Ed Goater picThe Somerset Singers welcomed Edward Goater as our new Musical Director in January 2017,  and he trained us and then conducted his first concert with us and the Lochrian Ensemble in Rutter’s “Magnificat” and “The Sprig of Thyme” at St Cuthbert’s Church, Wells at 7:30pm on Saturday 13th May 2017.
Edward is now preparing the choir for our Autumn Concert which will be Mendelsohn’s “Elijah” at St Mary’s Church, Wedmore at 7:30pm on Saturday 9th December 2017. Once again we will be singing with the Lochrian Ensemble together with soloists: Emma Brain-Gabbot (Soprano); TBA (Soprano); Louise Mott (Contralto); Edward Grint (Bass); and Richard Rowntree (Tenor).

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.

Lochrian Ensemble May 2017 One - Copy

Ed Goater conducting The Lochrian Ensemble

Cheryl Rosevear

Cheryl Rosevear – Soprano

Sprig of Thyme Poster



Choral Music To Lead You Into Paradise

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.



Saturday May 9th: Schubert and Fauré at St Cuthberts, Wells



Mary Walker


Have you ever thought, whilst watching a superb performance of a Shakespeare play,
how much the Bard would have enjoyed being in the audience? Or pondered how Beethoven might delight to hear a top modern orchestra playing one of his symphonies? Had J S Bach been sitting in St Cuthbert’s Church in Wells on Saturday evening, he would surely have been thrilled with the Somerset Singers’ performance of his Christmas Oratorio. Singing together with the Lochrian Ensemble and soloists Christina Birchall-Sampson (soprano), Daniel Brown (counter-tenor), Philip Pooley (tenor) and James Birchall (bass) it was a superb evening.

Sung very competently in German the opening chorus ‘Rejoice, be glad, celebrate the time…’ was a truly irresistible summons. Throughout the evening the choruses were strong and vibrant, a response to the call to ‘Serve the Highest with splendid choruses …’ with choir and orchestra, especially the trumpet, complementing each other. These were then balanced by the singing of gently familiar chorales each of which concluded with its own soft harmony.


The recitatives and arias sung by the four talented soloists brought to us different dimensions of the whole. The bass solo ‘Who can rightly extol the love our Saviour holds for us‘… gave us gentle, quiet strength whilst the delightful aria ‘Happy shepherds hurry…’ had flute and tenor voice singing and dancing together on the way to see the baby. The final recitative sung by all four soloists, seemed to represent the whole of society as they sang ‘How can hell be frightening now…‘ and indeed we would not go home under a cloud of fear but overjoyed to have heard such a beautiful, assured but tender performance of this wonderful Christmas piece.

Saturday 13th December 2014 – JS Bach Christmas Oratorio

Christmas Oratorio Poster

Saturday 31st May 2014 – Verdi Requiem in Wells Cathedral


Verdi Requiem Poster

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 a choir of around 65 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, either at St Cuthbert’s Church, Wells, or St Mary’s Church, Wedmore, with concerts at Wells Cathedral every two or three years.St Cuthbert's Church Wells, Dec 2014

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 gone from strength to strength, 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 and Mendelssohn’s Elijah in St Mary’s Church, Wedmore in December 2017. 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!