Songs of Farewell

Saturday 23 June 2018 at 7:30pm
Sherborne Abbey

Music for a summer’s evening, including Parry’s masterpiece and swansong, the Songs of Farewell, written during and heavily influenced by the First World War.

Tickets will be available from Sherborne Tourist Information Centre, 01935 815341.

Mozart Requiem

Monday 7 May 2018 at 7:30pm
Sherborne Abbey

Our annual concert as part of Sherborne Festival Chorus.

Sherborne Festival Chorus
Sherborne Classical Players
Conductor Paul Ellis

Mozart       Requiem K 626 and Litaniae in E flat K 243

This year we join the Festival Chorus and a period orchestra for one of the most famous works in the repertoire. The intrigue surrounding the Requiem is the stuff of Hollywood movies: an anonymous commission for what turned out to be Mozart’s last composition – he died at the age of 35 after finishing the first few bars of the Lacrimosa – added to the ailing composer’s fear that he had been commissioned to write his own Requiem. But there is no disputing the genius and drama of the music, full of fervour and passion and rightly loved by audiences everywhere. His Litany is a much earlier work and less well known, but full of wonderful melody and the stepping stone to the great sacred choral works that followed.

Part of Sherborne Abbey Festival. Click here to find out more about this and all the Festival concerts.

Tickets available from 1 March online from Sherborne Abbey Festival and from Sherborne Tourist Information Centre, 01935 815341.

Passion and Glory

Saturday 17 March 2018 at 7:30pm
Sherborne Abbey

Music by Bach and Pachelbel for Lent and Easter

For our first concert of 2018, we’re delighted to be collaborating with top period ensemble, In Echo, for a musical journey of German Baroque music through Lent and Passiontide, leading to the triumph of Easter Day.

Pachelbel’s Canon in D may be famous worldwide, but this concert offers a rare chance to hear some of his wonderful choral music, along with music by not one, but two Bachs. With motets, cantatas, instrumental and a cappella music there is something for everyone!

JS Bach Cantata Actus tragicus (God’s time is the best), BWV 106
JS Bach Motet Komm, Jesu, komm, BWV 229
Pachelbel Motet on Psalm 46 Gott ist unser Zuversicht (God is our hope and strength)
Johann Christoph Bach Mit weinen hebt sich’s an
JS Bach Chorale Christ lag in todesbanden
Pachelbel Easter Cantata Christ lag in todesbanden

Plus instrumental music by JS Bach, Dietrich Becker and Johann Sommer

Soprano Pam Coward
Counter tenor Samuel Mitchell
Tenor John Willetts
Baritone Daniel Tate


Tickets available from Sherborne Tourist Information Centre, 01935 815341. Nave £20, £16, £12, South Transept £13, North Transept £10, Side aisles £5 (unreserved), Under 18s free of charge.  

Hark, the glad sound

Saturday 2 December 2017 at 7:30pm
Sherborne Abbey

Great choral music from across the ages to celebrate the start of Advent, centred around settings of the Magnificat and Bob Chilcott’s settings of the Great ‘O’ antiphons.

Biebl Ave Maria
Briggs Trinity College, Cambridge Magnificat
Byrd Vigilate
Chilcott Advent Antiphons
Dove Seek him that maketh the seven stars
Jackson I look from afar
Howells Magnificat ‘Gloucester Service’
Lauridsen O magnum mysterium
Mendelssohn How lovely are the messengers
Mendelssohn Richte mich, Gott
Poulenc Salve Regina
Stopford Tomorrow shall be my dancing day

Organist Simon Clarkson
Conductor Paul Ellis

Tickets £5-£16, students under 18 free of charge. Available from 23 October from Sherborne Tourist Information Centre, Digby Road, Sherborne, 01935 815341.

Spirit of England

Saturday 24 June 2017 at 7:30pm
Sherborne Abbey

English choral music for a summer’s evening

After our Grand European Tour earlier in the year, this time we are staying at home: join us for a summer’s evening of British music from across the centuries.

Some of the finest choral music written in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century for our churches and cathedrals forms the backbone of our programme, with anthems such as Elgar’s Give unto the Lord, Finzi’s God is gone up, and motets by Stanford, but there is also music from the Tudor period, with William Byrd’s wonderful Mass for Four Voices, and anthems by contemporaries such as Tallis and Gibbons. Finally there is a reminder of a little of our traditional folksong heritage, with songs arranged by Bairstow, Holst, Warlock and Vaughan Williams.

Byrd Mass for four voices, Ave verum corpus
Elgar Give unto the Lord
Finzi God is gone up
Gibbons O clap your hands together
Harwood O how glorious
Naylor Vox dicentis
Philips Ascendit Deus
Stanford Justorum animae, Beati quorum via, Coelos ascendit hodie
Tallis O Lord give thy Holy Spirit, Loquebantur variis linguis, O nata lux, If ye love me
Bairstow The oak and the ash
Holst I love my love
Vaughan Williams The turtle dove
Warlock Yarmouth Fair



£5-£16, under 18s free of charge.

Sherborne Abbey Festival concert

Monday 1 May 2017 at 7:30pm
Sherborne Abbey

Elgar The Dream of Gerontius

With Sherborne Festival Chorus and Chameleon Arts Orchestra

Frances Bourne mezzo soprano (The Angel)
Toby Spence tenor (Gerontius)
Peter Savidge baritone (The Priest/The Angel of the Agony)
Paul Ellis conductor

Part of Sherborne Abbey Festival. Click here to find out more about the Festival and book online.

We join with an all-star trio of world class soloists for a not-to-be-missed performance of one of our best-loved choral works. Elgar’s remarkable setting of Cardinal Newman’s poem tracing the journey of a man’s soul from faithful life to redemptive death is a dramatic, passionate and moving masterpiece, widely regarded as one of his finest works. International star Toby Spence performed the role of Gerontius at the 2015 Proms with Sir Simon Rattle and the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, whilst two of the UK’s most distinguished and established singers Peter Savidge and Frances Bourne both make welcome returns to perform with the Chorus.

Click here for more details about ticket availability and the Festival as they are announced.

A Grand Tour

Saturday 18 March 2017 at 7:30pm
Sherborne Abbey

Join us as we embark on a musical trip across Europe, from Spain to Poland, Italy to Norway, with music from the sixteenth century to the twentieth. No politics – just great music!

The main works are the French composer Langlais’ Messe Solennelle, written in 1951, along with Scarlatti’s wonderful multi-part setting of the Stabat Mater. In between those, the programme includes works by Grieg, Bruckner, Palestrina, Sweelinck and the Polish composer Górecki’s famous Totus tuus, written in 1987 to celebrate Pope John Paul II’s visit to his native Poland that year.

D Scarlatti Stabat Mater
Langlais Messe solennelle
Grieg Ave maris stella
Bruckner Locus iste
Brahms Geistliches Lied
Palestrina Sicut cervus
Sweelinck Psalm 100
Gorecki Totus tuus

£5-£16, under 18s free of charge.

From Darkness to Light

Saturday 3 December 2016 at 7:30pm
Sherborne Abbey

Great choral music from across the ages to celebrate the start of Advent, centred around settings of the Magnificat and Ave Maria.

Finzi Magnificat
Schütz German Magnificat
Eriks Ešenvalds Magnificat
Gibbons This is the record of John
Byrd Laetentur coeli
James MacMillan O Radiant Dawn
Praetorius arr. Sandstrom Es ist ein Ros entsprungen
Parsons Ave Maria
Bruckner Ave Maria
Victoria Ave Maria
Rachmaninov Ave Maria
Gabriel Jackson Seven Advent Antiphons
Warlock Benedicamus Domino

£5-£16, under 18s free of charge. On sale 17th October.

In Memoriam Amelia Berkeley

Saturday 3 September 2016 at 6:00pm
Bradford Abbas Church

A charity concert in aid of Above and Beyond to raise money for better facilities for bereaved parents within Bristol Royal Hospital for Children

Fauré Requiem

Organist David Bruce-Payne
Soloists William Ellis and Amelia Monaghan

Amelia, the young granddaughter of one of our altos, Liz Ashmead, died very suddenly earlier this year. This concert is in her memory and we hope will help raise funds to provide more facilities at the hospital for parents who find themselves in the same awful situation as Liz’s daughter and son-in-law.

£10 including High Tea after the concert in the village hall.

A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Saturday 25 June 2016 at 7:30pm
Sherborne Abbey

2016-06-25-ShakespeareNext to the Bible, the words of Shakespeare have probably provided more inspiration to composers than any other text. We mark the 400th anniversary of his death with a celebration in music, including choral settings, songs and instrumental music.

Vaughan Williams Three Shakespeare Songs
Mathias Shakespeare Songs
Murrill O mistress mine
Wood Full fathom five
Jaakko Mäntyjärvi Four Shakespeare Songs
Solo songs by Bridge, Finzi and Quilter

Accompanist Simon Clarkson


Tickets £5 (unreserved), under 18s free of charge, reserved tickets £10-£16