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Born in Plymouth, Chilcott sang in the Choir of King's College, Cambridge, both as a boy and as a university student. He performed the Pie Jesu of Fauré's Requiem on the 1967 recording. In 1985 he joined the King's Singers, singing tenor for 12 years. He has been a composer since 1997.
Chilcott is well known for his compositions for children’s choirs, including Can You Hear Me?, which he has conducted in the United States, Canada, Australia, Japan, Estonia, Latvia, Germany, and the Czech Republic. He is associated with the New Orleans Children’s Chorus and the Crescent City Festival in New Orleans, for which he wrote Jazz Mass, Happy Land, This Day, Be Simple Little Children, and for the 2009 festival, I Lift My Eyes.
Chilcott originally wrote This Day, a setting of five poems, for a 2006 choral festival in New Orleans which was cancelled after Hurricane Katrina. The work was eventually premiered on 25 June 2007 at St. Louis Cathedral in New Orleans, by 210 singers from around the United States.
His cantata for choir and percussion The Making of the Drum has been performed by the BBC Singers, the New Zealand Youth Choir, the Chamber Choir of Europe, and the Taipei Chamber Singers. Chilcott wrote two larger sacred works, Canticles of Light and Jubilate. The Addison singers performed Canticles of Light in London in 2004 and Jubilate in 2005, both in London and in Carnegie Hall. In 2008, Oxford University Press published his Aesop's Fables for SATB and piano ("The Hare and the Tortoise"; "The Mountain in Labour"; "The Fox and the Grapes"; "North Wind and the Sun"; "The Goose and the Swan").
Chilcott was the conductor of the chorus at the Royal College of Music in London for seven years, and is Principal Guest Conductor of the BBC Singers. Chilcott’s Requiem was premiered on 13 March 2010 at the Sheldonian in Oxford by the Oxford Bach Choir and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Nicholas Cleobury. Chilcott conducted the premiere of his On Christmas Night on 12 December 2010 at the University Christian Church of Austin, Texas. The UK premiere of On Christmas Night was given on 28 November 2011 in Rugby School by the Arnold Singers conducted by Richard Dunster-Sigtermans. On Christmas Night received its Scottish Premiere on 14 December 2011 at the Usher Hall in Edinburgh when performed by the Dollar Academy Combined School Choirs. "On Christmas Night" again performed by Sidmouth Choral Society on 15 December 2012 conducted by Dorothy Worthington.
- Bob Chilcott choralconnections.com
- Bob Chilcott - Addison Singers' President
- Bob Chilcott Requiem world première Oxford University press
- A new Requiem by Bob Chilcott Nicola Lisle, The Oxford Times 4 March 2010
- Bob Chilcott / On Christmas Night Oxford University press
- World Premiere ~ On Christmas Night ~ Composed and Conducted by Bob Chilcott University Christian Church, Austin 2010
- Dollar Academy Christmas Concert Dollar Academy 14 December 2011