The Bournemouth Symphony Chorus was founded as the Bournemouth Municipal Choir in 1911 by our founder, Sir Dan Godfrey, to sing with the Bournemouth Municipal Orchestra, which he started in 1893. Though founded by Sir Dan, the choir was made from previous church choirs in Bournemouth (you can read more here).

The choir sang exclusively in Bournemouth for many years, but in 1979 it became the Bournemouth Symphony Chorus which meant that the choir began to regularly start visiting other towns which were toured by the BSO, including several concert performances in London. The choir has also toured extensively abroad including to Switzerland, Israel and Florida, to name but a few!  It is also now regularly heard on radio and television. To this day the majority of concerts the choir gives are with Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, but it regularly performs with other orchestras and also gives concerts independently.

The Bournemouth Symphony Chorus in 1911

One celebrated collaboration between BSC and the BSO was Walton’s Belshazzar’s Feast under Andrew Litton which was recorded at Winchester Cathedral (and won a Grammy!). This recording — which featured Sir Bryn Terfel — set a benchmark for modern performances of Walton’s orchestral works and the many breath-taking choral passages were particularly acclaimed. Amongst many other awards they have also won a Classic FM CD of the month for Orff’s Carmina Burana (with the BSO and Marin Alsop) as well as several Gramophone Magazine awards.

The Bournemouth Symphony Chorus at a Dream of Gerontius,  September 2021

Ever forward looking, the chorus promotes singing with young people and has set up and manages Bournemouth Symphony Youth Chorus. It also participates in concerts with youth orchestras.

The Chorus celebrates this very special anniversary on Saturday 13 November at Lighthouse, Poole with Bournemouth Symphony Youth Chorus and members of the BSO, conducted by Gavin Carr.

Over lockdown, the choir produced a beautiful Tallis Motet which you can listen to here.