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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 was 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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Other News ...

  • The Chamber Choir of Bedford Choral Society will again be performing
    a sung mass in Christ the King Church, Harrowden Road, Bedford
    at 7.30 pm on Thursday 15th June 2017 .
    This will be the Palestrina Missa Brevis . The church actively welcomes people to join them for these special events.

  • Bedford Choral Society will also be joining the London Gala Orchestra on the evening of Sunday 6th August 2017 to perform in a special Proms in the Park , singing music from the movies.

  • Looking further ahead to next year, Danesborough Chorus with Bedford Choral Society will perform Karl Jenkins' ‘The Armed Man’ on 14th October 2018 at 7.30pm at the Milton Keynes Theatre.

    Further information about Proms in the Park and the performance of 'The Armed Man' will be posted on this website when it becomes available.


    Rehearsals for Elgar's 'The Kingdom' start on Monday, September 4th 2017 , 7.30pm at St Gregory's RC Middle School, Biddenham.
    If you are interested in joining Bedford Choral Society, please come along to the first rehearsal or contact us beforehand via this e-mail address: membership@bedfordchoralsociety.org.uk


The next concert in our 150th Anniversary Season
Saturday, June 17th 2017

June 2017 poster
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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


The final concert in our 150th Anniversary Season ...

Saturday, November 25th 2017
Bedford Corn Exchange - 7.30pm

Elgar - 'The Kingdom' (Opus 51)

Edward Elgar

  • Soloists
    Soprano: Rebecca Bottone
    Mezzo-Soprano: Jeanette Ager
    Tenor: Ben Thapa
    Bass: Andrew Slater

  • Conductor: Ian Smith

  • Orchestra: Bedford Sinfonia


The concert to celebrate the 150th Anniversary of Bedford Choral Society was held on Sunday, April 30th 2017 at Bedford Corn Exchange. This marked 150 years to the day from the first concert given in by the choir in 1867


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The plaque to mark the 150th Anniversary of the choir. This is now on permanent display in Bedford Corn Exchange immediately above the plaque commemorating Major Glenn Miller.

  • 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

Info Icon More about the150th Anniversary Concert

April 2017 poster

View / download the concert poster


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© 2017 bedfordchoralsociety.org.uk