The South West Chamber Choir, a group of some 25 voices, was formed in 1995. We have a wide-ranging repertoire of small-scale choral music including Elizabethan madrigals, Renaissance polyphony, Bach motets, sacred music by English and continental composers from the sixteenth to the twenty-first century, romantic partsongs, and works by contemporary composers such as Arvo Pärt, James Macmillan and John Tavener. Much of our repertoire is sung unaccompanied.
We include in our programmes pieces by local composers such as Andrew Wilson and Jason Smart (both former Musical Directors of the choir), Helen Porter and Stephen Trahair.
Our annual programme comprises a concert of sacred music in March or April at Tavistock Church or Buckfast Abbey, a summer concert of unaccompanied madrigals and partsongs at venues in West Devon or East Cornwall, a concert of sacred and secular pieces in November, and ending with a concert of motets and carols for Advent and Christmas at Cotehele House. We also have a weekend in July singing choral services at a cathedral or abbey, and have sung at Exeter, Hereford, Brecon, St David’s and Truro Cathedrals, and Tewkesbury, Buckfast and Bath Abbeys.
Stephen Trahair, the Musical Director, has sung with the choir since 2003, and was appointed MD in 2008. He has been a choral singer since school days, and has considerable experience of conducting and accompanying choirs. He has written and arranged both sacred and secular choral music, and has published albums of unaccompanied arrangements of partsongs and carols as well as two albums for organ. He has produced several editions of choral works which form much of the choir's repertoire. Details of the editions and arrangements which are available can be found here.
There are often vacancies for new singers, who are encouraged to join us at our practices on a trial basis. The ability to read music to a reasonable standard is essential. We have weekly rehearsals in Plymouth on Wednesday evenings.
Hear us singing 'The World's Desire' by Stephen Trahair recorded by BBC Radio Devon
Or listen to thiscompilation