Thursday, 18 February 2010

Sweet Music

About Cantilena

"Cantilena" is a word meaning "a simple or sustained melody" and is an apt title for what has been described as the finest small choir in Somerset.

The Glastonbury Cantilena Choir was formed in 1978 to bridge the gap between church choirs and larger, 100+, choirs. Started under the direction of Robin Walker, the choir began life with thirty-one singers. During his time the choir developed its current practice of holing three concerts annually. Traditionally, our spring concert includes orchestral players who are supplied from the local musical community.

In 1988 musical direction came under the control of Tony Bevan. He introduced the choir to a large and challenging repertoire, giving us something of a reputation as exponents of early music, performing such works as the Machaut Messe de Notre Dame and the Monteverdi Vespers. A high spot was a performance in aid of the McMillan Cancer Fund in Sherborne Abbey where we performed John Shepherd's thrilling "Verbum Caro", Monteverdi's "Beatus Vir" and Mozart's tranquil "Ave Verum" to a capacity audience.

Tony left the choir in 2000 to spend more time with his growing family and since that time, Cantilena has benefited from a close relationship with Wells Cathedral, drawing conductors from the Cathedral Organ scholars and soloists from the Cathedral School and Vicars' Choral.

This period in our life is shortly to come to an end when the present Musical Director, Oliver Walker leaves Wells in Summer 2010. Tony Bevan has agreed to resume as Musical Director with effect from September 2010 and choir is looking forward to the next phase in its musical journey.

Want to know more? Contact the secretary Julia Barrett on 01749 841617 or

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