History of Choral Singing in Wimborne Minster

Aside from the regular Minster choirs, few records exist of the very early days of choral singing in Wimborne, however a work ‘Magnificat’, composed by Minster organist George Day (organist 1694-1713), was performed at our December 2023 concert.

Information from ‘The British Newspaper Archives’, former choir members, and the East Dorset Museum tells us that in Victorian times an earlier Wimborne Choral Society was formed. They would perform well known works such as Handel's ‘Messiah’ or Haydn's 'The Creation’ in the Minster, and would also sing in other local venues. Mendelssohn's 'Hymn Of Praise' was sung in The Victoria Hall (now part of the Kings Head Hotel), and other venues included the Cornmarket and the Masonic Hall. They performed Mendelssohn’s 'Elijah' in the Minster in 1930, but after that no more is known of a (regular) choral society in Wimborne until 1978.

In 1978, after a very successful choral workshop on Handel’s Messiah, Chris Dowie formed our current Wimborne Choral Society. The first concert was in April of that year and Faure's 'Requiem' and Britten's 'St Nicholas Cantata' were performed. Concerts have been performed three times per year (barring exceptional circumstances) ever since that time, and we have sung choral works by composers from the eighteenth to the twenty first centuries. We have also sung in the surrounds of the Minster e.g. Carols on the Minster Green.
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