The choir aims to offer a full and involving musical experience to our audiences, and we welcome new singers who want to contribute to that. Although originally started in the first half of the 20th century, the choir in its present form was formed in 1952 as Brockham Christ Church Music Society, later taking its present name.
The choir itself consists of around 70 singers who come mainly from the Brockham and Dorking areas (though a number come from further afield). We don’t hold auditions, but we aim for a high standard. We warmly welcome new members to the choir, and encourage anyone with an interest in choral singing to contact us. Whilst previous choral experience is valuable, a love of singing and a desire to learn are more important. Also, new members would find it very useful to have either the ability to read music, or a good ear! Our subscriptions are currently £130 per year for singing members. For new members there is a special ‘Have a Go’ offer – if you want to try out singing with us your first term will be free and the subs for the remainder of the year will be reduced accordingly. Subscriptions are currently free for under 25s in full-time education or unemployed.
You can find further information on joining the choir here.
Our excellent Musical Director Cole Bendall joined us in January 2020 and we have hugely enjoyed his drive and enthusiasm and his ability to involve us in his enthusiasm and musicality. You can find out more about Cole here.
We aim to be a friendly and welcoming choir, and we work hard to ensure we have an inclusive and well-supported social programme, including our Annual Dinner in the Spring. Details of these appear in our Members’ area.
We rehearse at St John’s C of E Primary School, Goodwyns Rd, Dorking RH4 2LR on Tuesday evenings from September through to the following June, starting at 7.30 pm and finishing at 9.30 pm.
We give a number of concerts each year – a November concert and/or a Family Christmas concert in December, usually with local schools; a major concert in March, and a more informal concert in May or June, often including other local musicians. These concerts are normally in St Martin’s Church, Dorking, the Dorking Halls, or another local church.
Every other year we embark on a tour – in 2004 we went to Brittany, in 2006 we went to Ghent and gave three concerts, one with the local Cantabile choir, who came to the UK to join us for our May 2007 concert. In 2008 we visited The Hague. In 2011 we stayed in the UK and visited Yorkshire, singing in Ripon Cathedral, Selby Abbey, Leeds Parish Church and York Minster, accompanied on each occasion by the Yorkshire Imperial Band. At each concert we held a collection for Help for Heroes, collecting £700 in total for the charity. For 2013 we sang in various venues in Cardiff. For 2015 we had a successful weekend away in Winchelsea in July, with a concert in support of a local charity. In 2018 we joined in the Zezere Arts Festival in Tomar, Portugal, singing Dvorak (in Czech!).
It is our policy to engage with the local community by encouraging participation in our concerts by local schools and musicians, particularly our occasional Christmas concerts. We held a very successful competition in 2013 to find soloists from local secondary schools for our performance of Vivaldi’s “Gloria” in March of that year, and plan to hold a composing competition for school children in the near future. A young violinist from the Yehudi Menuhin School played at our concert in March 2018, the Farnham Youth Choir took part in our performance of Britten’s “St Nicolas” in December 2018, and following a preparatory workshop with St John’s C of E Primary School they sang with us in our summer 2019 concert, having previously sung with us at Christmas 2016. A Composition Competition for young composers is planned for 2021.
We are available to sing at weddings and similar events – for further information please contact us.
Staging hire We have a set of scaffolding-based staging for hire for concert performances in St Martin’s Church. Please use our contact us form for further information.
The choir is supported in its efforts by a number of Friends; details of these are on our Friends page.
Website design The website was designed for us by Jenny Monro of Business Arch Expertise Ltd; the wonderful page header banner designs are by Soo Abram.
The choir benefits from a grant from the Humphrey Richardson Taylor Charitable Trust, which amongst other things provides grants to promote the live performance of classical music.
Supporting NewsPAL We are delighted to be supporting NewSPAL, the performing arts library in Surrey