Coro 94 are one of the UK’s finest chamber choirs
A vibrant, young, mixed-voice chamber choir, Coro 94 have performed across the UK and Europe.
Their diverse repertoire includes music from 5 centuries in an exciting mix of classical, sacred and contemporary styles.
In 2022, the choir have been enjoying the great thrill of getting back on stage again to perform their first live concerts since before the Covid pandemic!
The Spring season was celebrated with ‘ MESSIAH IN A NEW LIGHT ‘ – a unique concert in which Coro 94 took a fresh new approach to the iconic music of Handel’s ‘Messiah’ and combined this with a range of complimentary pieces from other composers including Stainer, Purcell and more.
This was a challenging repertoire which the choir had been working on for almost 18 months, including many lockdown Zoom rehearsals. The hard work was ultimately rewarded, as this was a hugely successful event which was enjoyed
by all, and marked a triumphant return to live performance for Coro 94!
The concert was held at St John’s Arts and Recreation Centre (ARC) in Old Harlow, Essex – a venue which has been the choir’s regular new rehearsal ‘home’ since Autumn 2021.
In July 2022, Coro 94 hosted ‘SONGS FOR SUMMER’ – a vibrant show full of light, joyful and uplifting music for the summer season.
The eclectic programme included Broadway and Hollywood classics, Scandinavian choral music, Barbershop, folk songs, sea shanties and more. After the gravitas of the Spring ‘Messiah’, this summer repertoire helped to showcase the wide versatility of the choir’s talents.
‘Songs for Summer’ took place in the picturesque village of Newport in Essex, with Coro 94 making their debut performance in the gorgeous acoustic of St Mary the Virgin church.
UK SUMMER TOUR
The choir then ‘hit the road’ with their first UK Tour for over 3 years, which was a real treat for both the singers and their fanbase!
Over one long Summer’s weekend – and with their base in the idyllic seaside town of Wells-next-the-Sea – Coro 94 shared some fantastic times together, and performed 3 concerts around the beautiful coast and countryside of Norfolk & Suffolk.
AUTUMN / WINTER 2022
For the new Autumn season, Coro 94 have two very special events planned.
The first is ‘NORTHERN LIGHTS’ – a pageant of breathtaking music from Scandinavia, Europe and the British Isles.
Taking place on Sunday 6th November, this atmospheric concert will take you on a musical journey through the ethereal wonders of the northern lights, with pieces hailing from Norway, Sweden, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Denmark and Scotland.
Then on Saturday 17th December will be The Coro 94 Christmas Concert – a fabulous and festive way to end to the year in style!
History, Origins and Information
CORO 94 was founded in 2014, as an evolution from ‘Cantate Alumni Choir’.
The ‘alumni’ choir had been in existence for a few years before this, and consisted of a group of experienced young singers who had previously performed together in the award-winning Cantate Youth Choir .
In 2014, the new name ‘Coro 94‘ was chosen for the alumni choir by its own members. This name change helped to give the choir a fresh new identity in its own right, while also being an affectionate nod to their shared roots in the original Cantate – the youth choir that was founded in 1994, and was celebrating its 20th anniversary that year.
‘Coro’ is the Italian word for ‘choir’. This was chosen as a reference to the group’s longstanding connection with Italy, with many of the singers have performed numerous concert tours in beautiful Italian destinations such as Lake Garda and Abbruzzo.
Coro 94 is a mixed-voice choir of approximately 25 members, with an average age of between 20-45. Members come from a wide area of central and Southern / Eastern England, and join together
to sing in weekend rehearsals each month.
The choir is directed by Michael Kibblewhite – one of the UK’s best known choral directors. He was the Founder-Director of Cantate Youth Choir, with whom he won many national and international competitions.
Kibblewhite has also directed several other prestigious choirs in his long and distinguished career, including:
Cambridge Chorale, East London Chorus, Harlow Chorus, Harlow Boys’ Choir, Hertfordshire Chorus, and Kings Lynn Festival Chorus.
Coro 94‘s repertoire is diverse and eclectic, including 5 centuries of sacred, classical and contemporary music, spirituals, gospel, pop and folk arrangements.
The choir are also fortunate to be able to perform some wonderfully original new pieces, composed by their own talented members.
The most recent Coro 94 album – ‘Allus‘ – showcases this diversity to great effect, with music drawn from many centuries and genres: from Byrd and Weelkes to Ola Gjeilo and Morten Lauridsen.
There are also tracks on the album which feature the choir singing with solo saxophone; this is thanks to a close collaboration between Coro 94 and the fabulous saxophonist Alžbeta Greenwood-Byrne.
Rehearsal / Concert Schedule
Rehearsals take place over several weekends per term: usually on Saturdays from 10am – 5.30pm, and Sundays 10am – 3.30pm.
Rehearsal dates are chosen on a term-by-term basis, but usually consist of at least one full weekend per month, with more sessions included in the run-up to concert dates.
Rehearsal time is valuable – we work hard, but in a relaxed atmosphere of friendliness and fun.
Concerts are an important focal point for any choir, and Coro 94 aim to perform at least 4 concerts per year: a Spring / Easter concert in March, Summer concert in July, an Autumn concert in October/November, and finally the Coro Christmas concert in December.
In addition to their regular concerts, Coro 94 also have a much-loved tradition of going away on a Summer Tour whenever possible! The destination usually alternates between the UK and Italy.
In July 2022, the choir were incredibly excited to be able to resume this favourite activity, three years since their last tour.
They travelled to the town of Wells-next-the-Sea in Norfolk, and used this as their seaside base for a 3-date concert tour of the region.
Future plans include a return to Italy, as soon as possible!
St Paul’s Cathedral is also an important location for Coro 94, as the choir have a very deep and longstanding connection with this iconic British landmark.
For many years (prior to the Covid pandemic) Coro 94 were committed to an annual performance at the cathedral every Christmastime, on the last Saturday before Christmas.
They were the main choir who had been entrusted with leading the carol singing for the Family Christmas Carols service – along with some younger singers from the Cantate Youth Choir – which was a huge honour for all involved.
It meant performing in front of over 3,000 people each time, and leading the congregation for one of the most important and nostalgic events of the year.
While the pandemic sadly interrupted this event, the legacy and magical memories of performing at St Paul’s Cathedral every Christmas still live on for Coro 94, and it will remain a cherished part of the choir’s history.
Back to Life – 2020/21
The effects of the Covid-19 pandemic were felt in every area of life, all over the world.
For anyone involved in music and the arts, the ramifications were also profound, and for the longest time it was impossible for musicians to come together and perform, rehearse or be creative in any normal way.
But hope will always find a way! And Coro 94 were determined to stay as positive and productive as possible throughout the pandemic, despite all of the enormous challenges.
The singers stayed in contact continuously over the 2+ years, and would ‘meet’ online regularly in virtual rehearsals, socials and events. They also worked hard on developing lots of new multi-media skills, which helped them to stay in touch with their ever-supportive audience.
They recorded several ‘virtual choir’ videos – which involved each singer filming themselves performing alone at home, and then being reunited with their choir-mates on screen through the wonders of technology. They even worked hard to create a full Virtual Christmas Concert!
But of course, there is nothing like the thrill of live music… So it was an emotional day when Coro 94 were finally able to come back together in ‘real world’ rehearsals in Autumn 2021, and to start working towards future concerts again.
‘ALLUS‘ is the latest recording from Coro 94, which is available to buy at all of the choir’s concerts.
The album can also be streamed in high-quality audio from all major music websites (e.g. iTunes, Spotify, Apple Music).
Coro 94 welcomes applications from experienced singers,
for whom there are vacancies from time to time.