Past Performances

Bach – St John Passion

Sat, 30 Mar 2024

Our inaugural concert saw the Borders Chamber Choir teaming up with the Borders Chamber Orchestra and five professional soloists to perform J. S. Bach’s formidable St John Passion. While the performance took place shortly before the three hundredth anniversary of the piece’s first performance in Leipzig on 7 April 1724, it’s hard to believe that it was only two and a half months into our regular schedule of weekly rehearsals! This was surely an ambitious project, and that ambition certainly paid off: from the first notes of the opening chorus, “Herr, unser Herrscher,” to the final chords of the closing chorale, the whole performance was an exciting, engaging, and moving testament to the power of Bach’s music and the joy of music-making.


Tom Raskin’s Evangelist was a compelling and touching guide through the story of the passion, and Georgie Malcolm (Soprano), Judy Louie Brown (Alto), Chris Elliott (Tenor), and Jon Stainsby (Bass & Christus) each enraptured choir and audience alike with their poignant renditions of Bach’s music. It goes without saying that it was a pleasure and a privilege for us to be joined by such excellent soloists for our first ever concert!


It was also a delight to welcome such a large crowd to a packed Melrose Parish Church! With five minutes to go before the baton was due to fall, keen concert-goers were still queuing down the hill, but we managed to pack everyone in eventually. We were simply over the moon that Bach’s music was able to reach so many people – and to hear from them just how much our performance of the St John Passion moved them and had them looking forward to more. While you’ll have to wait until April 2025 until we perform Bach’s St Matthew Passion, fortunately, we’ve got plenty of exciting music (Mozart’s Requiem, Vaughan Williams’s Mass in G Minor, and much more!) coming up in our concerts between now and then…