The society was formed in 1991 and since then has sung a wide range of choral works from early and baroque music through to classical and contemporary. Although originally members came from the villages of the Lower Windrush area, our singers now come from considerably further afield. We perform two or three concerts a year in local venues, venturing as far afield as Bampton, Abingdon and Charlbury as well as Witney and the Lower Windrush parishes.
We currently have about 50 members and would welcome more in all sections. There are no auditions but a rudimentary ability to read music is highly desirable. Rehearsals are held on Monday evenings in Stanton Harcourt School.
Terry McNamara was appointed Music Director to the Society in 2007. Terry was born in Leeds. His studies at the Royal College of Music, notably harpsichord with Millicent Silver, led him into the world of early music, for which he has a particular passion. For some ten years he was Director of Music at St James’s Church, Piccadilly, and directed his own chamber orchestra. In 1992 he moved to France where he was organist of Langres Cathedral and Musical Director of l’Ensemble Vocal Montéclair (EVM). In 2006 the family (by now including two daughters and one cat) returned to England. He continued his strong relationship with the EVM and returned to Langres every three weeks for a long weekend of intense music-making. During this period many major choral works were performed (including Bach’s B minor Mass and St John Passion; Mondonville’s Grand Motets; Masses by Campra and Charpentier; and Purcell’s King Arthur). With great sadness Terry decided in 2014 to announce his intention to leave EVM and gave his final concerts with them in 2015.
Committee of Trustees
The Society is managed by a committee of the Trustees, of which the Music Director is an ex-officio member. The other Trustees are elected by the membership annually, and the officials for 2017 - 2018 are:
Chairman – Jenny Macdonald
Secretary – Bellanne Lethbridge
Treasurer – Diana Gordon
Practices are on Monday evenings from 8-10pm and there will be some extra practices in the week before a concert. It is expected that all members will attend the final rehearsal on the day of the concert and the previous one.
Practices are held in Stanton Harcourt C of E Primary School, Stanton Harcourt, Witney, Oxon OX29 5RJ. There is limited parking onsite and more nearby.
2017-18 PRACTICE DATES
Autumn Term – 4th September to 11th December 2017
Spring Term - 8th January to 26th March 2018
Summer Term - 16th April to 23rd July 2018 (No rehearsal on 7th May)
"Summer Sings" - 6th and 20th August 2018
Handel: Judas Maccabaeus
St Mary's Church, Witney
Sat 2nd June 2018 (evening)