A message from our chairman
A very warm welcome to the Guildford Chamber Choir website.
Guildford Chamber Choir aims to bring to Surrey audiences a wide range of music performed in fresh and exciting ways:
- We sing familiar choral works such as Handel’s Messiah (March 2014) and Haydn’s Nelson Mass (March 2013) but we bring a more intimate dimension to these works by staging them with smaller scale performances than might normally be used, often enhanced by the accompaniment of period instruments. For example, in October 2014 we performed Monteverdi’s Vespers of 1610 accompanied by the English Cornett and Sackbut Ensemble, with the solos taken by members of the choir.
- We also sing much more recent music such as James MacMillan’s Cantos Sagrados (September 2013), with its hard hitting texts about political oppression in South America, and Richard Rodney Bennett’s ‘Nonsense’ settings of verse by Mervyn Peake (June 2014). To mark our 30th anniversary in 2010 we commissioned a companion piece to Britten’s St Nicolas from Philip Moore, former Organist and Master of the Choristers at Guildford Cathedral. His Ode on St Cecilia's Day sets a text in praise of the power of music by Alexander Pope.
- We aim for the highest standards under the direction of our Principal Conductor Steven Grahl, who is a prizewinning organist as well as being an inspiring choral conductor. Steven was Assistant Organist at New College, Oxford for seven years until summer 2014 and is now Director of Music at Peterborough Cathedral.
- As well as our concerts we organise workshop days, which are open to all, and also regularly visit cathedrals to sing when the cathedral’s regular choir is taking a break.
- We are keen to work with local groups and organisations. In the past few years we have joined with the Surrey Mozart Players to perform Beethoven’s 9th Symphony and Mozart’s Requiem. We have also toured with another local choir, the Occam Singers. In December 2014 we are pleased to be returning to sing to the supporters of Watts Gallery in Compton at their Christmas party.
- Finally, all our main concerts are organised in conjunction with a local charity. At each concert the charity’s representatives are given an opportunity to talk about its work and take a retiring collection. Over the last ten years more than £20,000 has been raised for the charities we’ve supported.
I look forward to welcoming you to our music-making, either as a singer, or as a member of our audience.
What we do:
♦ We give concerts which raise money for local charities (usually 2 or 3 main concerts per year).
♦ We sing by invitation at Cathedrals such as Guildford, Winchester, Southwark, Salisbury, Chichester, Portsmouth and most recently at St George's Chapel, Windsor.
♦ We go on tour abroad, combining singing, sightseeing and fun. Countries visited include France, Spain, Portugal, Hungary, Poland, Germany and Italy. See pictures from our latest tour to Brussels.
♦ We have made 2 recordings for BBC Radio 3.