Vox Cordis was formed in 1998 by a group of friends who wanted to continue singing after leaving university. In its first 14 years, it has gone from strength to strength, taking on a wide-ranging repertoire from the great polyphonists of the sixteenth century to modern classics.
Under its two conductors, Matthew Altham and Charlie Grace, the choir gives regular concerts in churches throughout London as well as performing elsewhere across the United Kingdom. Highlights to date have included Bach's Mass in B Minor with the Linden Baroque Orchestra, Britten's ‘St Nicolas’ at Holy Trinity in aid of the National Playing Fields Association and Haydn’s Nelson Mass for the bicentenary of Trafalgar in aid of the Soldiers, Sailors, Army and Families Association Forces Help at Bath Abbey with the Bath Philharmonia.
The choir has also performed at the celebrated Wilton’s Music Hall in the east end of London as well as for charities like The Charlie Waller Memorial Trust, RNLI and Macmillan Cancer Support. In addition to these concerts the choir has also sung services at Westminster Abbey and Norwich Cathedral and at 10 Downing Street for the Prime Minister’s Christmas party. On Christmas Eve 2006 the choir made its broadcasting debut, singing Christmas carols on Classic FM.
Since 2006 Vox Cordis has enjoyed a close association with the Orchestra of St Paul’s, performing a number of larger scale choral works under their conductor, Ben Palmer. These have included performances of Bach’s Magnificat, Mozart’s Requiem, Haydn’s Nelson Mass, Brahms’ Requiem and Stravinsky’s Mass.
Future engagements include a major recording project, a concert at St John’s Northington in Hampshire and numerous carol concerts in December.
'...the whole choir was superb' Sir Mark Waller, Charlie Waller Memorial Trust, December 2007
'very beautiful singing' Simon Bates on Classic FM, December 2008
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Charlie Grace was educated at Ampleforth College and was head chorister of the Schola Cantorum. He played the oboe under Sir Charles Groves, and Simon Wright with the Durham Sinfonia, and went on to read music at the University of East Anglia, winning a number of scholarships. He conducted a number of choirs and orchestras at the UEA, including the University Choir. He was a choral scholar at Norwich Cathedral for three years and participated in a number of concerts around East Anglia as a soloist or conductor. He has broadcast on BBC Radio Norfolk, Radio 3, Classic FM, and Vatican Radio. He has, along with Matthew Altham, enjoyed conducting Vox Cordis for over ten years in a variety of concerts ranging from Victorian music hall to J.S. Bach's B Minor Mass and St John Passion.
Charlie also sings in various professional choirs, primarily in London, working with choirs based at the London Oratory, St Mary's Bourne Street, Chelsea Old Church, and Our Lady of Victories in Kensington.
As well as singing, Charlie has conducted a number of orchestras including the Bach Philharmonia, the Linden Baroque Orchestra, and players from the Royal Academy and College of Music. He was recently elected Liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Musicians and works as a Political Risk and Trade Credit insurance broker.
Matthew Altham read languages at Oxford, where he spent a large amount of his spare time in musical pursuits. He sang with many of the major university choirs, including Schola Cantorum of Oxford. While at Oxford Matthew took his first steps in conducting, performing the music of Poulenc and the English Renaissance masters.
Matthew works as a management consultant but continues to be heavily involved in music. As well as conducting Vox Cordis, he also conducts Pegasus and the London Bach Players, and sings regularly at the church of St Mary the Virgin, Bourne St. He has toured as a conductor to Prague, Pau, Tolosa and Antwerp and has broadcast on BBC Radio 2, 3 and 4 and on Classic FM.