The Genesis Chorale is a mixed choir of more than 60 voices who are based in and around the Woking and West Byfleet area of Surrey, performing both sacred and secular music.
Lewis Gaston took the post of Musical Director of The Genesis Chorale in December 2012. We look forward to a long and successful relationship with this up and coming young conductor. Rehearsal accompaniment is supplied by David Perkins on the piano.
The choir performs at least three concerts each year in the Spring, the Summer and at Christmas and tries to achieve a balance of singing new and lesser known works in addition to the firm favourites which are well known to audiences. We pride ourselves on achieving a high standard of concert performance. This is enhanced by hiring professional young instrumentalists and soloists to perform with us at many of our concerts.
The choir has always set out to be the friendliest in the area. New members rarely leave, because a heavy emphasis is placed on enjoyment both at rehearsals and in concert. For this reason, auditions are not required, and voices of all standards are invited to join. An ability to read music is an advantage, but not essential.
“Gemini Chorale” was founded in December 1979 under the Musical Directorship of Keith Mansfield. The first concert was given in October 1981. In the year 2000 Keith retired as Musical Director and the choir was renamed “Genesis Chorale”.
Over the years the choir has grown to over 70 members. Each year they give Christmas, Easter and Summer concerts which include a mix of new and lesser known choral works alongside the better known favourites.
Recent performances include Saint-Saëns’ Samson & Delilah, A Merry Jazzy Christmas, Poetry Please – Music of English Landscapes, Moravian Melodies, Schumann’s Requiem, A Celebration of Independence Day, Bizet’s Pearl Fishers in a joint concert with Larkhill Choral Society, Poulenc’s Gloria, the Wind in the Willows, Puccini’s Messa di Gloria, Gounod’s Messe Solenelle, Requiems of Mozart, Faure and Haydn, Lauridsen’s Lux Aeterna plus operatic favourites and some lighter secular works. The concerts, held in St John’s Church in West Byfleet, are supported by professional soloists and musicians and attract large audiences.
The Chorale has been led by several Musical Directors over the years and more recently has forged links with young conductors who have recently graduated from the Royal Academy of Music, Royal Holloway College or the Royal College of Music.
Musical Director – Lewis Gaston
Lewis Gaston is an international conductor with a busy schedule that combines performance, education and research. His work has been recognised in International Competitions and Masterclasses. He acts as guest conductor to a number of UK orchestras and, amongst others, has worked abroad with the Brasov Philarmonic (Romania) and the Toscana Classica Orchestra (Italy), the Berlin Sinfonietta, Camerata di Fiorentina and the State Opera Rousse (Bulgaria). In addition to Guildford Opera, Lewis is Music Director of Opera Holloway, Kingston Philharmonia, Genesis Chorale and Bookham Choral Society.
As a lecturer and conductor for Opera Prelude, he gave the UK premiere of Mercadante’s opera Don Chisciotte alle nozze di Gamaccio in 2016, and continues to research rarely performed works.
Lewis will conduct a tour of Puccini’s La Bohème through the Summer and Autumn of 2019 – please seefor venues. He is also looking forward to more local conducting work such as Canteloube’s Songs of the Auvergne with Kingston Philharmonia, and Prokofiev’s 1st Symphony and Dvorak’s Wind Serenade during 2019 with Surrey Mozart Players. In November Lewis will conduct Guildford Opera in Verdi’s Nabucco.
During 2020 while Lewis is on Sabbatical, the Genesis Chorale will have 3 guest Musical Directors, for the Spring, Summer and Christmas Concerts.
Please see www.lewisgaston.com for a full biography.