Mirabilé Vocal Ensemble

The Mirabilé Vocal Ensemble was established in 2002 and comprises experienced, auditioned singers. Members of Mirabilé have varied musical backgrounds, including choral and soloist experiences within both local and nationally renowned groups.

Based in Nottingham, they have performed in many wonderful cathedrals across the UK, and have taken part in both national and international festivals. These have included two very successful tours to Italy with performances in Rome, Tuscany, Bolzano, Bologna and in the Morellino Classica, Civita and Soli Deo Gloria international festivals.

They also embrace new and exciting challenges and have performed in Nottingham with the “Zaporozhian Cossacks” dancers, and on stage with internationally renowned group “Blake”, during their UK tour “Blake in Harmony”.

Winners of the Female Choir category at the International Eisteddfod Competition in Llangollen 2016, Mirabilé have since been invited to perform for BBC Radio Nottingham, and to take part in both the Southwell Music Festival and Southwell Minster Lunchtime Concert Series.

Under the Artistic Directorship of Anthony Rose, Mirabilé are now embracing an exciting new repertoire of classical and contemporary music, the premier of which was performed in London in January 2018 as part of the Brandenburg Choral Festival Concert Series, followed by a lovely Summer event in the magnificent Great Hall at Wollaton, and a recent hugely successful concert to support the NSPCC.

Our voices

Bernie Bracha

Bernie began singing as a teenager with Burnley Youth Choir before studying music and education at Leeds Trinity University. She taught music to advanced level in secondary schools in the North West and Nottingham for many years before becoming a freelance music consultant in 2012. Bernie recently completed a conducting diploma with the Association of British Choral Directors and is musical director of two community choirs in Nottingham.

“My Mirabilé highlight so far is performing in the beautiful Abbey of Monteveglio as part of our 2012 Mirabilé tour. Receiving a standing ovation from the Franciscan friars and nuns was a special moment which will stay with me for ever.”

Rebecca Dewey

Rebecca has always been greatly involved in making music, reportedly since before she was born! Having sung almost continuously since the age of seven, she has performed in many groups of all shapes and sizes, from school choirs and the National Youth Choirs of Great Britain, through to the Manchester University Gilbert and Sullivan Society. Alongside being an active member of Mirabilé, Rebecca maintains a broad interest in all musical genres and sings in a rock band.

“Being a member of Mirabilé is so motivating. I feel encouraged to constantly work on my voice and I am relishing the challenge of singing with a talented group of fellow vocalists performing at such a high standard.”

Margaret-Anne Dickie

Margaret-Anne began singing as a teenager in church and in school productions. She then joined Kilmarnock Operatic society. After moving from Scotland, she always found a musical interest in each new location. She has sung in a wide variety of choirs including choral, madrigal, and ensemble singing, competing in numerous competitive music festivals.

“On first hearing Mirabilé, I was so impressed by their beautiful sound and was delighted to become part of something special. Rehearsals are hard work and challenging, however the final results are hugely rewarding.”

Ruth Gangneux

Ruth has been involved with music all her life. She was a founder member of the Cantamus girls’ training choir and went on to sing with the main choir for many years. She went on to achieve grade 8 of the ABRSM in piano and voice before studying for a degree in Music and French. She also enjoys singing with the recently formed ex-members choir Cantus Amici. She is a teacher of modern foreign languages in Nottingham by day, but her passion is music and she is delighted to be singing with Mirabilé.

“It’s an absolute pleasure to sing with Mirabilé, the standard is extremely high and it’s great to be challenged musically once again.”

Hilary Gaw

Hilary grew up in Wales where there is a long tradition of choral music and has been singing in choirs for as long as she can remember, performing locally and nationally in concerts, festivals and eisteddfods. She also studied the classical guitar to grade 8 and has used this over the years to accompany herself as a singer. Her passion for singing led her to audition for Mirabilé where she is enjoying being part of a female ensemble and rising to the challenge that each new piece brings.

“I couldn’t imagine a life without song!”

Josie Lee

Josie discovered her love of singing at senior school, achieving her grade 8 and singing with a number of choirs, most notably the National Youth Choir of Great Britain with whom she performed in prestigious venues and took part in an incredible world tour. Continuing to sing whilst at Nottingham University with the chamber choir, Josie was delighted to be invited to be a founder member of Mirabilé and has relished the challenge it presents ever since.

“Performing with Mirabilé is a fantastic experience. There is nothing like the buzz of singing beautiful, challenging music at a really high standard. I always find it amazing how our different voices blend together to create such a wonderful sound.”

Geraldine McElearney

Geraldine was born and raised in Nottingham. She developed an early love of choral singing through school, church, and the county music school, where she sang in girls’ and mixed choirs, and the small, select madrigal group. She was also a member of the Newstead Abbey Singers, the adult choir of St Mary the Virgin (Lace Market), and the National Youth Choir of Great Britain. A Level years were spent in the celebrated music department of Clarendon College, from where Geraldine went on to study singing through degree and postgraduate levels at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama, with regular solo and choral engagements. Having worked in London for many years in several marketing and communications roles, Geraldine returned to Nottingham in 2011. She resumed singing after a long break, and has since enthusiastically taken up work as a singing teacher, working both privately and in various local schools.

“Choral and ensemble work has always been my main passion as a singer, so it’s such a joy to be part of a really excellent group like Mirabilé.”

Carolyn Owen

Carolyn has always enjoyed singing but was a relatively late starter to performing in public, joining her local operatic society in her early 20s. As she moved around the country she performed in a variety of concerts and popular musicals including Hello Dolly, Fiddler on the Roof and many Gilbert and Sullivan favourites. After settling in Nottingham, Carolyn joined the West Bridgford Operatic Society, where she met musical director Joy Nicol, who invited her to become an early member of Mirabilé.

“Singing with Mirabilé has given, and continues to give me one of the most challenging, enjoyable and rewarding experiences ever.”

Alison Smith

Alison started singing as a young child and progressed onto Grade 8 in her teenage years. She has performed in many vocal groups ranging from madrigal groups, chamber choirs, barber shop quartets and now Mirabilé.

“I really enjoy the blend of sound and harmonies that we make in Mirabilé and feel that we really communicate our pieces well as we perform all pieces without reading.”

Laura Fletcher

Laura began singing at fourteen, and at sixteen became a founder member of the Halle Youth Choir in Manchester where she developed a love of choral singing. Studying Music at the University of Liverpool, Laura joined the university chamber choir and also sang as part of the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Choir, alongside regular solo engagements. Since her recent move to Nottingham, she has established a children’s community choir and continues to develop her own repertoire.

Stella Claxton

Stella was previously a member of the Lace City Chorus, an award-winning women’s barbershop choir based in Nottingham. Over the course of ten years, she performed with the choir in many competitions and concerts, both nationally and internationally. Recently, Stella has been singing with the Nottingham Trent University choir, and was fortunate enough to perform at the Royal Concert Hall, Nottingham on several occasions. Joining Mirabilé has given her the opportunity to experience singing with a smaller, female ensemble, and has introduced her to some fabulous contemporary music.

“It’s fantastic to be able to sing with such a talented group. It can be challenging but I feel fortunate to be a part of it.”

 

Our Accompanist

Susan Foster

Susan has been playing the piano since she was 7 years old. In her younger years, she won many prizes at various music festivals in the West Midlands, notably Birmingham.
For the last 25 years she has been playing Chamber Music (piano trios, quartets and quintets) and is currently in 8 separate groups!
She was invited to accompany Mirabilé in early 2013 which has been a great challenge. This resulted in a concert with Cossack dancers at the Nottingham Arts Theatre and a tour of 6 cathedrals during 2014.

 
 

C. Coleman, arr. R. Barnes - The Rhythm of Life