Chiltern Chamber Choir was founded by its director, Adrian Davis in 1976. It is centred around the market town of Berkhamsted in the Chilterns and draws its singers from the surrounding towns and villages. They share a passion for singing and perform at least three main concerts each year mostly with orchestral or organ accompaniment. Though they have outgrown their original chamber choir size, they maintain an enviably high standard of singing. The Choir’s impressive repertoire ranges from music of the 12th century to contemporary works. Since 1996, the Choir has undertaken many concert tours abroad. They have performed programmes of sacred music in cathedrals and abbeys in France, which included Autun, Vezelay, Villesalem, Strasbourg, Colmar, Beaune and Saint Savin. Other venues include churches and cathedrals in Prague, Svata Hora, Florence and Montecatini.
In 1998, the Choir performed Bach’s Mass in B minor in Holland. Two years later, the Chiltern Chamber Choir joined with the Bach Choir of Madrid to record the same work for Spanish Television in Madrid. (Video and CD). In November 2001, the Choir joined with the Reutlingen Choir to perform Verdi’s Requiem in Reutlingen and in Berkhamsted. In Autumn 2004 the two choirs sang Mendlessohn’s Elijah in Reutlingen. Also in 2004, Chiltern Chamber Choir joined with Fitzwilliam College Chapel Choir to sing Brahms’ Requiem in Cambridge.
In December 2001, the choir performed Handel’s Messiah in the Auditorio Nacional in Madrid to great acclaim. The following year, the Chiltern Chamber Choir again joined forces with the Bach Choir of Madrid to perform works by Bach and Handel in Seville.
In April 2004, the Chiltern Chamber Choir and the Bach Choir of Madrid performed Bach’s St Matthew Passion in Berkhamsted and also Bach’s B Minor Mass in Berkhamsted in 2006. A further collaboration with the world famous Leipzig GewandhausChor took place in October 2004, with performances in Berkhamsted, Berlin and Leipzig.
The choir’s most recent collaboration took place in Madrid in December 2008 for Spanish Television, with the Bach Choir of Madrid and the Bridgewater Sinfonia in a highly acclaimed performance of Handel’s Messiah.
At home, the choir enjoys a fine reputation amongst its loyal and numerous supporters, who recognize the very high standard of its performances. It performs regularly in the locality, notably at Christmas time and in the summer, as part of the Bridgewater Sinfonia’s final concert of the season.
In August 2008 the choir gave concerts in churches and cathedrals in the Poitiers area of France. It looks forward to a return visit this summer, with engagements in Ville salem, Saint Savin and Montmorillon.