A very warm welcome to Guildford Chamber Choir’s website. 

The choir has recently enjoyed a wonderful concert, in tribute to our founder, Richard Fox, and are gratefully to all our supporters. We were delighted to raise more than £1300 for the Phyllis Tuckwell Hospice.

The choir will now take a break until the autumn. 

Join us on Saturday November 2nd 7pm at Holy Trinity Church, to sing Handel's wonderful Messiah.

Emma Humphreys

Chair of Guildford Chamber Choir

Chamber Choir presents joyful tribute to founder

Guildford Chamber Choir, St Nicolas Church, Guildford, 15th June 2024

Richard Fox was a man of many parts, a coach, a businessman, a great walker (as anyone who has trod the Fox Way circular walk around Guildford will know) and an enthusiastic singer. And he had that gift of bringing joy to all around him, even during his final illness. So the tribute to him by the Guildford Chamber Choir, which he founded in 1980, had to be joyful, from the outset, with William Byrd’s rousing anthem Sing Joyfully. This was followed by Robert Parsons’ reflective Ave Maria, broadcast by the Choir on BBC Radio 3 in 1987 and a moving off-copy performance of Fauré’s Cantique de Jean Racine. These were conducted by the Choir’s Principal Conductor, Max Barley with the Fauré accompanied on piano by Peter Wright, the Choir’s first regular conductor and sometime director of music at Southwark Cathedral. The first half of the concert also included Duruflé’s haunting Ubi Caritas¸and Vaughan Williams’ rousing Let all the world in every corner sing.

Peter Wright moved from the piano to conduct Stanford’s Three Unaccompanied Motets, familiar items in the choral repertoire. These received disciplined performances, as did the beautiful The Blue Bird, in which soprano Helen Pritchard soared beautifully to her ‘blue’ note. In complete contrast was Finzi’s lively My spirit sang all day  and Vaughan Williams’s beautiful setting of The Turtle Dove, with Simon Phillips as bass soloist, moved the audience almost to tears. Appropriately so, as all the music in the concert had been chosen by Richard before his death.

John Bawden conducted the Guildford Chamber Choir’s first concert back in 1980, and he was back on the podium on Saturday, not only as singer and conductor but as composer/arranger. Under his direction the Choir performed three arrangements of popular songs made for Equinox, the vocal quartet he founded in the late 1970s/early 1980s: Jim Godwin, bass in that quartet, also sings in the Choir. Two of these arrangements (Bacharach’s Raindrops Keep Falling on my Head and The Beatles’ When I’m Sixty-Four) were accompanied skillfully by the Marianne Windham Trio who in true jazz tradition improvised their parts, as well as contributing two instrumental pieces Lullaby of Birdland and I’ll remember April.

 John Bawden’s skill as a composer was evident in his Laudate, written for the Epsom Chamber Choir but in fact premiered by the Guildford Chamber Choir in November 2021. Three settings of Shakespeare and Marlowe by the recently honoured Sir John Rutter, accompanied by the trio, preceded the final item, Bawden’s hilarious arrangement of I do like to be beside the seaside.

A collection was taken for the Phyllis Tuckwell Hospice, which provided support for Richard during his final illness, and an enjoyable party followed the concert.

Shelagh Godwin


We welcome new singers to the choir!

We would particularly welcome hearing from any new basses!

We are a smallish, friendly project choir, singing three concerts a year with additional events such as an annual Cathedral visit. Rehearsals take place during a 3 to 4 week period before each performance, dates of which are published at least 6 months in advance. Singers may normally sing in a particular concert only if they have attended all the rehearsals. These usually number between 5 and 7, depending on the concert programme.

The choir is run by an elected committee of volunteer members with our Principal Conductor as an advisory member. 

All members contribute to the smooth running of the choir by distributing publicity materials, selling tickets, helping to prepare the concert venues on the day, and assisting with post-concert parties.

To request an audition please email:


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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Honorary Patrons

Mr & Mrs Michael More-Molyneux

Steven Grahl

Peter Wright

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Choir concert was a revelation

Guildford Chamber Choir – Holy Trinity Church Guildford – 2nd March 2024

You wouldn’t expect it from a nun, would you? Or, indeed, would you? The capacity audience at Holy Trinity Church on Saturday was transported back to a Milanese convent to hear the remarkable music of Chiara Cozzolani, who in her own seventeenth-century time created quite a stir and attracted many through her remarkable music. Her Vespers, composed in 1650, formed the programme for the Guildford Chamber Choir’s spring concert in Holy Trinity Church on Saturday 2nd March, held in aid of the Cheryl King Trust which helps to provide music lessons for disadvantaged children.  Conductor Max Barley has taken to choosing original and little-known works for the choir, now in its 45th season.

The music is very much in the style of Claudio Monteverdi, and, for 1650 audiences would have sounded a little old-fashioned. It consists of elaborate solo passages, sung ably by the five magnificent soloists, sopranos Daisy Livesey and Ailsa Campbell, mezzo Helena Cooke, tenor Samuel Kibble, and bass Thomas Lowen. But these five starring roles were not enough for this ambitious composer! Several soloists stood out from the choir and sang their bit, quite splendidly. It would be unfair to single out names: they were all excellent.  Between the solo sections there were many choral interjections, including rapid refrains in which co-ordination proved a little bit of a problem. The effective accompaniment came from David Goode, organ, Sardinian-born Emanuele Addis, theorbo, and Camilla Morse-Glover, cello. Helena Cooke and Daisy Livesey sang remarkable solos to the accompaniment of theorbo and (in one case) cello. True musicianship indeed.

The whole piece, consisting of a short introduction, six psalms, and a setting of the Magnificat, had a tremendous impact and was moreover full of joy, something badly needed in these distressing times. Thumbs up for Chiara Cozzolani and her gifted singing nuns!

Guildford Chamber Choir’s next concert will be in memory of its founder Richard Fox, and will consist of choral gems from Byrd to the Beatles, and will take place at St Nicolas Church in Guildford.

Shelagh Godwin