W Group 1

The University of Essex Choir has developed a reputation for high quality and inspirational performances and is widely recognised as one of the foremost large ensembles in the East of England. Our President is Vice-Chancellor of the University of Essex, Professor Anthony Forster .

Founded in 1977 and numbering about one hundred and thirty singers, our membership is drawn from staff and students of the University and from the local community. We come from all walks of life and many of our student members are from overseas.

From 1981 until 2020 the Music Director was Richard Cooke under whose inspirational leadership the choir performed many of the major classical works. In 2020 Ben Vonberg-Clark was appointed as new Music Director.

Most our concerts are given in the world-famous Snape Maltings Concert Hall, near Aldeburgh and more recently in the Ivor Crewe Lecture Hall at the University of Essex. Other venues have included Chelmsford Cathedral; St Edmundsbury Cathedral, Bury St Edmunds; Norwich Cathedral; St Andrews Hall, Norwich; and Charter Hall, Colchester. In March 2015 we were invited to perform Carmina Burana at the University as part of the 50th anniversary celebrations. We have also performed with other choirs conducted by Richard Cooke, the Royal Choral Society and Canterbury Choral Society.

In performance the choir is joined by excellent professional musicians, both orchestra and soloists. Many have gone on to become well-known nationally and internationally. The concerts attract audiences of up to eight hundred, and are generally recognised as some of the best choral concerts in East Anglia, winning well deserved critical acclaim.

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