Samples of our music

MP3 file 27 sec
438kB
Clapham
MP3 file 42 sec
658kB
Gibraltar
MP3 file 54 sec
850kB
Mortality
MP3 file 54 sec
848kB
Angels' Song
MP3 file 36 sec
572kB
Glad tidings
MP3 file 52 sec
828kB
St Helena

Our Music

This joyful music was sung in the West Galleries of English country churches in the 1700s.

We recreate this sound in the usual four voice parts: soprano, alto, tenor and bass and include instruments such as violins, clarinets and a serpent.

In the samples on the left, you'll be able to hear how we sound.

Performances

There is a large amount of West gallery music available today and this is being added to continually. We especially like to research and play music from the Chiltern area and have discovered twelve 'local' composers, as well as music by many well-known singing masters who travelled in this region and regularly performed their music.

We use several local quire books, in particular the manuscript belonging to James Whittaker of Standon as well as the 'Meldreth' book which was found in a car boot sale by one of our members.

We normally perform in costume typical of the period. We have performed for concerts, church services, workshops, historical enactments, illustrated lectures, arts festivals and Christmas gatherings.

Our music may include psalms, hymns, carols, dances and marches, and there is often a chance to join in.

We make a special effort to put our singing in a local context using music, readings and quotations from contemporary sources and sometimes dances from the places where we perform.

West Gallery music was rooted in the country parishes of the 18C and early 19C. Our band and quire have led the singing at evening services in churches and chapels around the Chiltern region. We have in the past held carol concerts and seasonal services, such as Harvest and Spring festivals.

 

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