Support our Passion!

Enlarge Image CEFC at St John's Smith Square, February 2015 | Picture: Emily Soppet
CEFC at St John's Smith Square, February 2015 | Picture: Emily Soppet

Recording J.S. Bach's St John Passion in English

In just over three decades, Crouch End Festival Chorus has become one of the UK’s leading symphonic choirs, recognised for its first-class performances of an astonishingly wide range of repertoire. 

The choir appears on over 100 commercial recordings but has never itself recorded a major classical work with a top international label. This opportunity has now arrived.

Next summer, the singers of CEFC, conducted by David Temple, plan to make the first recording in English for 40 years of Bach’s St John Passion with Chandos Records, one of the world’s premier classical record companies. CEFC will be joined by seven outstanding soloists and the Bach Camerata. The recording is planned for release around Easter 2017.

The beauty, profundity and visceral energy of Bach’s St John Passion are extraordinary. The essence of the work is its human story: it is precisely this which plays to the strengths of CEFC, a choir repeatedly praised for its communicative power, its beautiful singing and its ‘focused zest’. Recording this dramatic piece in English means that it will be able to move a new generation of music-lovers who will experience its powerful messages in their native language.

You can help to make it happen

For the project to go ahead, CEFC needs to raise just under £30,000 to cover all the artistic costs (soloists, orchestra, venue hire, music). Chandos will fund the recording, editing, mastering, artwork, manufacturing and marketing. This is a typical arrangement for classical recordings today, with professional ensembles regularly raising funds to enable high-quality classical recordings to be produced.

We would like to raise at least £15,000 by the end of November, and whilst there are several strands to the fundraising for this, donations from individuals will play an important part and will be hugely appreciated.  For donations of £250 and above we can include a short dedication in the CD booklet. If you’d like to make a donation to the project, please contact Sue Steel, CEFC fundraising manager, at

Should the recording not go ahead, CEFC will refund any personal donations made in support of it.

You can also support the recording by sponsoring the CEFC 12-Hour Choir: a day of non-stop music-making in Muswell Hill on Saturday 28 November 2015. For more information go to the CEFC 12-Hour Choir page.


Sing Christmas!

Sing Christmas!

Saturday 19 December 2015 7:30 PM

St Michael's Highgate

Crouch End Festival Chorus
David Temple – conductor
Peter Jaekel – organ and piano
Sally Pryce – harp

Book now: CEFC online booking with Ticketsource

Get your Christmas off to a cracking start with a concert of traditional carols and seasonal songs. Returning to the beautiful setting of St Michael's Highgate, the choir will give a...

Next Concert
Bach - Mass in B minor
Saturday 23 January 2016 7:30 PM
Barbican Hall, Silk Street, London EC2Y 8DS
Bach - Mass in B minor

Book now: Barbican online booking

Bach’s Mass in B minor is one of the great choral works. It stretches the technique and stamina of all the performers, and reflects Bach’s fervent faith. 

Crouch End Festival Chorus has performed the work on many occasions since the choir’s formation in 1984, but this time it will be a "period" performance. Contemporary instruments will be used, creating a completely different and wonderfully refined sound, and the music will be at Baroque pitch – which is a semi-tone lower than modern concert pitch.