About Us – Somerset Singers renamed as Somerset Choral Society


At an Extraordinary General Meeting of the Somerset Singers held in November 2017, the Society approved the change of the Society Title to be “The Somerset Choral Society aka “Somerset Singers””.

The Somerset Choral Society is now a choir of around 40 voices. We rehearse weekly from September to May in the Concert Hall of Sidcot School in Oakridge Lane, Winscombe, North Somerset, see map).

Concert Hall 3

We have two major performances each year, usually at St Mary’s Church, Wedmore or St Cuthbert’s Church, Wells, with concerts at Wells Cathedral every few years.

Advent Candlelit Concert Nov 2018 3 - Copy

We are always pleased to welcome new members (there are no auditions) – see Contact/Rehearsals for details, or just email info@somersetsingers.co.uk.

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 varied in size but continued to perform quality choral music, singing a wide repertoire of pieces and consistently attracting large audiences.

Our recent performances include Ralph Vaughn-Williams Sea Symphony in Wells Cathedral in May 2016, Mozart’s Requiem and Haydn’s Paukenmesse in St Cuthbert’s Church, Wells in December 2016, Rutter’s Magnificat & The Sprig of Thyme in St Cuthbert’s Church, Wells in May 2017, Mendelssohn’s Elijah in December 2017, Mozart’s Requiem and Handel’s Foundling Hospital Anthem  in June 2018, Advent by Candlelight including Bob Chilcott’s On Christmas Night in November 2018 and Music for a Summer Evening including Vaughan Williams’ Five Mystical Songs, as part of the Wedmore Arts Festival, all in St Mary’s Church, Wedmore. 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!


Poster Nov 2019 Final

Our next Concert will be a “Carols by Candlelight Concert” in All Saints Church Wrington BS40 5LF at 7:00pm (Doors open 6:15pm) on Saturday 30th November. Our main work will be “A Ceremony of Carols” by Benjamin Britten sung together with the newly formed Wrington Youth Choir and accompanied on harp by Alis Huws Official Harpist to HRH The Prince of Wales and Michael Taylor on the Wrington Church organ. Our two soprano soloists will be local mother and daughter “Zoë Maitland-Round and Louise Maitland-Round”. Then follows a selection of carols sung by both choirs from the “Carols for Choirs” book arranged by David Willcocks and John Rutter including a couple of audience participation carols.

The whole concert has been organised by and will be conducted by our accompanist, musician and conductor Allison Blundell who has trained both choirs. We are very grateful to Alison who agreed to take on this task in the interim when our previous Musical Director left after our May 2019 concert.

Alison Blundell conducting

Wine and mince pies will be on sale during the interval. Tickets priced £10 (under 18s half price) may be obtained in advance from 01934-843727 or Amors (Wrington Post Office); or may be purchased on the door subject to availability.

Alis Huws Harpist

Newly appointed Official Harpist to HRH The Prince of Wales, Alis Huws is a freelance soloist and chamber musician. She has played for the Royal Family on several occasions, and given performances across Europe and the Far East.

Alis performs regularly at high profile events for the Welsh Assembly Government, including the opening of their new offices at the British Embassy in Berlin last year, their St David’s Day celebrations at Lancaster House, and the official Royal opening of the Senedd in 2016. Earlier this year, she was invited to perform at Buckingham Palace to mark 50 years since the investiture of HRH The Prince of Wales.

In 2017, she participated at the World Harp Congress in Hong Kong, and joined Katherine Jenkins and Only Men Aloud in a performance celebrating the UEFA Champions League Final in Cardiff. She also represented Wales at the Hankyu International Fair in Osaka in 2016.

Alis has recently obtained her Master’s Degree from the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, under the tuition of Caryl Thomas. As part of her studies, she spent time in Amsterdam on the Erasmus scheme, studying with renowned harpist Erika Waardenburg. At RWCMD, she was awarded the Midori Matsui Prize for music, the Royal Welch Fusiliers Harp Prize and the McGrennery Chamber Music Prize, and is generously supported by the Tillett Trust, The Biddy Baxter and John Hosier trust, the Arts Council of Wales and the EMI Sound Foundation.

Alis is the Youth Co-ordinator for the World Harp Congress Cardiff 2020 and will join the Britten-Shostakovich Festival Orchestra on their inaugural tour to Russia this coming autumn.


Our Autumn Term and Programme starts on Wednesday 4th September at 7:30pm in the Concert Hall at Sidcot School outside Winscombe. This term we will be rehearsing a selection of carols from the Wilcox White Carol Book plus Benjamin Britten’s “Ceremony of Carols” in preparation for our Autumn Concert that will be “Carols by Candlelight” at All Saints Church, Wrington at 7:00pm on Saturday 30th November when we will be joined by a Choir of Children drawn from around Wrington. We welcome new members of all voices (SATB) to join and sing with us on 4th September and beyond for an autumn of fun choral music making.

Wedmore Arts Festival Concert – Music for a Summer Evening – St Mary’s Church, Wedmore, Saturday 11 May 2019

The Somerset Choral Society were delighted to be part of the 2019 Wedmore Arts Festival at St Mary’s Church, Wedmore on Saturday 11th May when they presented a programme of “Music for a Summer Evening” in conjunction with the talented young local violinist Poppy McGhee. An audience of around 200 came and enjoyed a splendid evening of varied music making.



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Wedmore Arts Programme

In the Five Mystical Songs Vaughan Williams uses the words of the famous metaphysical poet George Herbert and the piece ends with his magnificent setting of the hymn “Let all the world in every corner sing”. Ed chose two pieces from Brahms, the first being his masterful setting of Paul Flemming’s hymn Die Geistliches Lied which is a devotional poem espousing the idea of trusting to the divine for your future.  To conclude the first half, Ed selected two choruses from the Requiem by Gabriel Faure the haunting Sanctus with the solo violin playing over the top and in perfect contrast the Libera Me movement with its grounded and visceral Baritone solo sung by Craig Bissex.

After the interval,  the Choir sang the second Brahms piece drawn from his German Requiem “How lovely are thy dwellings” which is its central and best known movement.  We then welcomed violinist Poppy McGhee accompanied on piano by Matthew Redman. Poppy chose a varied programme with the whole audience in mind. The audience enjoyed the simplicity of Salut d’amour by Edward Elgar, the intensity of The Prokofiev Sonata, the serene beauty of Brahms’s Contemplation and the cheekiness of The Hot Canary by Paul Nero.

This was Ed’s final concert as our Musical Director as he is moving on to pastures new. At the end of the concert and as a token of the Choir’s appreciation of his services, our Chairman Jane Chubb and Secretary Ginny Waters presented Ed with some Dartington Wine Glasses and some bottles of red wine.

Ed Farewell Presentation (2)


The Somerset Choral Society held a very successful Choral Workshop “Come and Sing Faure Requiem” on Saturday 27 April in St Mary’s Church, Wedmore between 10:00am and 3:00pm. Fifty Singers from all over the local area registered and enjoyed an enjoyable day’s choral singing led by their Musical Director Ed Goater punctuated by breaks for hot and cold drinks and biscuits and some social chat.  For the workshop Ed chose Movement 1 “Introit and Kyrie”, Movement 3 “Sanctus”, Movement 5 “Agnus Dei” and Movement 7 “In Paradisum”. The workshop ended with an informal performance of these four pieces starting at 2:30pm.

Sing Faure (1) - CopySing Faure (3) - Copy

Come & Sing Faure Requiem Poster


On Saturday 24th November, Somerset Choral Society performed a programme of Advent and Christmas music and readings to an appreciative audience of 150 people in St Mary’s Church, Wedmore that was lit entirely by candles; it proved to be a wonderfully atmospheric celebration of Advent. The choir performed Bob Chilcott’s “ On Christmas Night” plus seasonal favourites including Harold Darke’s arrangement of “In The Bleak Midwinter”, “Adam lay y’bounden” by Boris Ord,  “The Three Kings” by Peter Cornelius, “Gabriel’s Message” by Edgar Pettman, “Lo, how a Rose e’er blooming” by Praetorius and concluded with a rousing arrangement of “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen” by David Willcocks. As well as the music, there were a selection of seasonal readings. Virginia Waters read “Reading from Advent 1955” by John Betjeman, Edward Goater read  from “A Child’s Christmas in Wales” by Dylan Thomas and Adrian Shephard read “The Art of Sending Christmas Cards” by William Connor.The choir was conducted by its Musical Director Edward Goater and accompanied by Organist Matthew Redman. To complete the Advent atmosphere, the audience were able to sample mulled wine and mince pies before, during the interval and after the concert.
Advent Candlelit Concert Nov 2018 1


Cheddar Gazette Advent by Candlelight.jpg


On a beautiful sunny afternoon on Sunday 2nd September, the Somerset Choral Society celebrated the start of their new term with a Garden Party held at the home of two of the choir members, Roger and Celia Starr. In the lovely surroundings of the Starr’s garden, members were treated to “bubbly” and a traditional cream tea organised and prepared by Janet Leek and Gillian Ticehurst. A great time was had by all as people sat around the beautiful garden eating, drinking and enjoying entertainment that was provided by the Churchill Singers, a choir member Maurice Jackson’s rendition of “Albert and the Lion” and music from local singer/songwriter Winston Chubb. Members attending described it as a really enjoyable and relaxed afternoon social event.

On Wednesday 5th September the choir started the hard work of rehearsals at Sidcot School Concert Hall in preparation for the next production which will be a Candlelit Concert of Advent and Christmas Music at 7:30pm on Saturday 24th November in St Mary’s Church, Wedmore.