Choir – sing A Cappella + The Messiah in Kent 2019

2019 information –  choir dates & enrolment arrangements: 14-17 November 2019

Enrolment & Payment forms are at the bottom of this page

Musique Cordiale autumn weekend in Kent 2019

Handel’s MESSIAH and a programme (and concert) of A CAPPELLA singing** with Graham Ross, conductor.

Invitation to our choir: come and sing with us in Faversham and Newnham this year!

Dima Bawab, soprano
Katie Bray, mezzo-soprano
Aidan Coburn, tenor
Frederick Long, bass

Gradually the heat and memories of the magnificent 2019 festival in Provence will ebb away. But, as promised, we are planning another weekend of ‘music & rencontre cordiale’  in November.  Graham Ross is conducting again and we will have, as usual, a Musique Cordiale orchestra made up of terrific players.  We are thrilled that two of this summer’s soloists, Dima Bawab and Freddie Long, will be joining us as well as Aidan Coburn, a favourite from last year, and we are excited to welcome Katie Bray, audience prize winner at the Cardiff Singer of the World 2019, who joins us for the Mezzo role this time.  (You may wish to know that Dima will also be singing the same part with Graham and his Clare College Cambridge choir later in the season: something for your diaries).  **For details of the proposed A Cappella programme, see the link below

The 2019 Musique Cordiale in Kent weekend schedule will look something like this (see prices at foot of this page & on the enrolment forms):

  • Choir arrival on Thursday evening 14 August in time for dinner or Friday morning 15 November
  • departure after the concert on 16 Nov or after lunch on Sunday 17 November.

Thurs 14 November:

19:30 (we’ll be there for drinks from 7 PM) dinner booked for early arrivals, Carpenter’s Arms, Eastling.

Friday 15 November Newnham, ME9 0LL

  • 10:30 AM Rehearsal, Newnham church
  • 13:30 lunch, Newnham Village Hall
  • 15:00 – 18:00  Rehearsal, Newnham church
  • 19:30 (7:30 PM) CONCERT – A CAPPELLA masterpieces** for the choir  with piano accompaniment + a MOZART String Quartet, Newnham Church, followed by drinks with the audience and then
  • dinner  and drinks for choir and performers

Saturday 16 November Faversham, ME13 8GZ

  • 10:30 Rehearsal with orchestra, Faversham Church
  • 13:30: Lunch and drinks
  • 15:00-17:30: Rehearsal with orchestra, Faversham church
  • 18:00-18:30: Supper with drinks
  • 19:30 (7:30 PM): CONCERT (with interval wine) – The Messiah – with orchestra, choir & soloists, Faversham Chuch (of St Mary of Charity)
  • Given Graham’s renowned tempi, Orchestra players and soloists or anyone wishing to  hurry off can plan to catch the 22:37 train to Victoria)

Sunday 17 November Faversham, ME13 8PG

  • 11:30 AM: CONCERT (with wine afterwards):
    “A Concert for Roger:” Recital & chamber music + music from Musicals & operettas: Dima Bawab, soprano, Aidan Coburn, tenor, and Toby Hession, piano (in honour of Sir Roger Moate)
  • 13:30: Lunch & drinks served at The Assembly Rooms for choir and performers

Musique Cordiale in Kent 2019 FLYER

Meanwhile, for general schedule information about the public concerts and events 15-17 NOVEMBER 2019, see here.

Here is news of the Musique-Cordiale autumn weekend in Kent, 14-17 November 2019, again to be directed by Graham Ross, director of music, Clare College, Cambridge, and M-C choral maestro. Details of prices and accommodation/food arrangements appear at the foot of this page, just below the button linking to ONLINE BOOKING FORMS. We have again pre-booked accommodation at your favorite B&Bs: please do not try to book these independently. But please BOOK SOON, especially if you want one of our more sought-after B&B options; we also have a little EARLY BIRD DISCOUNT if you book and pay early! The same details will be sent to all of you who sang with us this summer or in Kent in 2017 and 2018. Please don’t wait though. BOOK with us QUICKLY for your favoured accommodation pick! Unfortunately, 2 of our most popular B&Bs (one cheaper, one more luxurious) are not available this time but we have booked some others which we think you will like – within a reasonable range of prices and distances. We are offering various meal and accommodation options, starting from Thursday 14 November. If you want to arrive before that or leave later, please contact us  (we already have some accommodation held for us through until the Monday)  – and also if you need help with travel or transfers. We hope to see our singers arriving EITHER on Thursday in time to have a jolly gastro-pub meal with us OR ready for the start of the Friday morning rehearsal at 10:30 AM.

Returning choir members and other experienced singers are encouraged, please, to BOOK NOW or contact us. We also welcome new (good) singers and have special deals for full-time-students aged 26 or under, as well as discounts for local singers from Faversham/Canterbury/East Kent or from the Var/Provence where the festival takes place in summer. (Late bookers, especially tenors, are still welcome!)

This year, you are invited to sing in an A CAPPELLA**  concert which will take place in NEWNHAM church on Friday evening. As this will have been rehearsed only on the day, it is vital that even the best sight-readers among you know it beforehand. This is a special plea from Graham, Pippa and some of the more discerning singers! Details of a capella works chosen for the day will be circulated and posted here soon; suggestions are welcome. (**The proposed A Cappella programme can be found – with information about Graham’ suggested editions etc: HERE).
Saturday, with orchestra and an exceptional line-up of young soloists, will be devoted to The Messiah in Faversham. We have chosen Handel’s Messiah as the main oeuvre because it is a work most of you know and many have sung it with us and Graham Ross. (A reprise of Handel’s magnificent Saul could hardly have done justice to it with reduced orchestra and rehearsal time in Kent. Nor did we imagine that we could possibly match the amazing performance that we staged in France this summer. With Graham’s magic, we will be able to put it together quickly!) Graham has the Baerenreiter Edition parts but, if you have Novello or another edition, this will not matter.
There will be a fairly intensive rehearsal day for the choir on Friday, with both the A CAPPELLA programme** for the evening’s concert and a sing-through of parts of the Messiah at the end of the day including some of the most well-known choruses to entertain the local community.  So as to remain in the summer spirit, this will be followed by rose-coloured wine and food!  The orchestra and soloists will arrive on Saturday.
For those of you who require accommodation on Friday and Saturday nights, there will be the possibility to stay (as last year) in the Palace Farmhouse in Doddington or at a choice of one of the up-market B&B’s nearby.  For those coming from afar (or if you just fancy a good evening with friends in a lovely gastro-pub), we hope that many of you may also choose to arrive on Thursday, the best chance to get to know one another in a relaxed setting before Graham’s meticulous organisation and tempo take over.
This year, we have decided that the Sunday morning concert will take place in the lovely 1840s Assembly Rooms in Faversham (rather than in Doddington church this time). These were recently wonderfully restored, for which everyone should be grateful, among others, to the efforts of Sir Roger Moate who sat in the front row of our Faversham concert last year and who hosted a delightful reception in his house after that concert. Sadly, he died earlier this year. So our Sunday concert will be dedicated to his memory. Your participation fee includes the cost of your ticket for this concert.
(If you have not sung with MC in France or GB before, please contact us first. We welcome new members, especially if you have been recommended or have a history of quality singing in other choirs or ensembles. Occasionally we may need to arrange an audition – or a video will usually do).

The ONLINE ENROLMENT FORM (see below) can be completed here now (please see the prices, discounts, deadlines and incentives on the form). Questions or special requests: please CONTACT US

We look forward to another great Musique Cordiale experience together with our lovely choir and fab orchestra!

Jonathan & Pippa


We have again tried to minimise the prices  (see below and on booking forms) but there is a lot that we have to pay for. Even with some likely help from our charity, The Musique-Cordiale Trust, which also has to preserve funds to cover student bursaries and its big contribution to support the Festival & Academy next year, the participation fee to join the choir in Kent has to cover most of our costs. These include running the events, renting spaces (with heat) and some instruments, attracting high-calibre soloists, orchestra players and our popular conductor – as well as licenses and publicity. Those who came in past years will remember the range of friendly accommodation options and the plentiful warming food (prepared y Jonathan with some stalwart volunteers) & drink. We aim to offer the same quality and welcome again. And, like you, we do want to put on our usual high-quality show of the kind that Musique Cordiale is known for in France and Britain!

With support from The Musique-Cordiale Trust, we are again able to offer DISCOUNTS for singers who live in the Var/PACA region of France and for residents of East Kent/Faversham/Swale/Canterbury. We also offer a special cheap deal for full-time students aged 26 or under.

You can find the details of prices and options on the booking forms. Please complete and pay using the online forms below – as soon as possible. You are invited to do this NOW especially if you want one of our more sought-after B&B options! (Or you can return the  PDF booking forms by email; these will be available soon). Please note the deadlines and do this as early as possible:  Book (with your deposit) by 6 October 2019, balance due by 20 October 2019. An early-bird discount off the standard participation fee applies for full payment with your booking if you book by 15 September. And we have even had to introduce a higher participation fee for anyone who pays after the deadline: let’s not need to apply it!  We very much look forward to seeing you in Kent in November!

Please click this, complete the form, tick the CONFIRM box, click the SUBMIT button and you should receive a message on-screen (and an email from us). Please contact us if you experience any problems.
You can pay in full or just pay the initial deposits required, either by card or PayPal straight away or by online banking/bank transfer (or by cheque in the post). We prefer online payments to our bank. if possible, please. Details are on the bottom of the enrolment and payment page.

Prices for the 2019 Musique Cordiale in Kent weekend

Choir arrival on Thursday evening 14 August in time for dinner or Friday morning 15 November, departure after the concert on 16 Nov or after lunch on Sunday 17 November.

Participation fees:

choir (EARLY BIRD – FULL payment by 15 September)    £70
choir  (STANDARD – book  with deposit by 6 October and pay by 20 October)    £95
accompanying persons, (pay for meals, accommodation and concert tickets only) – no fee but please pay for concert tickets.
full-time students aged 26 or under – £10
late booking/payiing  choir:  normally £110)

£25 discounts for residents of Faversham/Canterbury/East Kent & for residents of Le Var, Provence PACA region

Annual Membership

  • (optional – not required for participation in this Autumn event but required in France)
  • Basic Membership: £25
  • Friend of Musique-Coprdiale (individual): £150
  • Friend of Musique-Cordiale (couple/joint): £275
    (becoming a Friend includes membership. Please ask for a Gift Aid declaration form so that we can claim tax on the amount paid, excluding the value of the membership)

Lunches & dinners

  • Thurs 14 Nov:  pub dinner: pay £12 in advance t(with your booking) to cover main course from selected list. Pay for drinks, enhance menu options, extra courses  by cash/card on the night
  • Friday 15 Nov: lunch, beverages, snacks & dinner with drinks: £40 per person (inclusive)
  • Saturday 16 November: lunch, beverages, snacks & dinner with drinks: £40 per person (inclusive)
  • Sunday 17 November: lunch with drinks £20 (inclusive)


  • bunk-style accommodation for students aged 26 and under: £20 per night per person
  • Basic shared accommodation £40 per night per person (incl self serve breakfast)
  • Various options include Single-person room supplements.  Superior Accommodation WITH BREAKFAST
  • (please tell us what you would like and we will try to match it from our limited supply – so PLEASE BOOK EARLY!)
Any questions?
about repertoire, editions etc? Please contact Pippa Pawlik: ( / 07976 01443)

(Questions about organization, accommodation or payment, please contact Jonathan Barker: ( / 07970 185910)


SUPPORT US: as always, we must add that everything that we all love about Musiqiue Cordiale, both in France and in Britain, runs on a terribly over-tight budget. Please do not take us for granted, even after 15 years: our future is far from assured without EXTRA SUPPORT THIS AUTUMN from people who value what we do. So your generosity, if you can spare any additional funds, towards our charity, The Musique-Cordiale Trust, is invaluable. So many people say how much they value our concerts and our contribution to the opportunities for people with musical talents to play with orchestra professionals, to learn from those with experience or to witness the delights of singing or playing in a multi-cultural context – or to enhance the cultural opportunities and life in the special places where we rehearse and perform. Please help to ensure that this can all survive and thrive! UK tax-payers are invited to download and complete a Gift Aid declaration for their contributions as Friends or Donors. (Participation fees, accommodation, tickets & membership are not ‘Gift-Aidable’ )

Thank you!

Musique-Cordiale respects your confidentiality and guards your personal information. We never retain details of your bank debit or credit cards after we have received payments from our members, donors, customers or supporters. Our card-processors may retain a tokenized form of your card details if you authorise us to retain them for ease of future/repeat payments or adjustments. We do not sell your name, email, address or phone details. Only Musique Cordiale has access to this information to communicate with you and we share it only with our agents – and then only for the purposes of contacting our supporters, customers, donors, staff or suppliers on our behalf. In making payments to Musique Cordiale, you authorize us to send instructions to your financial institution that issued your card to take payments from your card account in accordance with the terms of your agreement with Musique Cordiale. Thank you for your support.