

History LBC Order Form


The Choir Today

The choir performs a wide range of both sacred and secular work from the Renaissance to the contemporary: the connecting thread between the music we select is vitality and relevance. LBC enjoy singing Bach as much as audiences love to hear it. Most recently, in November 2015, we sang Bach's B Minor Mass. We enable Leicester audiences to join re-evaluations of various composers during significant anniversary years, by performing their key works. We also fulfil our charitable purpose, of educating the public, by judicious introduction of new and less well-known works and by innovations in performance practice.

LBC usually gives four formal concerts per year on Saturdays in November, December, before Easter, and in June. The pattern in 2010-11 was slightly different. Instead of a Christmas concert we were excited to contribute to a new venture at St James the Greater, a concert exploring the Life and Times of G F Handel with Ben Hoffnung, David Blackadder, and Harry Enfield as Handel- which we repeated in Birmingham's splendid Town Hall.

We also encourage singing in Leicester by inviting others to perform with us. The Southwell Minster girls' choir joined us in Bach's St Matthew Passion in April 2011. In the past the Midlands Chorale have joined us to perform Vaughan Williams’ Dona Nobis Pacem and Elgar’s The Music Makers; and Cantamici and young singers from the Grammar School brought us up to the 100+ singers required to perform Elgar’s The Dream of Gerontius in 2009. We have also introduced young singers from local primary schools to the heady experience of choral singing within a large group of experienced singers in a number of Christmas concerts. Finally, we invite anybody who can read music and wishes to give choral singing a try, or those who are or have been choral singers, to attend our popular Come and Sing choral workshops each January.

The LBC's home is St James the Greater, 216 London Road, where it now rehearses on Wednesday evenings and where we perform our next concert on 12th April 2014. We are excited be part of St James’ goal of offering a spiritual home for the arts, and look forward to exploring the dimensions of our mutual relationship. We continued our long-running association with Leicester Cathedral by holding our November concert there in 2010.

LBC is a registered charity, funded mainly by members' subscriptions and ticket sales. We are also fortunate in having financial support from the Florence Turner Trust and, most recently, the Edith Murphy Trust. We have benefited from sponsorship for individual concerts and events, but are always extremely grateful to hear from individuals or organisations that are willing to help the arts by giving further support. If you wish to assist in this way, please contact our Secretary, Gail Hobbs .


People at LBC

Please click on the faces of the people below to read more about them.
Richard Laing
Director of Music

Ivan Linford


Charles Paterson
Gail Hobbs


© LBC 2016. Registered Charity No 501890