The Chiltern Choir, based in Chorleywood, Hertfordshire, has around 70 members from Chorleywood, Rickmansworth, Watford, and the wider Chilterns area.

Chaired by Fiona Lean, we sing under the direction of Michael Cayton. Our accompanist is Anna le Hair, and our President, Patricia Parkes, is a founding member.

The Choir performs three to four concerts each year. Works are generally taken from the traditional choral repertoire, but under Michael’s baton, who is also Principal Conductor of the Watford Philharmonic Society, we perform bluesy, jazzy, ethnically inspired compositions such as Will Todd’s Mass in Blue and David Fanshawe’s African Sanctus. ABBA’s songs, and favourites like Over the Rainbow and I got Rhythm, feature in our summer concerts, along with a host of compositions and arrangements by contemporary composers.

Local churches or halls are our typical venues, but occasionally we team up with other choirs to perform in larger venues, such as St Alban’s Cathedral or Watford Colosseum. We undertake tours abroad, and enjoy reciprocal visits with the choir from Chorleywood’s French twin town, Dardilly. Our most recent tour was on home territory, singing in the ancient and revered Ely and Bury-St-Edmunds Cathedrals and Wymondham Abbey, founded in the 12th century under the auspices of St Albans.

The Choir released its first professional recording, Brahms Ein deutsches Requiem, in 2017; proceeds from sales go towards the Choir’s funds.

The Choir celebrated its 50th Anniversary in 2018. To mark the occasion, at our President’s request Michael Cayton composed Missa Beatae Mariae Virginis, a sacred choral work, which received its world premier at our concert in November 2017. To round off our Golden Jubilee, for our 2018 Summer Concert we held a sold-out gala evening of Cinema Classics.