A Chamber Choir based in Canterbury and performing in and around
the Canterbury area
We have kept up our spirits and our singing via zoom and are cautiously optimistic that rehearsals may soon become a reality.
In the early 1950s a group of like-minded singers gathered around the grand piano of a friend`s house in Canterbury and decided to form a choir. The Canterbury Singers was born ! Since then the choir has established a strong standing as one of the leading chamber choirs in the area, performing a mix of sacred and secular programmes, both accompanied and "a capella". They have always maintained a close connection with Canterbury Cathedral and it has become a tradition that their Musical Director is the person holding the post of Assistant Organist at the Cathedral. Currently the choir`s Musical Director is Adrian Bawtree (see here). Elizabeth Jenkins is the Assistant Musical Director (see here).
There are presently about thirty to forty singers, a mix of backgrounds and ages, but with a common love of, and desire for, good music sung well. Hence the requirements for membership (see here) are of a high standard.
Around three or four concerts are given each year usually on a Saturday, but not necessarily always. Since we welcomed Adrian as our Director in January 2017 the choir has been trying a new approach to the timing of the performances, so don`t be surprised to see afternoon concerts, or even lunchtime events.
We hold our “Summer Serenade” concert usually in early July. This is directed by Elizabeth Jenkins and is traditionally held in one of the many beautiful local country churches to help their fund-raising efforts. A wonderful setting on a summer`s evening. This is where we let our hair down somewhat, mixing up the madrigals with the musicals, the Gibbons with the Gershwins !
The Singers also support charitable causes, a regular being the Christmas Carol concert supporting Parkinsons UK. Our Lenten Concert in 2018 supported the CanterburyUmbrella Centre.
So if you love to listen to the sound of human voices blending together making the music on the page come to life, then come and listen to us. We would love to see you.
Details of our next performances can be found here
To join our MAILING LIST email
If you register on the Canterbury Singers mailing list you'll receive updates about all our forthcoming concerts. You can unsubscribe at any time by sending a further email request. We will never pass on your details to other organisations.
The Canterbury Singers is a Registered Charity No 275083
Adrian Bawtree - Musical Director
Adrian Bawtree joined the Canterbury Singers as Musical Director in January 2017
Adrian is the Second Assistant Organist at Canterbury Cathedral. He teaches the organ at The King’s School Canterbury and is the musical director of Cantores Dominicae, and the Canterbury Singers. Previous recent appointments include Cathedral Organist at Rochester Cathedral and from 2000 - 2011 he worked at Christ's Hospital School in Horsham, initially as Organist and latterly as
Director of Music.
He studied the organ at Christ’s Hospital and progressed to the Royal Academy of Music and then as Organ Scholar at Worcester College, Oxford studying with the late David Sanger. In 1992 he won the silver medal from the Worshipful Company of Musicians for coming top of the class in the Fellowship diploma awarded by the Royal College of Organists. He has been church organist at St Bride’s Church, Fleet Street; St Mary’s Church, Portsea and St Peter’s Church, Hammersmith.
Adrian studied orchestral conducting at the Royal College of Music on a post-graduate course, which he completed with distinction. Previous conducting appointments include Worthing Choral Society, The Weald Choir of Crawley, Harpenden Choral Society, Guy’s King’s and Thomas’ Medical Schools Music Society and Southampton University Chamber Choir.
Adrian is a composer and arranger, having written a number of musicals & incidental music for the theatre as well as a larger cantata commemorating the events of World War I. This piece, ‘Remembrance’, was recently performed as part of a service of remembrance in Canterbury Cathedral in November 2016.
Elizabeth Jenkins - Assistant Musical Director
Elizabeth was born and brought up in Kent. She studied singing at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. After graduating she remained in London to combine a teaching career with that of singing.
Returning to Kent, she taught in various schools in Faversham and Canterbury. She assisted in the formation and direction of the Kent Youth Choir and for many years was manager of all the Kent Youth Choral Groups. She continued to work as a freelance music consultant and singing teacher and became Deputy Director of Medway Music Association which involved the organisation of Music Festivals for Medway primary schools.
She has recently retired but music, and in particular singing, still plays an important part in her life. As well as being Assistant Director of Canterbury Singers she is also a long-standing member of the Kent Chamber Choir.
The Canterbury Singers welcomes new members to fill vacancies when they arise. Applicants, who should be experienced singers and competent sight readers, will be invited to attend two rehearsals. A short audition will then be arranged to assess voice range and sight reading ability. Auditions will take place ahead of a rehearsal, but applicants will not be expected to remain after their audition, and will be informed of the Musical Director’s decision by email. For further information please use the Contact form below.
Rehearsals take place every Tuesday during term time, from 7.30 pm to 9.30 pm at The Old Synagogue, King Street, Canterbury (see map below)
Watch this space!
a tentative date is in our diary
6th November 2021
and we can't wait!
A Chilham Celebration
3rd November 2018
Remembrance and Reconcilliation
Heinrich-Schultz-Kantorei from Kiel,
St. Paul's Church
March 9th 2019
and some of our appreciative audience
The Canterbury Singers are happy to make their music available for hire by other individuals or groups.
A downloadable catalogue of music currently in the choir's possession
can be found here.
An enquiry form, which should be completed and returned by interested parties can be downloaded here.