How it all began – by Chrina Jarvis

SJD_4109_200I blame my mother. Knowing that I had in the past enjoyed singing madrigals and belonged to various groups at various times, she presented me, at Christmas 1991, with The Penguin Book of English Madrigals for Four Voices, hoping, and expecting, me to put it to good use. A kind thought but not easy to sing all four parts by yourself! At another choir’s rehearsal, and ignoring the fact that I was supposed to be concentrating on learning the Mozart Requiem, I suggested, sotto voce of course, to my fellow alto and good friend, Maggie Snook, that perhaps a few of us could get together and sing some madrigals for fun on an ad hoc basis, utilising my new book. The response was more than enthusiastic! Let’s form a choir, she said – and without further ado we planned and plotted, that evening, the beginnings of Felicitas!

SJD_3927_150Originally formed to sing a cappella music from the 16th and 17th centuries, both sacred and secular, the choir has extended its repertoire to include a wide range of works, accompanied and unaccompanied, from the late mediaeval period to the 21st century. With over 20 singers, the choir has recorded four CDs, made a number of TV appearances and besides singing in its local area, in particular Waltham Abbey, has toured in Paris (Notre-Dame and Sacré-Coeur), Tuscany (Florence and Pistoia), Budapest, Barcelona, Krakow, Edinburgh and Belgium.

We celebrated our 25th anniversary in 2017 with a concert at St. Lawrence Jewry in London. The programme included a piece commissioned from Will Todd, Vidi Speciosam, which was first performed in Southwark Cathedral at the choir’s 20th anniversary concert. The text is for the Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary which falls on 15th August, the very day that Felicitas gave its first concert in Chingford, London back in 1992.

Further details, including information about our Mailing List and Patrons Scheme, can be found on our CONTACT page.