Formed in 1979, Sherborne Chamber Choir is made up of around forty adult members from Sherborne and the surrounding area who enjoy singing a wide range of music, from the sixteenth century to the present day. Under our Musical Director, Paul Ellis, we have built up a reputation throughout the region and further afield for the high standard of our performances.
Our main concert season takes place in Sherborne Abbey, both a cappella and with orchestra, though we also give concerts elsewhere in the region. In Sherborne, musical highlights in recent years have included performances of Bach’s Christmas Oratorio and St Matthew Passion and Handel Israel in Egypt with period orchestra, Praetorius Mass for Christmas Morning with period ensembles In Echo and the Altenburg Ensemble, Jonathan Dove Missa Brevis, Bob Chilcott St John Passion and James MacMillan’s Seven Last Words from the Cross. A cappella works have included Copland’s In the Beginning, the Latvian composer Uğis Prauliņš’ Missa Rigensis and Victoria’s Requiem, along with works ranging from Tallis, Finzi and Stanford to Gabriel Jackson, Veljo Tormis and Eric Whitacre. A full list of works performed in recent years can be found in the Concert Archive.
Collaborations with other choirs have included two performances with Taunton Camerata: Rachmaninov’s Liturgy of St John Chrysostom in Sherborne Abbey and Belshazzar’s Feast in Wells Cathedral. In 2008 we joined with the East Cornwall Bach Choir for a memorable performance of Rachmaninov’s Vespers in Wells Cathedral. We have also joined with Sherborne Young Singers for several concerts, most recently in 2015 for the St Matthew Passion and for Bob Chilcott’s Canticles of Light. Each year we form part of Sherborne Festival Chorus for a concert in Sherborne Abbey Festival, occasionally taking semi chorus parts or singing items on our own.
We organise occasional trips abroad and we have sung at Notre Dame Cathedral, Paris, in Siena Cathedral and San Gimignano, Italy, in Bruges and in Trogir, Croatia. We have a long standing informal relationship with Sherborne Abbey and regularly lead services there when the Abbey Choir is on holiday. We also occasionally sing for services in cathedrals; over the years we have led worship at Bath Abbey and the cathedrals of Exeter, Winchester, Westminster, St Giles, Edinburgh, and Christ Church, Oxford.
In 2008 we recorded our first CD, Comfort, Life and Love, in aid of St Margaret’s Somerset Hospice and hospices throughout the UK, which has raised thousands of pounds to date. More recently we recorded Carols from Sherborne Abbey with Sherborne Abbey Choir, which is on sale at the Abbey Shop in the Close. Click here to find out more and listen to a sample of tracks.