Cherwell Choral Society
Cherwell Choral Society is one of North Oxfordshire's largest choral societies with over 50 regular members. Formed back in 1972, and until November 2019 performing under the name of Warriner Choral Society, the choir now boasts singers from five counties.
Over the 50 years of its history the society has had just 11 Musical Directors.
1972 - 1977 David Spencer
1977 - 1985 David Lock
1985 - 1986 James Morgan
1986 - 1989 David Lock
1990 - 1991 Diana Pogson
1992 - 1993 Ian Biggs
1993 - 1997 Adam Murdin
1997 - 1999 Gordon Wood
1999 - 2004 Matthew Smallwood
2004 - 2020 Martin Quinn
2021 - Paul Hedley
The choir was originally formed from staff and pupils at the Warriner School in Bloxham, but as the musical reputation of the choir grew, links with the school decreased, although rehearsals continued to be held in the school's lecture theatre until 2020. The society plays an active part in the life of Bloxham and Deddington villages, with its performances alternating between St. Mary's Church, Bloxham and The Church of St. Peter & St. Paul, Deddington. It has acquired a reputation for producing high quality performances, supported by professional musical director, accompanist, orchestra and soloists.
Our most recent and longest serving Musical Director, Martin Quinn, guided the choir through over 50 concerts in 16 years (45% of the choir's entire 120 concert history!) We said a sad farewell to Martin at the end of December 2020, and welcomed our new Musical Director, Dr Paul Hedley, in January 2021. Due to Covid restrictions, Paul lead the choir in a series of 'Zoom' sessions, then we enjoyed a summer term of outdoor rehearsals, culminating in a 'performance' in the garden of one of our members.
A full list of all concerts can be found on our 'past concerts' page.
Many of the best-loved choral works have been sung by Cherwell Choral Society, ranging from the Requiems of Fauré, Mozart and Duruflé to Vivaldi's Gloria, Bach's St John Passion and, of course, Handel's Messiah.
The choir has occasionally joined other singers in the area for special events: in 2000 they performed Handel's Zadok the Priest, Parry's 'I Was Glad' and the finale of Beethoven's Choral Symphony in a Millennium Concert at St Mary's church in Banbury. Subsequently they led a "Messiah for Hospices" concert at the same venue. In 2012 they combined with Banbury Choral Society to celebrate their 40th Birthday with a 'Last night of the Proms' style concert in Bloxham.
There have been several 'come and sing' events organised as part of the Deddington Festival, and a very successful workshop day in 2018, culminating in a performance of Rutter's Requiem.
We meet every Tuesday evening to rehearse from 7.45 - 9.30. Visit our membership page for more details.
We welcome all enthusiastic singers, so do please join us!