A message from our Chair

Diana Thrush

A very warm welcome to Guildford Chamber Choir website in this our 40th Anniversary year. What a year it has turned out to be! We had planned a full season of music and celebration to mark this milestone, but the inevitable restrictions arising from the Coronavirus pandemic have prevented much of it going ahead: our Birthday concert in June with a big party for choir and audience afterwards; our planned October tour to Freiburg; and now our live concert in Holy Trinity Church, due to take place this very day, Saturday 14th November.

Despite the disappointment of having to cancel this performance, we are pleased to offer you a recording made during the choir’s rehearsal a few days before this second lockdown began. It represents work in progress rather than the finished article, but nonetheless we hope you will enjoy listening to the final piece from our planned programme: Parry’s glorious work for choir and organ, Blest Pair of Sirens.

The choir spirit has been kept alive by whatever means we could manage: preparing a virtual video recording of two pieces for our 40th Birthday; small groups meeting to sing in the open air throughout the summer months; and by recording a Family Eucharist for Guildford Cathedral that was streamed in September. Nothing, however, can replace the joy of singing to an audience. How lucky we were to have been able to perform our St Matthew Passion concert, just before the first lockdown began in March.

As one of the choir’s original Founder Members, four of whom still sing with the choir, I am proud to be in the Chair for such a significant year. It’s hard to believe that forty years have passed since seventeen singers performed at our Inaugural concert in Guildford’s United Reformed Church. We have grown in number since then, but our joy in singing and socialising together has remained just as strong.

Heartfelt thanks are due to our co-founders, Richard Fox and John Bawden, and to the many people who continue to support us, amongst them the Patrons and Friends of GCC. But no concert, whether live or virtual, would be complete without an audience. We have been lucky indeed to be blessed with a following of loyal and enthusiastic music lovers. We look forward very much to seeing you again once circumstances allow. Meanwhile I hope that you will enjoy our latest recording until such time as we can meet once more in person.

Hubert Parry: Blest Pair of Sirens

Words by John Milton. Conductor: Max Barley. Organist: Anthony Merryweather.

GCC - Blest Pair of Sirens.mov

Guildford Chamber Choir in rehearsal at the United Reformed Church. 2nd November 2020.


Video and sound engineers: Charlie Hembrow; Alex James.

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Watch this video on YouTube

GCC - Blest Pair of Sirens.mp3

We were hoping to support Cherry Trees children’s charity at our concert. Please visit their website for more information.

www.cherry trees.org.uk.

Guildford Chamber Choir was founded in 1980 with the express aim of performing choral music of the finest quality from the 16th century to the present day. Over the years the choir has remained loyal to this aim, gaining an enviable reputation both for the high standard of its singing and for performing varied and often unusual repertoire. As well as being at the forefront of Guildford music-making, the Guildford Chamber Choir’s reputation has stretched beyond the town and county boundaries. More about the choir....

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Peter Wright

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