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Past Concerts

The choir was formed in 1947,  under the post-WW2 Evening Institute arrangements.   No official records exist for the period 1947-57, but it is believed that in these first 10 years the choir rehearsed at the Senior Modern School (opened September 1939 - now Wareham Middle School).

In the Autumn of 1957 a more formal arrangement was established, a committee was elected and the name Wareham Choral Society was adopted. So began a long association with the schools and churches in Wareham.

The first committee consisted of:-

Chairman: Dr A M Cunningham     Secretary: Mr G H Mepstead  Conductor: Mr E Edwards
Hon Accompanist: Mr M Adams  Member reps: Mrs H E Mackintosh (Sopranos)
Miss D E Cosier (Altos) Mr A Wade (Tenors)  Mr L Johnstone (Basses).

 In 2017 we celebrated our 70th anniversary.

The table below gives details of our past concerts.

For recent concerts, the date provides a link to view the concert programme in pdf format. You can go directly to this section of the table here.

 Dec 1957 17th Dec 1957 The first concert was performed at the Wareham Parish Church, and included:
Solo and concerted excerpts from the Handel’s Messiah
A selection of Carols      A short organ recital by Miss Irene Challis
The printed programmes were sold at 1/- (one shilling) each!
1958 8th Jan 1958 Proposal that the Society should affiliate itself to The Dorset Guild of Singers, who were currently working on Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas and The Crepes of London, to be performed on 29th March 1958 at Broadway.
 Coleridge-Taylor - Hiawatha’s Wedding Feast
The Sailor’s Garland
The Crepes of London.
In the Senior Modern School – Wareham.
1959 Spring 1959 Bach - O Light Everlasting
Excerpts from Handel’s Messiah
As this was Handel’s bicentenary year it was suggested that a programme should include Acis & Galatea and/or Judas Macabaeus
Aug 1959 Two choir members marry - Miss Lydia Nash and Mr Bob Farrow
Dec 1959 Nine Lessons and Carols
1960  Montague Phillips - The Rebel Maid
1961 Handel - Messiah
1962 Bob Farrow appointed accompanist
1962 Haydn The Creation
1962/3 The Society became moribund!
1963 Robin Longman appointed conductor
Mar 1964 WCS with Purbeck Arts Club - Mendelssohn's Elijah in Swanage Parish Church, and then with DGS in Salisbury Cathedral.
May 1965  with DGS - Bach - Cantata No 140 - Sleepers Wake
Bach - Cantata No 79 - God the Lord is Sun and Shield
Vivaldi - Gloria
Mar 1966 with DGS - Bach - St John’s Passion
Dec 1966 Handel - Messiah
Spring 1967  with DGS - Britten - St Nicholas and Faure - Requiem
Dec 1967 with DGS - Handel - Messiah
Mar 1968 C.P.E.Bach - Magnificat
Haydn - Mass in B Flat (Harmonie Messe)
Oct 1968 WCS with PAC - In St Mary’s Church, Swanage
Britten - Cantata Academica  Purcell - Ode on St Cecilia
Dec 1968 WCS with PAC - Christmas Music in Swanage
Mar 1969 with DGS - Bach - St Mathew Passion - in Wimborne Minster
1969 WCS with PAC  - Orff - Carmina Burana
Mar 1970 with DGS - Mozart - Vespers in C Major
Handel - Chandos Anthem No 9
Handel - Utrecht Jubilate
Summer 1970 with DGS - Beethoven - 9th Symphony (Choral)
Beethoven’s Choral Fantasia
Dec 1970 WCS & PAC - Vaughan Williams - Fantasia on Christmas Carols
Mar 1971 with DGS  - Purcell - Soul of the World  Parry - Blest Pair of Sirens
Brown-David - A Cantata Op 21 (new commission)
Summer 1971 Kodaly - Te Deum  Mozart - Mass in C minor
Dec 1971 WCS & PAC Gabrielli - In Excelsis  Charpentier - A short mass
Spring 1972 with DGS - Bach - St John’s Passion
Dec 1972 WCS & PAC Haydn - St Nicholas Mass
Handel - The Caroline Te Deum Hassler - Motet Omnes Gentes
Mar 1973 with DGS - Verdi - Requiem
Mozart - Masonic Funeral Music K V 477
Dec 1973 WCS & PAC Christmas Music
1974 Excerpts from Handel’s Messiah
1974 with DGS - Bach - Mass in B Minor
Dec 1974 WCS & PAC - Christmas Music and Charpentier - Te Deum
Mar 1975 with DGS -  Haydn - The Seasons
Dec 1975 WCS & PAC - Choruses from Brahms’ Requiem & Kodaly’s Missa Brevis
Nov 1976 with DGS -  Brahms - German Requiem & Kodaly - Missa Brevis
Mar 1977 WCS & PAC - Haydn - Seven Last Words
Dec 1978 WCS & PAC Vivaldi - Gloria Pergolesi - Magnificat
Mar 1979 with DGS - Bach - St John’s Passion
Dec 1979 WCS & PAC Handel - Messiah
Mar 1980 with DGS - Vaughan Williams - Mass in G Minor
Bernstein - Chichester Psalms Finzi - Lo, the Full, Final Sacrifice
Dec 1980 WCS & PAC Schutz - Christmas Story Charpentier - Messe de Minuit
Haydn - Te Deum
Mr Harvey Sayles mentioned as accompanist
Apr 1981 with DGS - Mendelssohn - Elijah
Dec 1981 WCS & PAC A programme of Christmas Music and Carols
Mar 1982 with DGS - Haydn - Maria Theresa Mass Handel - Let God Arise
Handel - The King Shall Rejoice
Dec 1982 WCS & PAC A programme of carols and Christmas music
Mar 1983 with DGS - Verdi - Requiem
Dec 1983 WCS & PAC Handel - Dettingen Te Deum  Carols & Christmas Music
Mar 1984 with DGS -  Handel - Dettingen Te Deum Schubert - Mass in A Flat
Dec 1984 WCS & PAC Excerpts from Bach’s Christmas Oratorio  Carols
Longman - Gloria (premiere)
Jan 1985 Harvey Sayles (accompanist) died. Mrs Burton-Page took over.
Mar 1985 with DGS - conducted by Sir Charles Groves
 Gardner - The Ballad of the White Horse   Elgar - The Music Makers
Dec 1985 WCS & PAC Handel’s Messiah - For All
Mar 1986 with DGS -  Vivaldi - Gloria   Bach - Cantata 187 and Mass in A
Dec 1986 WCS & PAC Haydn - Mass in D Minor and carols, in Lady St Mary, Wareham for the first time
Mrs Burton-Page retired as accompanist. Mrs Jenny Bridges took over
Apr 1987 with DGS -  Elgar - The Dream of Gerontius
Dec 1987 WCS & PAC Carols and Christmas Music, including Purbeck Praise by Robin Longman
Mar 1988 with DGS -  Rossini - Petite Messe Solennelle
Dec 1988 WCS & PAC A Messiah for All in Lady St Mary Church
Mar 1989 with DGS -  J S Bach’s Mass in B Minor
Dec 1989 WCS & PAC Haydn - Harmonie Messe
Mar 1990 with DGS -  Britten - St Nicholas  Handel - O Come Let Us Sing Unto the Lord
Our accompanist Mrs Bridges retires. Mr Dennis Holloway takes over.
Dec 1990 WCS & PAC -  Buxtehude - Rejoice, Ye Christians  Buxtehude -Das Neugeborne Kindelein  Charpentier - Messe de Minuit  Longman - Te Deum
Mar 1991 with DGS -  Beethoven - Choral Fantasia   Rossini - Stabat Mater
Dec 1991 WCS & PAC - Handel - Messiah - 250th anniversary of this masterpiece!
Mar 1992 with DGS -  Haydn - Creation
Dec 1992 WCS & PAC - Carols & Christmas Music, including:-
Charpentier -Te Deum  Vivaldi -Magnificat
Apr 1993 with DGS -  Vaughan-Williams – Sea Symphony  Stanford – Songs of the Fleet
Dec 1993 WCS & PAC Bach – Christmas Oratorio Pts 1-3  - in Swanage
Mar 1994 with DGS -  Verdi – Requiem
Dec 1994 WCS & PAC  - Puccini – Messa di Gloria Mendelssohn – Elijah (excerpts)
Dec 1995 WCS & PAC - Let all Mortal Flesh Keep Silent   Handel - Zadok the Priest   Handel - Messiah (excerpts)  Carols and Telemann Concerto - Swanage
Mar 1996 Robin Longman retires after 33 years as conductor of Wareham Choral Society. Richard Marchant becomes conductor..
Mar 1996 with DGS -  50th Anniversary Concert: Elgar – The Kingdom  J Willcocks - Sing Praises
Dec 1996 WCS, PAC & Shillingtstone Singers with Dorset Philharmonic Orchestra - Christmas Concert, Swanage, Gillingham, and Poole
Mar 1997 with DGS -  Handel – Israel in Egypt
Dec 1997 WCS & PAC -Vaughan-Williams - Fantasia on Christmas Carols  & Carols
Mar 1998  with DGS -  Bach – Matthew Passion
Dec 1998 WCS & PAC - Pergolesi – Magnificat  Poulenc – Four Motets for Christmas
Palestrina and Byrd – Motets
Feb 1999 Faure – Requiem (in liturgical setting)
Mar 1999 Purcell – Dido & Aeneas – workshop at Wareham Middle School
Sep 1999 Ken Claxton took over as accompanist
Dec 1999 Christmas Music and Carols including choruses from Messiah
Apr 2000 with DGS -  Elgar – Dream of Gerontius
May 2000 Schubert – Mass in G – Tribute to Canon Peter Hardman
Nov 2000 Handel – Coronation Anthems   Rutter – Requiem
Mar 2001 Evening of Light Entertainment featuring songs of Cole Porter, Jerome Kern, George Gershwin, Vincent Youmans, Lloyd-Webber and operatic music of Mascagni, Verdi, and Wagner
Dec 2001 Vivaldi – Gloria and Carols
Dec 2001 Richard Marchant retires as Conductor. Ken Claxton takes over as Conductor / Pianist
Mar 2002 with DGS -  Beethoven – Mass in C  Haydn – Te Deum  Mozart – Exsultate Jubilate  Willcocks – Magnificat
Nov 2002 Queen’s Golden Jubilee Year Concert
Haydn – Te Deum  Handel - Chandos Anthem No 9  Mozart – Coronation Mass
Dec 2002 Carols and other music
Apr 2003 Bach – Lobet den Herrn  Haydn – Little Organ Mass  Handel – Psalm 112
Vivaldi – Double Oboe Concerto
Nov 2003 Handel – Messiah
Dec 2003 Ken Claxton retires. Andrew Smetham becomes conductor (and temporary accompanist)
Mar 2004 Brahms – excerpts from German Requiem  Bruckner – Locus Iste
Mendelssohn – Verleih uns Frieden  Faure – Cantique de Jean Racine
Parry – Blest Pair of Sirens
May 2004 with DGS -  Brahms – German Requiem  Dvorak – Te Deum
May 2004 WCS achieves Charity Status!
Dec 2004 Christmas Carols, & Music in aid of ‘Julia’s House’
May 2005 Bach - Jesu Priceless Treasure  Tavener – The Lamb
Mendelssohn – Hear my Prayer  Archer – Requiem 
Parry – My Soul, There is a Country
Sep 2005 Natalie Burton joins as accompanist
Dec 2005 Bush - Christmas Cantata
A programme of readings and carols with handbells
Apr 2006 Schubert - Mass in F  Grieg – Ave Maris Stella    Faure – Requiem
Elgar – The Spirit of the Lord is Upon Me  Holst – Turn back, O Man
May 2006 with DGS -  Verdi Requiem
Peter Hope – Along the Shore – commissioned work and first performance
Dec 2006 Britten – Ceremony of Carols
A programme of Carols, readings with a young singing group – Lacrimosa
Apr 2007 WCS with Choir of Lady St Mary – Stainer - Crucifixion
May 2007 WCS 60th Anniversary Concert
Handel - Zadok the Priest     Handel - Coronation Anthem No.1
Marchant Magnificat - First Performance    Longman - Te Deum
Handel - And the Glory of the Lord, Messiah
Vaughan-Williams - Five Mystical Songs  Finzi - Songs from - 7 Poems by R Bridges   Stanford - Songs of the Fleet
Sep 2007 Beverly Manning joins as accompanist
Dec 2007 Haydn - St Nicholas Mass & Carols
Apr 2008 Extracts from Messiah and Easter hymns
Apr 2008 with DGS -  Elgar -The Music Makers  Jenkins - Requiem
Dec 2008 Haydn – Little Organ Mass  Buxtehude – Das Neugeborne Kindelein
Bach – excerpts from Christmas Oratorio Pt 2   Carols
Feb 2009 with DGS -  Singing Day with Nigel Perrin - Haydn Nelson Mass
May 2009 All Mozart Concert - Ave Verum, Laudate Dominum, Requiem Mass
Dec 2009 Hummel - Mass in Bb  Hummel - Concert for Eb Trumpet  Carols
May 2010  with DGS -  Bach - St John Passion - Conductor - Malcolm Archer
Dec 2010  Ian Kellam - The Joly Shepard & Carols
Dec 2010 Andrew Smetham retires as conductor.
Dr Jane Oakland becomes Music Director
Feb 2011 with DGS - Singing Day with Greg Beardsall - Mozart Requiem
Apr 2011 Handel - Messiah
Dec 2011 Christmas Concert - Carols
Apr 2012 with DGS -  Musica d'Italia
Dec 2012 Christmas Concert - Joyeux Noel! Christmas Music with a French Theme!
Feb 2013 with DGS -  Come and Sing Workshop - Durufle Requiem with Simon Lole and Malcolm Archer
Apr 2013 Beverley Manning retires as accompanist. John Radford becomes our accomapanist.
Apr 2013 Faure Requiem and Howard Goodall's Eternal Light
Dec 2013 Christmas Concert - The Renaissance Revisited
Britten's Ceremony of Carols, Holst's 4 Old English Carols
Apr 2014 with DGS -  - Mendelssohn's Elijah
Sep 2014 Jane Oakland resigns and Nigel Groome takes over as Music Director
Nov 2014 "Wareham Remembers" - WW1 Commemorative Concert
Dec 2014 "Carols by Candlelight" Christmas Concert
Apr 2015 "Magnificent Mozart" - Ave Verum Corpus, Coronation Mass etc
July 2015 "Songs, Sonnets and Strawberries" at Tyneham
Dec 2015 "Hark the Glad Sound" Christmas Concert
Feb 2016 WCS Singing at the Purbeck Literary Festival "Pur-4-mance" concert
Mar 2016 Come-and-Sing afternoon for Stainer's Crucifixion at Bere Regis Church
Apr 2016 with DGS -  Rossini's Petite Messe Solenelle
Jul 2016 "Concord of Sweet Sounds" - Shakespeare songs + West Side Story at Rollington Barn, Corfe Castle
Oct 2016 Come-and-Sing afternoon for Faure's requiem at Lady St Mary Church, Wareham
Dec 2016 "My Soul doth Magnify the Lord" Christmas Concert
Mar 2017 "O praise the Lord with one consent" Handel Chandos anthem
July 2017 70th Anniversary concert - music with a maritime theme, inc Rowley's The Sailor's Garland, Stanford's Songs of the Fleet and a South Pacific medley at Clore Hall, Kimmeridge
Nov 2017 Autumn concert with a Remembrance theme, and featuring the world premiere of a work  commissioned by WCS, "For the Fallen" by Nils Greenhow
Dec 2017 Christmas concert with audience carols
Dec 2017 Nigel Groome resigns as Music Director
Jan 2018 David Fawcett becomes Acting Music Director
Apr 2018 with DGS - Elgar - The Dream of Gerontius
Sep 2018 Hazel Ricketts becomes our new Music Director
Nov 2018 Come-and-Sing event on the themes of Remembrance and Reconciliation
Dec 2018 "The Christmas Story" - Christmas concert with audience carols
Apr 2019 "The European Heritage" - Haydn's Nelson Mass and other anthems
July 2019 "The Rhythm of Life" - Summer Concert
Sep 2019 "Paul Ellis becomes WCS accompanist
Dec 2019 "Gloria In Excelsis" - Christmas concert with audience carols
2020 There were no concerts in 2020 because of the Covid pandemic
Dec 2021 "O Be Joyful" - Christmas concert with Dorset Jubilate premiere, excerpts from Messiah and audience carols
Jun 2022 Queen's Platinum Jubilee concert with Wareham Town Band, Grace Lovelass and Top Notes
Jun 2022 Come and Sing event for Karl Jenkins The Armed Man with Sam Ryall
Dec 2022 Christmas concert "Magnificat" with settings of the Magnificat, Vaughan Williams' Fantasia on Christmas Carols and audience carols
Apr 2023 Spring Celebration - Mozart Coronation Mass, Schubert Mass in G, Walton's Crowm Imperial
Nov 2023 Remembrance Concert - Karl Jenkins The Armed Man (choral suite), Faure Requiem
Dec 2023 Christmas Carol Concert in St. John the Baptist Church, Bere Regis
Mar 2024 The Crucifixion by John Stainer
Jun 2024 D-Day 80th Commemoration Concert