Award-winning Musical Director takes notorious choir to another dimension

Birmingham’s choir with a difference, notorious, is back for their first gig since celebrating their 20th anniversary in style at the Town Hall in November. Musical Director Clare Edwards, who was awarded the Lady Hilary Groves Prize 2017 for outstanding contribution to music in the community, will be conducting the choir on an intergalactic odyssey at the Electric Cinema on 24th March.

The non-audition choir, who wowed a 500-strong audience with a classical repertoire last time, will be taking on classics from the world of Sci Fi. From Bach to Bjork and Carpenters to Chopin the audience will be transported on a spectacular musical journey as the choir perform tunes from films and TV, inspired by space and the future.

Instead of an orchestra, this time notorious will be accompanied by theremin player Ms Hypnotique, Beatboxer Pye and keyboard player Stephen Webster. With the concert taking place in such a prestigious cinema, there will of course be visuals throughout to transport the audience even deeper into space.

The choir was launched in 1997 with an artistic vision to be different and having performed in venues as varied as a cathedral a cave and a coffin factory they have certainly achieved that. Now they want to take the audience into another dimension.

Musical Director Clare Edwards explains why she was inspired to take on this theme: “Notorious has a really wide ranging membership but one thing we all have a love of is Sci Fi! Everyone has a story or a memory from their favourite Sci Fi film and the music is just as evocative. We are delighted to be joined by Ms Hypnotique on Theramin and Pye our beatboxer to bring these tunes to life. We’ve done a lot of crazy things in 20 years but this gig is a step into the unknown – come with us!

There will be two performances of the choir’s stellar programme on March 24th; at 3:30pm and 6:30pm and tickets are available on the Electric Cinema’s website:

2018: a notorious odyssey

Who needs the Force when you have the power of live music from notorious plus special guests!
3.30pm and 6.30pm Saturday March 24th
Blast off with Notorious and special guests on an exhilarating Sci Fi adventure at The Electric cinema where no audience has gone before. 

From Bach to Bjork and Carpenters to Chopin the audience will be transported on a spectacular musical journey as the choir sing tunes from films and TV, inspired by space and the future.

Join in with David Bowie’s Starman and play ‘Guess the famous theremin tune‘ played live by our guest performer Susi O’Neill. 

Hold on tight as we travel to the edge of reality to uncover the greatest pieces of piano music, performed by special guest Stephen Webster. 
Arm yourself with your light sabre or sonic screwdriver and prepare for thrills of cosmic proportions delivered by beatboxer Pye, live on stage with the choir. 
The Electric Cinema is located in the Southside district of Birmingham, and is the UK’s oldest working cinema. It is also home to comfortable seats and sofas, and a bar for notorious audience members to enjoy! Children aged 3 and over are welcome, but will need their own seat.  
Tickets are very limited, so we are putting on two performances on Saturday 24th March: 
3.30pm (doors 3pm)
6.30pm (doors 6pm) 
Order yours now via the Electric Cinema website.

Our notorious lives

This term, our publicity officer Josie has been asking the choir to share something of their lives in the build up to our biggest ever concert at Birmingham Town Hall.

Using the hashtag #mynotoriouslife members of the choir have been showing the reality of fitting in rehearsing for such a momentous occasion with the demands of everyday life.

Josie was first to go with this photo of her in her car having a little sing before she starts work:

As Chair, I had to join in with my eco-friendly take of singing a bit of Rutter while cycling through a nature reserve:

Fellow tenor Ian Sutton did a puntastic, “The lengths I go to for notorious”: 

Altos Jo and Frida shared a lovely shot on a walk through Moseley Bog with Frida’s children:

Soprano Helena showed us that even on holiday in beautiful Prague, she was still getting in some practice:

Her fellow soprano Ruth showed a slightly less glamorous, but just as dedicated side, as she rehearsed while grating cheese:

Wherever our choir members are, they’re all excited about 25th November at Birmingham Town Hall where we’ll have a choir of 75 people assembled to sing Faure’s Requiem and Rutter’s Magnificat. It will be a night to remember as all these hours of practice bear fruit in glorious music! Don’t forget to buy your tickets here:

Gearing up for the grand finale

This is a year of celebrations for Notorious and this time next week, we’ll be recovering from what promises to be a fantastic night at our 20th anniversary ball at Highbury Hall. Music, food and friends having fun together is a lot of what makes the choir such a great one to be part of, so I can’t wait.

Before that we have a big rehearsal, including friends from afar travelling up to Birmingham and getting in some quality time singing the fantastic Magnificat by John Rutter – one of the most uplifting pieces of music you could ever imagine – and the exquisitely beautiful Requiem by Faure.

Those two works have been chosen for our biggest ever concert, performing at Birmingham’s Town Hall on 25th November and you can certainly see why – the audience are in for a real treat, just as much as we love singing them. Ticket sales are going really well, so I’d advise you to get on and book yours as soon as possible if you want to get one of the best seats in the house. You can buy them here through the Town Hall website.

It’s great to see how keen people who haven’t sung with us for years are to come back and take part in this special concert. Founder members and those who haven’t sung for ten of fifteen years have all slotted back in seamlessly. This twentieth anniversary year keeps getting better and better, so don’t miss the climax!

Joe Peacock, Notorious Chair

20 years ago today….

20 years ago today….

Clare Edwards remembers how Notorious has grown since 1997 and calls back all old members to join us to celebrate our 20th Anniversary.

It is difficult to believe that is was really 20 years ago that we started our choir, Notorious. I ran a choir at sixth form college for two years and another one at university for 3 years and I remember thinking that was an achievement! But as I turned 23 a number of members of those previous choirs started to ask me, ‘are you going to set up a choir’ and the rest is history.

Notorious was formed in 1997 by a group of friends old and new because we felt, at the time, we were too old for youth choirs and too young for the many choral societies that Birmingham had to offer. We wanted to sing a wide range of music (not just classical greats over and over again) and we wanted to be in a choir that challenged us whilst being friendly and non auditioning. We also wanted to sing in as many unusual places as possible.

Since 1997 we have stuck to that mission and have grown from 6 or 7 members to around 40 in each concert. The Notorious ‘family’ is much wider than this with over 60 people who sing regularly (but not every term), alumni who keep an eye on us through social media and occasionally sing when life lets them, and the friends and family who support us concert to concert as audiences, programme sellers, and as part of our more formal ‘Friends’ scheme.

It still feels like a group of friends. We still sing a massive range of repertoire;Muse, Britten, Prodigy, Faure – you name it. We still sing in usual venues; caves, coffin factories, pubs, a science museum, and a municipal tip to name just a few!

The big climax to our 20th Anniversary Celebrations is in November – and we want to ask all our old members/friends to come back and sing with us. It’s ok if you live far away now – we will live stream rehearsals and record every rehearsal and you will have all the information and support you need to join us. We are planning a weekend of rehearsals on Fri 22nd/Sat 23rd September (with a Ball at Highbury Hall) and finally intensive rehearsals on the day of the show itself.

So did you ever sing in Notorious – even for a term? We would love to have you back. We already have 70 confirmed singers and counting. It’s going to be our biggest yet.

To register email – we would love to hear from you!

Radio To Go talks to Clare Edwards!

Listen to Notorious’ very own musical director Clare Edwards talking to Robin Valk from Radio To Go and Notorious Bass fame!

Clare talks about Notorious Choir’s March 2017 Concert, looking back 20 years to the year of the choir’s foundation. With rehearsal audio.

You can listen to Clare’s interview by clicking here!



2017 Choir Brochure

At a loss for things to do in 2017?

Why not come see Notorious at one of our 20th anniversary gigs?

For the first time ever we’ve put together a season brochure, so click here to have a browse and see what you like the look of! 

Welcome to our new website!

Welcome, everyone, to Notorious’ new website! 

Here you’ll be able to keep up to date with all of Notorious’ gig information, news, photos, videos, and more…

If you are interested in joining Notorious, or have any questions about who we are or what we do, please email Charlotte on

We hope you enjoy this new site, and keep enjoying our music!