Now in our 45th season, Winchester’s Waynflete Singers are a jewel in the crown of the city’s rich musical life. Beginning with a performance of Palestrinas Stabat Mater in 1970, we have acquired an enviable reputation performing an extensive repertoire ranging from early music to challenging modern works.
Named after William Waynflete, the fifteenth-century Bishop of Winchester, the choir was founded in 1970 to enable the performance of large-scale choral works in the city’s own cathedral. The Waynflete Singers have enjoyed the privilege of being conducted by Winchester Cathedral’s successive Directors of Music Alwyn Surplice (1970-1972), Martin Neary (1972-1988), David Hill (1988-2002), and now Andrew Lumsden.
The Choir currently has some 110 singers who are drawn from many walks of life and from all over the region. Singers are admitted by audition and we rehearse each Thursday evening in the Cathedral Close, in the magnificent medieval hall of Pilgrim’s School. Hilary Llystyn Jones, a well known voice specialist, periodically provides vocal coaching. Our accompanist is George Castle.
The Choir performs at least twice a year in the Cathedral and has a reputation for concerts of a high standard, using professional soloists and orchestras. We have a longstanding association with the period instrument group Florilegium, and a partnership with the English Chamber Orchestra.
Our repertoire is broad and, in addition to the established choral favourites, we have also commissioned and performed new works by composers such as Jonathan Harvey, Naji Hakim, John Tavener, Roxanna Panufnik, David Matthews and David Owen Norris.
Although we regard Winchester as our home, we have also performed at a range of other venues from London to Truro, from Poole to Cheltenham and Warwick, and even at the Middle Wallop Airshow. In recent years we have taken our music further afield, with short tours to Paris (2010) and Bruges (2014).
In addition to our traditional concerts we are involved in a variety of other musical events in Winchester and, in partnership with Hampshire County Councils Music Service, we have provided the opportunity to make music in the Cathedral with over 500 local schoolchildren – spectacular and memorable opportunities to work with young singers, instrumentalists and dancers. We are planning to hold two Come & Sing events in 2016, which will be open to all local singers.
For more information visit: waynfletesingers.org.uk Rehearsals Thursdays 7.30pm in United Reform Church, Jewry Street.