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Canterbury Musicians

Canterbury Musicians (known until 2008 as Canterbury Musicians' Register) is a forum through which musicians from throughout East Kent may contact each other. Any musician or musical organisation, professional or amateur, regardless of age or standard, who practises any type of music, and wishes to contact or be contacted by other people in the area to play or sing music together, is eligible to join. In recent years, annual charity concerts have raised sums for a wide range of charities, including the Motor Neurone Disease Association (£188 in 2010), Cancer Research UK (for pancreatic cancer research, £267 in 2012), Families Against Neuroblastoma (£205 in 2013), Age UK (£243 in 2015), Parkinsons' UK (£377 in 2016), Porchlight (£582 in 2017), and the Kent MS Therapy Centre (£355 in 2018). Social meetings, at which members may sing and play music to and with each other and chat, are held two or three times per year. The next of these will be on Thursday, 19th March 2020. Prospective members, wanting to find out more about us, are welcome to visit our FaceBook page and contact us by e-mail or telephone (Ian on 01227 762547 or John on 01227 478223), and may discuss the possibility of attending a social as a guest.

Canterbury Operatic Society

Canterbury Orchestra

We are a thriving and enthusiastic orchestra of amateur players with a professional leader and conductor. We aim to play a wide range of classical music to a high standard and perform three or four concerts each year. The orchestra is always happy to hear from prospective new members

Canterbury Singers

Canterbury Vocals

Canterbury Vocals aims to encourage as many people as possible to discover the joy and multiple benefits of singing. We all have voices – and every one is unique. We believe that every voice should be celebrated and aim to help each participant to discover and enjoy their own voice. Every session, whether a choir rehearsal, individual lesson or workshop aims to share the joy of singing while introducing and exploring the technical elements of voice production from breathing to diaphragm control. It is this focus on the physical, along with a firm belief in the creative potential in every individual which guides and motivates everything we do.

Caritas Chamber Choir

‘Caritas’, the Latin for charity is an ethos held close to the ensemble's heart. We sing with precision and passion, thereby captivating our audiences whilst fundraising for a variety of causes. In 2011, our Music Director, Benedict Preece, selected singers from his larger choir, East Bridge Chorale, to perform for the charity ‘Catching Lives’ in the March; Caritas was born. Since that date, the chamber choir has developed into one of the leading vocal ensembles in Canterbury and beyond, boasting both Stephen Portman and Dr Robert Willis, the Dean of Canterbury Cathedral, as our Honorary Patrons. Our members are auditioned, and a number of our singers have performed professionally with cathedral and London-based chamber choirs. We are frequently invited to sing services in Canterbury Cathedral and are the Dean and Precentor’s preferred choir when the boys and girls are away. In our short life, we have sung hundreds of works in such venues as Ely Cathedral, Ampleforth and Selby Abbeys, as well as a plethora of other churches, the Colyer-Fergusson Hall at the University of Kent and St Clement Danes, as part of the Brandenburg Choral Festival. Reviews have called our music-making “superb”, “brought vividly to life”, also saying “‘A Little Piece of Heaven’ was not an exaggeration, if taken metaphorically”, “My first impression of the choir was of a surprisingly lovely sweep of well-in-tune and homogeneous song rising up the hill.” and “Caritas is a very welcome addition to the rich musical life of Canterbury.” Recent highlights have included Handel’s Dixit Dominus, Bruckner Mass No.1 and No.2, Bach Magnificat and Motets. We also perform many contemporary works and have premiered pieces by Oliver Lambert, Benedict himself and UK premieres of Mikael Carlsson’s works. We often programme works by Arvo Pärt, Morten Lauridsen and Ola Gjeilo. Caritas is a busy choir, singing concerts in most months and is always seeking to perform more concerts for charity. We are actively pursuing the international connections that Benedict has made, and are strengthening links with our friends in Sweden (Haga Motettkör) and in Holland (Cantica Sacra). Our collaborations with more professional orchestras have been encouraged by the enthusiasm of London professionals to play with us. Benedict Preece, an ex Canterbury Cathedral Chorister, Deputy Tenor Lay Clerk, hornist, organist, accompanist and composer, continues to be in increasing demand as a conductor in Kent; “This is a choir to watch and Benedict Preece has a bright future as he leads Caritas from strength to strength.” His talent is fuelled by meticulous preparation and sheer hard work, qualities he values highly in the Caritas musicians. Benedict studies conducting with Stephen Portman and attends courses led by Peter Stark.

City of Canterbury Band

The band was formed many years ago but was temporarily disbanded after the war. We started again in 1968 and have gone from strength to strength since then. We have 28 enthusiastic members who play in the band solely for pleasure. We are all very keen and have some accomplished musicians amongst us. Our longest serving member has been with us for 38 years and our newest member has been with us for 1 year. There is a diverse cross section of society in the band with our ages ranging from 15 to over 80. We have members from various professions including teaching,building,I.T.,telecoms,transport,council services,and engineering,though some members are now retired from their professions. During the 1980s and 1990s we did two concerts each week in the summer for SAGA holidaymakers staying at The University of Kent,plus fetes and bandstands etc. Sadly SAGA no longer organise holidays at the university. However we perform throughout Kent at bandstands,churches,village halls and fetes,which adds up to about 25 performances a year. We practice every Friday evening at Chartham Hatch village hall and we always extend a warm welcome to new members of any standard. Please give us a try if you are interested and we can loan you an instrument if necessary. You may also like to view our website at

City of Canterbury Chamber Choir

The City of Canterbury Chamber Choir gave its first concert in 1995, and in over twenty seasons since foundation has made regular appearances at the Canterbury and Presteigne Festivals, and also at the English Music Festival, and for the Sittingbourne Music Club and has performed regularly with Orchestra Nova, both in concert and on disc. A recent highlight was its appearance at St John’s, Smith Square, London for Cecilia McDowall’s 60th birthday concert. The choir has presented Good Friday concerts at the Shirley Hall, King’s School, Canterbury, for the Lady Mayoress' Charities and sings frequently at many of the beautiful churches in and around the City – and throughout Kent. In 2017, after 22 years at the helm, George Vass retired as music director and was succeeded by Edward-Rhys Harry, internationally known as a voice coach, adjudicator and composer, and director of several chamber choirs from Wales to Volgograd. New Music is always a feature, the choir having premiered numerous compositions by, amongst others: Cecilia McDowall, John McCabe (President until his death in 2015), David Matthews, Bob Chilcott, Tarik O’Regan, John Tavener, Peteris Vasks, Adrian Williams, Rihards Dubra, Morten Lauridsen, Michael Berkeley, Celia Harper, James MacMillan, Paul Patterson, Deborah Pritchard, Arvo Pärt, Pawel Lukaszewski, Thomas Hyde, Will Todd and Gabriel Jackson. CCCC has also hosted Choral Workshops – for choirs throughout East Kent, to encourage a mix of young inexperienced and more experienced singers, involving then Music Director George Vass, and guests John Rutter, Rachel Nicholls and Bob Chilcott. Accompanist: Edward Kemp-Luck. Honorary Patron: The Right Worshipful The Lord Mayor of Canterbury. President: Cecilia McDowall. Founding Chairman: Tony Eldridge