Chiara Cozzolani

⛪ Holy Trinity Church, Guildford

📅 Sat 2nd March 2024; 7pm

Tickets to follow

A message from our Chair

Emma Humphreys

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

We are looking forward to singing Chiara Cozzolani's Vespers in March 2024, and being back at Holy Trinity Church at the new early time of 7pm. 

Hailed as the "Female Monteverdi", this 17th century nun has written a work of considerable charm which is rarely performed. We will be joined by period instrument orchestral players. We look forward to welcoming you. 

With very good wishes

Emma Humphreys

Chair of Guildford Chamber Choir

GCC was born in 1980, as a result of a conversation between local businessman Richard Fox and musician John Bawden. John became the choir's first conductor and the pair managed to recruit seventeen singers; professionals, semi-professionals and experienced amateurs for that first concert.


It is with great sadness that we announce the loss of Richard, who passed away peacefully at home on June 20th 2023 after a long illness, faced with courage and good humour. 

Until recently Richard had been singing with us, and continuing to organise our annual Cathedral trips with his meticulous eye for detail. Richard was involved with all sorts of local organisations, and his love of walking will be enjoyed by those who find themselves on the "Fox Way", a 39 mile circular walk centred on Guildford. A generous and kind man, he will be hugely missed.

We send our condolences to his wife Sandi and all his family. 

We welcome new singers to the choir!

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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Romancing the Rhine: A review

Guildford Chamber Choir autumn concert – 14th October 2023

Guildford Chamber Choir Romances the Rhine

With a trip to Freiburg coming up, it was entirely appropriate that this splendid choir, now 43 years old, should perform a programme of German Romantic music, even if the river was not mentioned by name! The name that was mentioned in the programme was that of the sadly-missed Richard Fox, who was instrumental in forming the choir in 1980, and who passed away in June.

The concert began with movements from Rheinberger’s Cantus Missae, in which he exercised considerable harmonic freedom. He had just rejected the ideals of a movement which sought to suppress musical individuality and one could in this performance sense the feeling of relief which he felt. The acoustic of St Nicolas Church, Guildford, was ideal for this music. It was ably conducted by Max Barley.

Acoustics played a big part in the composition of the following three items, Bruckner’s miniature but very expressive motets written for the abbey of St Florian near Linz. They were followed by a performance by the talented organist David Goode of Mendelssohn’s evocative A major organ sonata, complete with a fugue based on a strikingly quirky theme. And the same composer’s setting of Psalm 43, Richte mich, Gott , was entirely appropriate given the dreadful news emerging from the Middle East. It received an emotive performance, with a lovely sense of peace filling the church during the final words ‘den ich werde ihm nach danken’ (I will praise Him).

Mendelssohn’s Verleih uns Frieden is a prayer for peace, simply put and beautifully performed. Following it was a motet which would have been recognisable to connoisseurs of his great oratorio Elijah, and the eight parts blended magnificently.

Brahms’s Geistliches Lied is an extraordinarily inventive piece, and very clever too. It began life as an exercise in counterpoint, and he considered it the only one good enough to publish. Small wonder: it consists of a double canon but, far from being dry, creates a very satisfying whole. The contrapuntal lines were well brought out in the choir’s performance. A flat minor as a key can hardly exist, but Brahms chose to use it for a remarkable organ fugue written at the time of the death of his mentor Robert Schumann. It excels in sophistication and skill for such an early piece.

The aristocratic Heinrich von Herzogenberg is perhaps best known as the teacher of Ethyl Smyth, but he wrote several pieces for the Evangelical Church in Strasbourg, one of which, a delightful miniature, received a performance at this concert.  Siehe, um Trost war mir sehr bange were again very appropriate words for the prevailing mood, but it cheered up very effectively.

Max Reger’s Nachtlied, full of chromaticism, his lively Toccata for organ, and Rheinberger’s charming Abendlied rounded off the programme.

A collection was taken for Challengers, which provides play and leisure activities for disabled children.

The Guildford Chamber Choir’s next concert will take place in Holy Trinity Church, Guildford, on Saturday 2nd March, at the earlier time of 7 p.m., and will include a performance of Vespers by the Milanese composer Chiara Cozzolani.

Shelagh Godwin