Bradford on Avon Choral Society was founded in 1986 as a community choir for the local area. Since then we have rehearsed and performed a huge range of choral works — masses, anthems, oratorios, opera and secular pieces. We are enthusiastic amateurs who enjoy being part of the great British tradition of choral singing. Our concerts are generally performed with professional soloists and keyboard players or orchestra.
No audition is required but a high level of commitment is expected. In this way the musicianship of individuals increases and we can
tackle more and more challenging works.
We normally perform two major concerts each year in the Bradford on Avon area, one in Summer and one in Autumn, plus carols at Christmas. We also sing at charity or community events at least twice a year and, from time to time, hold all-day singing workshops which are open to everyone.
The choir is a registered charity, No. 1170184.
Music Directors Past and Present
Alan Burgess (2018 to present)
Musical director, conductor and music teacher
Alan grew up in 'the land of Song' but then headed north to read music at Edinburgh University where he further developed his love of choral singing, before beginning to teach music. He has directed several choirs locally including the Athenaeum Singers of Warminster from 1987 to 2002, Frome Youth Choir, and Christ Church Singers. He is strongly committed to community projects and was musical director of the first Frome Festival in 2001. In 2012 Alan was co-founder of Frome Voices, a community-based adult choir. He now fills his days with piano teaching at Warminster School, directing and accompanying choirs, and as a trustee of Jackdaws Music Education Trust
Rupert Bevan (1996-2018)
Singer, organist, musical director and plainchant exponent.
Raised in the very musical Bevan family, Rupert went to Westminster Cathedral choir school at the age of eight, and has continued to be deeply involved in musical activities ever since. He has held appointments in Woodbridge, Suffolk; Pershore Abbey, Worcestershire; St Mary's RC, Bath; SS Anselm and Cecelia, Holborn; and finally St John's South Parade, Bath where he is still Cantor, plays the organ and conducts the choir. He has sung and made recordings with a number of choirs, and currently conducts Bath Chandos Choir. He also specialises in plainchant workshops around the country.
Simon Ible (1994-1998)
Conductor, researcher and practitioner in contemporary music practice
During his time with the choral society Simon was also assistant conductor of Bath City Orchestra. He left to take up a post at Plymouth University where he is the Director of Music of Peninsular Arts. He is also artistic director and conductor of the Ten Tors Orchestra.
Kelvin Thomas MBE (1986-1994)
Welsh conductor, composer, singer and author. Founder and conductor of the Silver Ring Choir of Bath
Kelvin was the co-founder (with Gaynor Biscoe) and first musical director and conductor of the Bradford-on-Avon Choral Society. He had previously founded The Silver Ring Choir of Bath with whom he won many awards both here and abroad. He received his MBE for local, national and international contributions to music in the 1981 New Year Honours list.