BELFAST PHILHARMONIC CHOIR (est. 1874)
The Belfast Philharmonic Choir (affectionately known as "The Phil") led by music director Stephen Doughty, is Northern Ireland's only symphonic choir and the 2014/15 season saw us celebrating our 140th anniversary with a specially commissioned piece performed on May 30th, 2015 in the Ulster Hall, Belfast.
The 120+ strong choir performs at least four programmes per year, many alongside the Ulster Orchestra, including performances of Handel's Messiah every Christmas - a tradition that goes back as far as 1886!
Our repertoire is varied and includes many major works - Mendelssohn's Elijah and Dream of Gerontius, Mozart Requiem, Brahms' German Requiem, works by Bach, Beethoven, Rossini, Bruckner and Karl Jenkins, not forgetting our annual performances of Handel's Messiah.
Apart from the usual choral fare, we have recently worked in collaboration with the Belfast Film Festival and the Ulster Orchestra to perform the music from Star Wars and Patrick Doyle music as heard in the films of Sir Kenneth Branagh. Next season sees us join forces with the Ulster Orchestra again to bring you favouite tunes from Rodgers & Hammerstein.
In 2015 we performed the world première of James Whitbourn's The Seven Heavens, written especially for us to commemorate our 140th anniversary. In 2012 we sang in another world première - Titanic Requiem, a commemoration of those lost on the Titanic. We have also accompanied Kathryn Jenkins at the Odyssey Arena and sung with Ennio Morriconi and his orchestra for Belfast Festival at Queens.
For 2017 we are looking into the possibility of an overseas tour - watch this space!
Belfast Philharmonic Society was founded in September 1874 by the amalgamation of The Classical Harmonists (est. 1851) and Belfast Music Society (est. 1872).
This was seen as a natural progression, bringing choir and instrumentalists together into one society.
Belfast Philharmonic Society gives its first performance of Handel's Messiah in December 1886.
The Philharmonic Orchestra is disbanded and the Society continues as a choral society.
140th Anniversary Season got underway in September 2014. The season culminated in a Gala
Concert in the Ulster Hall on 30th May, 2015 where Belfast Philharmonic Choir gave the world première of
James Whitbourn's The Seven Heavens (listen here)
The Philharmonic Orchestra replaced by the City of Belfast Orchestra.
The BBC creates the BBC Northern Ireland Light Orchestra but this is shortlived.
BBC Northern Ireland Orchestra forms the basis of the new Ulster Orchestra.
THINKING OF JOINING US?
Belfast Philharmonic Choir is always on the look out for new Sopranos, Altos, Tenors and Basses. If you are thinking of joining a choir, come along to one of our concerts and see us in action. Keep a watch on our website for details about our next Open Rehearsal where you can join us for the evening and get a taste of what being in the Phil is all about.
If you enjoy the experience, continue to come along and we will arrange a short audition for you.
Soon you could be singing with us on stage in the Ulster Hall.
We meet at 7.30 pm each Wednesday at St Bride's Parish Centre, Derryvolgie Avenue, Belfast and members travel from across Northern Ireland to be part of the Phil tradition.
Phil Kids/Phil Youth Choirs 10th Anniversary Season.