The Somerset Singers are pleased to welcome and introduce Edward Goater on his appointment as our new Musical Director. Edward started his appointment in January 2017 and will lead us as we rehearse two pieces by John Rutter for our next concert. He will conduct the Somerset Singers and Lochrian Ensemble in Rutter’s “Magnificat” and “The Sprig of Thyme” at St Cuthbert’s Church, Wells at 7:30pm on Saturday 13 th May.
Edward obtained a degree in Environmental Science and Agricultural Ecology at the University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, but has studied and performed continuously as a musician since 1998. He is a conductor, tenor and teacher living in Wells, Somerset where he is a Vicar Choral at Wells Cathedral. He studied conducting with Norman Barns MBE and for many years he was a member of the BBC Singers.
As a professional musician, Edward has worked with some of the very best musicians in the world including Pierre Boulez, Bryn Terfel, Judith Weir, Sir Simon Rattle, Bob Chilcott and many more. His expertise in vocal and choral training has seen him conduct many groups including The Harmonium Singers; The Chelsea Consort; The Wesley Singers; many Military Wives Choirs; Wells Cathedral Choir and BBC Singers members. As Chorus Master he has worked with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, and the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra.
Edward is currently the Musical Director of the Taunton Military Wives Choir and Taunton Choral Society; he is also Associate Conductor of Berkshire Youth Choir. Edward’s educational work takes him all over the world. He teaches academic music, and has given workshops in singing and conducting at many events – highlights include the Royal Irish Academy of Music, Marlborough College, Malaysia, and the BBC Ten Pieces Project. Edward’s experience as a performer and conductor make him a valued adjudicator in competitions and Guest Speaker for many institutions. The Somerset Singers are confident that he will be an inspirational asset for us and we look forward to making music under his direction.
The Somerset Singers is a choir of around 80 voices. We rehearse weekly from September to May in the Friends Meeting House in Oakridge Lane, Winscombe, North Somerset, (next to Sidcot School, see map), and have two major performances each year, usually at St Cuthbert’s Church, Wells, with concerts at Wells Cathedral every two or three years.
We are always pleased to welcome new members (there are no auditions) – see Contact/Rehearsals for details, or just email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The choir evolved from evening classes at the Kings of Wessex School in Cheddar, and gave its first performance under the direction of Peter Scott-Winfield in 1987. Since then it has gone from strength to strength, singing a wide repertoire of pieces and consistently attracting large audiences.
Our recent performances include the Verdi Requiem in Wells Cathedral in May 2014, and Bach’s Christmas Oratorio in St Cuthbert’s Church, Wells in December 2014.You will find full details of our past performances and current programme elsewhere on this site. Important dates are also included in the Dates page. We look forward to seeing you, either to sing with us or in the audience!
Somerset Singers will be performing their next concert on 1oth December at 7.30 pm in St Cuthberts Church, Wells. It promises to be a superb evening, with a programme of Mozart’s Requiem, and Haydn’s Paukenmesse (Mass in Time of War). Soloists include Mary Walker, Daniel Brown, Richard Rowntree and Craig Bissex, with the Lochrian Ensemble led by Catherine Black.
The concert will also be the last under the direction of Jonathan Vaughn, who is leaving Somerset Singers after seven fantastic years, so this will be a chance to give him an appropriate send-off! Tickets are available for £12 from choir members, Wells Tourist Information office and by calling 01934 843727, or for £14 on the door.
Our new terms starts on Wednesday 5th January – whether you are a new or returning member, you are very welcome to join us in the Sidcot Meeting House as we start preparations for our concert in Wells Cathedral in May – see here for details. As ever, you can come along for a few sessions before you commit to joining us – no need to let us know in advance, but we need subscriptions for the term to be paid by the end of January at the latest. So Happy New Year, and happy singing in 2016!
The Somerset Singers new term starts on Wednesday 2nd September at Sidcot School, and as ever we welcome new singers – there are no auditions, just come along and give us a try. There’s a fantastic programme, culminating in a concert at Wells Cathedral in May next year – always a memorable occasion. Have a look at our site for details, or email us at email@example.com if you’ve got a question which isn’t covered. Whether you’re sung with us before or not, we look forward to seeing you in September!
Can there be anything more assured of enveloping one’s whole being with a sense of peace and contentment than spending an evening listening to three glorious pieces of choral music?
On Saturday 9th May at St Cuthbert’s Church Wells, Somerset Singers, together with soloists Mary Walker (soprano), Jack Wilde (tenor) and Robert Clark (bass baritone) accompanied by the Lochrian Ensemble gave another of their outstanding performances.
The first work, Schubert’s Mass in G, set the standard for the evening with a Kyrie of superb, lyrical harmony with orchestra and choir in perfect balance. Parts of the Credo were movingly dramatic whereas the Sanctus gave us a believable choir of angels and in the Benedictus the soloists and choir sweetly complemented each other.
The second choral work was Fauré’s Cantique de Jean Racine, a familiar piece one suspects to most of the audience and sung with superb dynamics and dramatic assurance.
Following the interval, organist Kris Thomsett played a work by Rheinberger, Tempo Moderato which rang out in St Cuthbert’s Church with its beautifully decorated high ceiling.
The last work in this concert of sublime pieces was Fauré’s Requiem. At times the music seemed to bubble over with love as heart-felt prayers and sincere simplicity contrasted with the quite terrifying brass in the Libera Me. But all was resolved with the last movement In Paradisum, ‘May angels lead you into paradise’ and with this beautifully controlled finale Somerset Singers assured us this would be so.