Dorchester Choral Society

Community Links


Dorchester Choral Society has been twinned with Andreaskirche Lübbecke, Germany and L’Orphéon Choir, Bayeux since 1975 and 1992 respectively. There have been many formative exchanges and the choirs have sung together in pairs alternately in Bayeux Cathedral, Andreaskirch Lübbecke, St. Mary’s Church, Dorchester and Milton Abbey.

In April 2023 all three choirs joined together for the first time since Covid to sing in Bayeux Cathedral.  The concert was a tremendous succces with the choir of 100 singing to a packed audience numbering some 700. In the first half of the concert each choir performed a piece individually.  DCS sang a selection of anthems, a capella, from sixteenth century and seventeenth century English composers such as Byrd, Tallis and Purcell.  Faure's Requiem formed the second half of the concert - a tremendously emotional and spiritually uplifting piece to be singing in the glorious surroundings of the gothic cathedral at Bayeux.  We were hosted most generously by L’Orphéon de Bayeux.

In Autumn 2024 plans are underway for a further exchange with a performance of Messiah in Wimborne Cathedral and then in Lübbecke.

In 2013, all three choirs joined together to sing Brahms German Requiem in Lübbecke and in 2014 all three choirs joined together in Dorchester to commemorate the start of the First World War in then in Lübbecke to sing A Child of our Time by Sir Michael Tippett. There was a further joint concert in 2016 which included the worldwide première of a new composition by Stephen McNeff, "Word over All".  In 2019 the three choirs joined together for a series of workshops in Dorchester rehearsing works by, amongst others, Handel, Brahms and Fauré which were then sung in a "Three Nations Concert" in the wonderful setting of Milton Abbey. 



In our summer terms we organise free concerts to entertain audiences who might not otherwise be      able to get to one of our formal concerts.  In 2023 we gave performances in St Mary's Cerne Abbas and in Borough Gardens as a result of which we raised over £1,200 for Christian Aid's Ukraine Appeal.

 In 2018 we put together our first relaxed concert at the United Church in Dorchester which aims to be accessible to all.  We wish to repeat this soon.



Photography by kind permission of Jane Tearle.


Young Musicians

We want to encourage young people to encounter and enjoy classical music and, in particular, to experience the fun of singing choral music.  We are therefore exploring ways of supporting music making at Thomas Hardye School - Dorchester's local secondary school and sixth form college.  We have given some financial support to their own music-making and we look to use former and current pupils from time to time in our orchestras or singing in concerts.  In 2020 we founded a "Dorchester Choral Society Scholarship Programme" to enable young singers - predominantly sixth formers - to become full members of the society without cost. 

Our first scholar has now moved on to the Royal Northern College of Music.

Our second scholar was Stefan Oakes is a young baritone pursuing a career in singing. Growing up in Dorchester, he attended The Thomas Hardye School and discovered his singing voice during sixth form there. He has already performed the role of Pilate in the choir's performance of Bach's St. John Passion in April 2022 and at short notice he took over the demanding solo part in  Jabberwocky at very short notice and gave an outstanding performance.  He also sang the solo part in the choir's performance of Faure's Requiem in March 2023.

We now have a vacancy for a scholar and would welcome applicants. Contact for more details.

Photos From Our Previous Performances