We are a sociable choir of all ages, in which every singer counts. We sing all year round, with only short breaks at Christmas and Easter, and are constantly exploring new repertoire.
We like to socialise together, to travel together as a choir on cathedral weekends where we sing services every year, and abroad on a concert tour every few years. The friendships forged in this choir are strong and long-lasting.
Our involvement with the music we sing is deep and we enjoy challenges, variety of repertoire and new approaches to familiar work.
New members have an initial audition and some ability to read a score is essential, though some are more proficient than others. Many singers do some work at home between practices. We aim to perform to a high standard of expressive singing and are often complimented on our musicianship. Read our history
Frances Brewitt-Taylor has a gift for choosing interesting and sometimes challenging repertoire, drawing the best out of her choirs. She loves choral conducting, teaching the music, developing the sound quality and encouraging the singers to plumb the emotional depths of the music. Frances has been director of GCC for over 20 years, in which time the choir has gone from strength to strength in its social bonds as well as musically. She is always keen to explore new avenues of music-making in the community. Always interested in languages, Frances grew up with choirs and playing the organ. She was Director of Music at Queen Anne's School, Caversham, for 25 years and is now enjoying her freedom!
We sing music of every period, some of which is unaccompanied and may be in as many as eight parts. Innovative programme planning means that we are constantly tackling new projects.
No two years are alike as we vary the themes of our concerts. Audiences frequently comment on our adventurous repertoire. At some concerts we sing sacred music from across the ages, with its attendant anthems, motets, masses and canticles; at others we sing programmes of popular music and musical theatre. We give concerts of baroque music with a professional early music orchestra. We perform madrigals, part songs, love songs, folk songs and spirituals, in languages from around the world.
Our Christmas or Epiphany concerts are firm favourites with our audience, when we present a programme of carols from all periods and places. This time of year is also the choir's opportunity to give back to our community. We make contributions to charity both from the proceeds of our Yuletide concert and from carol-singing around the towns.
Occasionally , we join local primary school choirs or work with the Goring Gap Players on a joint musical and dramatic project.
We visit a cathedral most years and sing the services over a long weekend, usually in August while cathedral choirs are on holiday. Here's the list of cathedrals we've visited over the years.
Every two or three years the choir goes abroad for a short tour of concerts. In recent years we have visited Sweden, France and Portugal.