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Bedford Choral Society at the Corn Exchange
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Formed in 1867, the Bedford Choral Society is one of the oldest established choral societies in the United Kingdom.

A thriving local choir, the Bedford Choral Society performs three or four times each year - usually in Bedford's historic Corn Exchange. We have approximately 130 full-time members - with singers from other local choirs joining us on occasions for particular concerts. Our Director Music is Ian Smith with Principal Guest Conductor is Michael Rose and Accompanist Tim Grant-Jones.

We regularly perform classical choral works from the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries and we have also commissioned a number of works in recent years. We perform with local orchestras such as the Bedford Sinfonia , the Bedfordshire Symphony Orchestra, the Bedfordshire County Youth Orchestra and the Milton Keynes City Orchestra .

For the past ten years, the Bedford Choral Society has provided the choir at Bedford's "Proms in the Park" and every other year we give a Family Concert of Christmas Music and Carols with Bedford Town Band.

We rehearse on Monday evenings and welcome new singers. If you would like to sing with us, or would like to support us by becoming a 'Friend of the Society', details are given in the contacts section of this web site.

For any enquiries concerning Bedford Choral Society, please use this e-mail link:

Bedford Choral Society enquiries:

Registered Charity No. 291518

If you are interested in joining the choir please contact us via the enquiries e-mail link above - or go to the Society's Contact and Joining webpages.

Concerts - 2017 to 2020

April 2017 will be our 150th anniversary. The choir's first concert was held in Bedford in April 1867

To view / download our (provisional) concert programme to 2020, please right click and 'save as' on the following link:

Provisional List of Concerts to 2020

Bedford Choral Society at a Corn Exchange concert during the 2015 - 2016 Season
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April 2017 poster PDF icon View / download poster as a 'PDF' file

Sunday, April 30th 2017
150th Anniversary Concert of Bedford
Choral Society

Bedford Corn Exchange - 7.30pm

  • Vaughan Williams - Serenade to Music
  • Tim Grant-Jones - Psalm 150
  • Paul Edwards - Te Deum
  • Mendelssohn - Lauda Sion
  • Vocal Soloists:

    Soprano - Rebecca Bottone
    Mezzo - Jeanette Ager
    Tenor - Simon Berridge
    Bass - Quentin Hayes

  • Conductor: Ian Smith

On April 30th 1867 Bedford Choral Society (then 'Bedford Amateur Musical Society') gave its first public performance.

The programme for April 30th 2017 reflects the history of the choir over 150 years, and the whole season is a celebration of English music. Starting with a masterpiece praising music by one of England’s greatest composers, the programme moves on to two commissions:

Psalm 150 has been written especially for the occasion by our accompanist and assistant chorus master, Tim Grant-Jones. Paul Edwards’ Te Deum was commissioned by the Society and first performed to great acclaim in 2005. So, why include Mendelssohn? Because this piece was performed in the very first concert of the Society in 1867 and therefore forms a clear link to the Society’s past history.

Come and share this historic occasion celebrating what we believe to be the second oldest choral society in the country.

Info Icon More about the 150th Anniversary Concert

Buy tickets from Bedford Corn Exchange

Saturday, June 17th 2017
Bedford Corn Exchange - 7.30pm
Bedford Choral Society 150th Anniversary Season
Second 150th Anniversary Concert

  • Vaughan Williams - Five mystical songs
    Butterworth - On the banks of green willow
    Arnold - Sinfonietta No.2
    Holst - St Paul’s Suite
    Michael Hurd - Shepherd’s Calendar
  • Conductor: Ian Smith
Continuing the season’s theme of the celebration of English music this concert features a variety of works.

The stunning Five Mystical Songs is a setting of poems by George Herbert. The chorus comes to the fore in the fifth song. The orchestral works in the programme contrast with each other from the serene music of Butterworth to the playful music of Holst.

Michael Hurd’s work is a setting of poems by John Clare for Baritone, chorus and orchestra describing the seasons. It has been described as “the most accessible of all great English poems”. The music, written in 1975, compliments the poems in a tuneful and very accessible way.

This is a delightfully varied concert for a summer evening. Do come!

Info Icon More about the June Concert in our 150th Anniversary Season

Buy tickets from Bedford Corn Exchange

© 2017