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Members  © 2011 Somerset Chamber Choir  Registered Charity No.1003687  

Patrons: Dame Emma Kirkby and Sir David Willcocks

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Patrons of Somerset Chamber Choir

As a student of Classics at university, Emma Kirkby sang a great deal for pleasure, and still does. She works mostly with historical instruments, and has enjoyed long partnerships with leading Baroque groups worldwide.


In recent years her recordings came to the attention of Classic FM listeners who voted her artist of the year in 1999, and in 2000 she was awarded the Order of the British Empire.


BBC Music Magazine voted her 10th in their “100 greatest sopranos” poll, and in 2007 she became a Dame. Shocked but delighted by all this, she is glad of the recognition it implies for a way of music-making that values ensemble, clarity and stillness above the more usual factors of volume and display.


The choir is fortunate to have sung with Emma on many occasions, first in 1988 and most recently at its 25th anniversary Wells Cathedral concert in 2009 and for Bach’s Mass in B minor, again at Wells Cathedral, in July 2011.

Dame Emma Kirkby DBE

Sir David Willcocks CBE MC

World-renowned conductor, organist, composer and music educator, David Willcocks was organist at Salisbury Cathedral, and then Worcester Cathedral, during which time he was principal conductor of the Three Choirs Festival and conductor of the City of Birmingham Choir. He was Director of Music at King’s College, Cambridge, from 1957 until 1974, where he maintained the glorious tradition with distinction. From 1960 to 1998 he was Musical Director of The Bach Choir and from 1974 to 1984 he was Director of the Royal College of Music in London.


Knighted in 1977 in the Queen's Silver Jubilee Honours List, Sir David still conducts, in his 90s, in the UK, USA, Canada and European countries, and is president of the National Youth Choirs of Great Britain.

The choir has a deserved reputation for excellence SOMERSET COUNTY GAZETTE

Emma Kirkby DBE - Patron of Somerset Chamber Choir