Wareham Choral Society

- Wareham's choir since 1947!



The choir was formed in 1947, with the Choral Society being established in 1957. In 2007 we celebrated our 60th anniversary.

   For some recent concerts, you can click on the date to view the concert programme in pdf format, or download it to your own computer by right-clicking and then choosing the Save Link As .. option. (If you don't have Acrobat for viewing pdf files, you can download it from here).
1947 to 1957 

 Singers in Wareham gathered under the post WW2 Evening Institute arrangements to form a choir.

No official records exist for this period. It is believed that in these first 10 years the choir rehearsed at the Senior Modern School (opened September 1939 - now Wareham Middle School)

29th Oct  1957 

 In the Autumn of 1957 a more formal arrangement was established and so began a long association with the schools and churches in Wareham.

A full meeting was held to form a society and elect the following committee

Chairman:                       Dr A M Cunningham
Secretary:                       Mr G H Mepstead
Conductor:                     Mr E Edwards
Hon Accompanist:       Mr M Adams
Committee:                     Mrs H E Mackintosh  (Sopranos)

                                           Miss D E Cosier  (Contralto)
                                           Mr A Wade   (Tenor)
                                           Mr L Johnstone   (Bass)

 5th Nov 1957
  Committee meeting at which it was elected that the society be known as The Wareham Choral Society

17th Dec 1957 The first concert was performed at the Wareham Parish Church, and included:

Solo and concerted excerpts from the Handel’s Messiah
A selection of Carols
A short organ recital by Miss Irene Challis

The printed programmes were sold at 1/- (One Shilling) each!

8th Jan 1958
 Proposal that the Society should affiliate itself to The Dorset Guild of Singers, who were currently working on Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas and The Crepes of London,
to be performed on 29th March 1958 at Broadway.

8th April 1958 
WCS Coleridge-Taylor - Hiawatha’s Wedding Feast
The Sailor’s Garland

The Crepes of London.   

In the Senior Modern School – Wareham.

Spring 1959WCSBach - O Light Everlasting
Excerpts from Handel’s Messiah

As this was Handel’s bicentenary year it was suggested that a programme should include Acis & Galatea and/or Judas Macabaeus

Aug 1959 Two choir members marry  -  Miss Lydia Nash  and  Mr Bob Farrow
Dec 1959 Nine Lessons and Carols
1960WCSMontague Phillips - The Rebel Maid  
WCSHandel - Messiah
 Bob Farrow appointed accompanist
WCSHaydn  The Creation  -  
 The Society became moribund!
 Robin Longman appointed conductor 
Mar 1964WCSwith Purbeck Arts Club  - 
Mendelssohn -  Elijah in Swanage Parish Church,
and then with DGS in Salisbury Cathedral.
May 1965DGSBach - Cantata No 140  -  Sleepers Wake
Bach -
antata No 79  -  God the Lord is Sun and Shield

Vivaldi - Gloria
Mar 1966 
DGSBach  -  St John’s Passion
Dec 1966
WCSHandel - Messiah
Spring 1967DGS

Britten - St Nicholas
Faure - Requiem

Dec 1967
DGSHandel - Messiah
Mar 1968WCS 
C.P.E.Bach - Magnificat
Haydn - Mass in B Flat  (Harmonie Messe)
Oct 1968  
WCS with  SAC- In St Mary’s Church, Swanage

Britten - Cantata Academice
Purcell - Ode on St Cecilia

Dec 1968
WCS with SAC
Christmas Music in Swanage
Mar 1969DGS 
Bach - St Mathew Passion  -  in Wimborne Minster
with SAC
Orff - Carmina Burana
 Mar 1970DGSMozart - Vespers in C Major
Handel - Chandos Anthem No 9
Handel - Utrecht Jubilate
Summer 1970DGS Beethoven - 9th Symphony (Choral)
Beethoven’s Choral Fantasia
Dec 1970   WCS & SACVaughan Williams -  Fantasia on Christmas Carols
Mar 1971  
DGSPurcell - Soul of the World
Parry - Blest Pair of Sirens

Brown-David -
A Cantata Op 21 (new commission)
Summer 1971WCSKodaly -  Te Deum
Mozart - Mass in C minor
Dec 1971
WCS & SAC   
Gabrielli - In Excelsis
Charpentier  -  A short mass
Spring 1972DGS 
Bach - St John’s Passion
Dec 1972 WCS & SAC

Haydn - St Nicholas Mass
Handel - The Caroline Te Deum
Hassler - Motet Omnes Gentes

Mar 1973DGSVerdi - Requiem
Mozart - Masonic Funeral Music  K V 477
Dec 1973 
WCS & SACChristmas Music

Wareham Secondary Modern School 

Excerpts from Handel’s Messiah

Apr 1974
DGSBach - Mass in B Minor
Dec 1974WCS & SAC
Christmas Music and Charpentier - Te Deum   
Mar 1975
DGSHaydn - The Seasons
Dec 1975

Choruses from Brahms’ Requiem & Kodaly’s Missa Brevis

Nov 1976DGS Brahms - German Requiem
Kodaly - Missa Brevis
Mar 1977WCS & SAC
Haydn - Seven Last Words
Dec 1978WCS & SACVivaldi - Gloria
Pergolesi - Magnificat
Mar 1979DGS 
Bach - St John’s Passion
Dec 1979WCS & SAC 
Handel - Messiah
Mar 1980DGS 

Vaughan Williams - Mass in G Minor
Bernstein - Chichester Psalms
Finzi - Lo, the Full, Final Sacrifice

Dec 1980

Schutz - Christmas Story
Charpentier - Messe de Minuit
Haydn - Te Deum

Mr  Harvey Sayles mentioned as accompanist

Apr 1981  
DGS Mendelssohn - Elijah
Dec 1981WCS & SAC  
A programme of Christmas Music and Carols
Mar 1982DGSHaydn -  Maria Theresa Mass
Handel -  Let God Arise
Handel -  The King Shall Rejoice
Nov 1982  Wareham Choral Society is 25 years old
Dec 1982WCS & SACA programme of carols and Christmas music
Mar 1983
Verdi - Requiem
Dec 1983WCS & SAC
Handel - Dettingen Te Deum
Carols & Christmas Music
Mar 1984DGSHandel - Dettingen Te Deum
Schubert - Mass in A Flat
Dec 1984
Excerpts from Bach’s Christmas Oratorio
Longman - Gloria (premiere)
Jan 1985   Harvey Sayles (accompanist)  died. Mrs Burton-Page took over.
Mar 1985

Gardner - The Ballad of the White Horse
Elgar - The Music Makers

Conducted by Sir Charles Groves

Dec 1985WCS & SAC
Handel’s Messiah  -  For All
Mar 1986

Vivaldi - Gloria
Bach - Cantata 187  and  Mass in A

Dec 1986WCS & SACHaydn -  Mass in D Minor  and  Carols, in Lady St Mary, Wareham for the first time.

Mrs Burton-Page retired as accompanist. Mrs Jenny Bridges took over

Apr 1987DGS Elgar - The Dream of Gerontius 
Dec 1987
WCS & SACCarols and Christmas Music, including
Purbeck Praise by Robin Longman
Mar 1988 DGSRossini - Petite Messe Solennelle
Dec 1988 WCS & SACA Messiah for All in Lady St Mary Church
Mar 1989
DGSJ S Bach’s Mass in B Minor
Dec 1989WCS & SAC
Haydn - Harmonie Messe
Mar 1990DGSBritten - St Nicholas
Handel - O Come Let Us Sing Unto the Lord

Our accompanist Mrs Bridges retires. Mr Dennis Holloway takes over.
Dec 1990WCS & SAC

Buxtehude - Rejoice, Ye Christians
Buxtehude -Das Neugeborne Kindelein
Charpentier - Messe de Minuit
Longman - Te Deum

Mar 1991   DGS
Beethoven - Choral Fantasia
Rossini - Stabat Mater
 Dec 1991WCS & SAC
Handel - Messiah  -  250th anniversary of this masterpiece!
Mar 1992DGSHaydn - Creation
Dec 1992
Carols & Christmas Music, including:-
pentier -Te Deum
Vivaldi -Magnificat
Apr 1993DGSVaughan-Williams – Sea Symphony
Stanford – Songs of the Fleet
Dec 1993
WCS & PACBach – Christmas Oratorio Pts 1-3 in Swanage
Mar 1994DGSVerdi – Requiem
Dec 1994WCS & PACPuccini – Messa di Gloria
Mendelssohn – Elijah (excerpts)


Apr 1995

Mendelssohn – Elijah


Dec 1995


Let all Mortal Flesh Keep Silent
Zadok the Priest

Messiah (excerpts)

Carols and Telemann Concerto  -  Swanage


Mar 1996


 Robin Longman retires after 33 years as conductor of Wareham Choral Society. Richard Marchant becomes conductor..

 DGS  50th Anniversary Concert: 

Elgar – The Kingdom
J Willcocks - Sing Praises

Dec 1996

  & Shillingtstone Singers with Dorset Philharmonic Orchestra - Christmas Concert, Swanage, Gillingham, and Poole                     

Mar 1997DGS
Handel – Israel in Egypt
Dec 1997  

Vaughan-Williams -   Fantasia on Christmas Carols
& Carols

Mar 1998  DGS                         Bach – Matthew Passion
Dec 1998
WCS & PACPergolesi – Magnificat
Poulenc – Four Motets for Christmas

Palestrina and Byrd – Motets
Feb 1999
WCSFaure – Requiem  (in liturgical setting)
Mar 1999WCSPurcell – Dido & Aeneas – workshop at Wareham Middle School
Sep 1999  Ken Claxton took over as accompanist
Dec 1999WCSChristmas Music and Carols including some choruses from Messiah
Apr 2000 
DGSElgar – Dream of Gerontius
May 2000WCS
Schubert – Mass in G – Tribute to Canon Peter Hardman
Nov 2000 
WCSHandel – Coronation Anthems
Rutter – Requiem
Mar 2001WCS
Evening of Light Entertainment featuring songs of Cole Porter, Jerome Kern, George Gershwin, Vincent Youmans, Lloyd-Webber and operatic music of Mascagni, Verdi, and Wagner
Dec 2001
Vivaldi – Gloria and Carols
Dec 2001  Richard Marchant retires as Conductor. Ken Claxton takes over as Conductor / Pianist
Mar 2002 
DGSBeethoven – Mass in C
Haydn – Te Deum
Mozart – Exsultate jubilate
Willcocks – Magnificat
Nov 2002WCS
Queen’s Golden Jubilee Year Concert
Haydn – Te Deum
Handel - Chandos Anthem No 9
Mozart – Coronation Mass
Dec 2002WCS Carols and other music
Apr 2003WCS
Bach – Lobet den Herrn
Haydn – Little Organ Mass
Handel – Psalm 112
Vivaldi – Double Oboe Concerto
Nov 2003WCS
Handel – Messiah
Dec 2003
  Ken Claxton retires. Andrew Smetham becomes conductor (and temporary accompanist)
Mar 2004 WCSBrahms –excerpts from German Requiem
Bruckner – Locus Iste
Mendelssohn – Verleih uns Frieden
Faure – Cantique de Jean Racine
Parry – Blest Pair of Sirens
May 2004DGSBrahms – German Requiem
Dvorak – Te Deum
May 2004
 WCS achieves Charity Status!
Dec 2004WCSChristmas Carols, & Music in aid of ‘Julia’s House’
May 2005 WCS

Bach - Jesu Priceless Treasure
Tavener – The Lamb
Mendelssohn – Hear my Prayer
Archer – Requiem

Parry – My Soul, There is a Country    

Sep 2005 Natalie Burton joins as accompanist
Dec 2005
WCSBush - Christmas Cantata
A programme of readings and carols with handbells
Apr 2006 WCS
Schubert -  Mass in F
Grieg – Ave Maris Stella
Elgar – The Spirit of the Lord is Upon Me
Holst – Turn back, O Man

Faure – Requiem
May 2006
DGSVerdi Requiem
Peter Hope – Along the Shore –  commissioned work and first performance
Dec 2006WCS Britten – Ceremony of Carols
programme of Carols, readings with a  young singing group – Lacrimosa
Apr 2007WCS  with Choir of Lady St Mary – Stainer - Crucifixion
May 2007 WCS60th Anniversary Concert

Handel - Zadok the Priest
Handel -
Coronation Anthem No.1
Magnificat - First Performance
Longman -
  Te Deum
Handel -
And the Glory of the Lord, Messiah
Vaughan-Williams -
  Five Mystical Songs
Finzi -
Songs from - 7 Poems by R Bridges
Stanford -
Songs of the Fleet

Sep 2007  Beverly Manning joins as accompanist
Dec 2007
WCSHaydn - St Nicholas Mass  & Carols 
Apr 2008WCSExtracts from Messiah and Easter hymns
Apr 2008DGS

Elgar -The Music Makers
Requiem - Jenkins

Conductor - Chris Dowie  (Lighthouse)

Dec 2008WCS

Haydn – Little Organ Mass
Buxtehude – Das Neugeborne Kindelein
Bach – excerpts from Christmas Oratorio Pt 2

Feb 2009DGSSinging Day with Nigel Perrin - Haydn Nelson Mass

May  2009

All Mozart Concert - Ave Verum, Laudate Dominum, Requiem Mass

Dec 2009WCS

Hummel - Mass in Bb
Hummel - Concert for Eb Trumpet

May 2010DGS
Bach - St John Passion - Conductor - Malcolm Archer
Dec 2010WCS Ian Kellam - The Joly Shepard & Carols
Dec 2010

Andrew Smetham retires as conductor.
Dr Jane
Oakland becomes  Music Director

Feb 2011
Singing Day with Greg Beardsall - Mozart Requiem
Apr 2011 WCS
 Handel - Messiah
Dec 2011WCS Christmas Concert - Carols
Apr 2012 DGS Musica d'Italia
Dec 2012WCS

Christmas Concert - Joyeux Noel!
hristmas Music with a French Theme!

Feb 2013
 DGS Come and Sing Workshop - Durufle Requiem with Simon Lole and Malcolm Archer
Apr 2013
  Beverley Manning retires as accompanist

 Faure Requiem and Howard Goodall's Eternal Light
  Christmas Concert - The Renaissance Revisited
Britten's Ceremony of Carols, Holst's 4 Old English Carols
 Mendelssohn's Elijah
 "Wareham Remembers" - WW1 Commemorative Concert
 "Carols by Candlelight" Christmas Concert
  "Magnificent Mozart" - Ave Verum Corpus, Coronation Mass etc
 "Songs, Sonnets and Strawberries" at Tyneham
 "Hark the Glad Sound" Christmas Concert
Singing at the Purbeck Literary Festival "Pur-4-mance" concert
 Mar 2016
Come-and-Sing afternoon for Stainer's Crucifixion at Bere Regis Church
  Apr 2016
 Rossini's Petite Messe Solenelle
"Concord of Sweet Sounds" - Shakespeare songs + West Side Story at Rollington Barn, Corfe Castle
  Oct 2016
Come-and-Sing afternoon for Faure's requiem at Lady St Mary Church, Wareham
"My Soul doth Magnify the Lord" Christmas Concert
  "O praise the Lord with one consent" Handel Chandos anthem
 70th Anniversary concert - music with a maritime theme, inc Rowley's The Sailor's Garland, Stanford's Songs of the Fleet and a South Pacific medley at Clore Hall, Kimmeridge
 Autumn concert with a Remembrance theme, and featuring the world premiere of a work commisioned by WCS, "For the Fallen" by Nils Greenhow
 Christmas concert with audience carols