Crickhowell Choral Society

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Crickhowell Choral Society has been in existence since 1981.  It’s a mixed choir of approximately 60 voices, and practices take place in The Bear Hotel in the centre of Crickhowell every Monday evening. The choir’s repertoire covers a wide spectrum of musical styles and languages. The autumn and spring terms are largely devoted to sacred music from the 1600s to the present century, with a festive break for Christmas carols, when the choir joins forces with local schools for a community carol concert in St. Edmund’s Church.  The choir is building a strong relationship with Llandaff Choral Society in Cardiff, performing bi-annual concerts in Llandaff Cathedral in November. This enables both choirs to perform choral works which need a large choir and a large venue, such as Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis, Elgar’s Dream of Gerontius and Verdi’s Requiem. The summer term gives the choir the opportunity to perform a lighter repertoire which culminates in a musical summer social in hopefully summer weather.

Crickhowell Choral Society is proud to promote its country of birth and has an ever-expanding repertoire of Welsh songs. It was honoured to be invited to take part in the 2016 National Eisteddfod in Abergavenny, representing south east Wales at this prestigious annual festival.  Its St. David’s Day concerts are always very popular, and happily Wales’ national saint’s day falls during the Crickhowell Walking Festival, so the choir is always delighted to soothe sore feet and limbs with rousing and harmonious songs on the day.

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The highlight of the year is the annual Music Festival held during the first May Bank Holiday weekend.  Each year reflects a particular religious theme, so that over the years there has been a vast repertoire of superlative sacred music performed in the main venue, St. Edmund’s Church. The choir attracts top class soloists who have included Emma Kirkby, James Gilchrist, Elin Manahan Thomas and many more, and the orchestra is drawn from the very best musicians both in Wales and beyond. Stephen Marshall, the musical director, researches lesser known works to perform, and these are no less beautiful than the better known choral works.

Crickhowell Choral Society is committed to encouraging young people to join the choir and has introduced four choral scholarships for secondary school pupils who wish to pursue careers in music. Not only are the youngsters a welcome and valuable addition to the choir, but they also benefit enormously from the experience of singing with the choir and the occasional opportunity of being soloists.

If you are ever in The Bear on a Monday evening, you are welcome to climb the stairs and drop in on a practice session, which it is then hoped will encourage you to attend the choir’s concerts and share in some wonderful and unforgettable music making in this busy little town.

President of Crickhowell Choral Society        Elin Manahan Thomas

For more information and information on becoming a patron please visit

Diary Dates 2018:

thur 3rd May to Mon 7th May

Our 24th Music Festival aims to promote refreshing performances of exiting repertoire amidst the beautiful scenery of the Usk Valley.  The Festival takes you straight to the heart of  the matter: that is, why does music mean so much to us?   

  • * Thur 3rd May 7.30pm The Old Rectory Hotel, Llangattock – Folk Night – MORFA
  • * Sat 5 May 7.30pm St Edmund’s Church, Crickhowell – VIVALDI
    Jessica Cale (soprano), Mark Chambers (countertenor), Nicholas Mulroy (tenor), Robert Davies (baritone)
  • * Sun 6th May 10am St Catwg’s Church, Llangattock – BACH – Cantata
     Featuring Festival instrumentalists, soloists and choral scholars
  • * Sun 6th May 7.30pm St Edmund’s Church, Crickhowell – HANDEL – Alexander’s Feast – In honour of St Cecilia
     Jessica Cale (soprano), Mark Chambers (countertenor), Nicholas Mulroy (tenor), Robert Davies (baritone)
  • * Mon 7th May 3pm St Catwg’s Church, Llangattock – Singers’ Recital – The Divine Monteverdi
     An exciting collaboration our choral scholars and acclaimed soloists.  Together they will reveal the marvels of Monteverdi’s madrigals.

Tickets available from Webb’s of Crickhowell, Abergavenny Music, Choir members or Genet Bevan (01873 810935)

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