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Our usual rehearsal venue is:
St. John the Evangelist
Canon's Hill, Old Coulsdon, Surrey, CR5 1HA
We rehearse every Monday evening from 8 - 10pm
(during term time)
Come along and try a session!
The Downland Chorale is a mixed voice choir based in Old Coulsdon, Surrey. We rehearse on Monday evenings 8pm to 10pm in term time.
Thomas works as a choral director, singer and music teacher in London. Previously he has directed the Christ Church College Choir, Oxford's City Council Workplace Choir and currently directs two 'Vocality' choirs in Surrey. He studied undergraduate music and for a masters degree in composition at the University of York. When he's not directing choirs he can often be found singing with the Choirs of Westminster Cathedral, Westminster Abbey and St Paul's Cathedral amongst others as a freelance tenor or conversely using up his excess energy by teaching music to primary school children. He has been directing the Downland Chorale since September 2017.
Duncan began studying music from the age of 7 and since then has enjoyed participating in choirs, chamber groups, orchestras and bands, as well as writing, performing and recording music. His main instrument is the piano and he also enjoys playing the guitar and bass in various projects covering different musical styles, ranging from classical to funk and blues to Celtic folk. Music has provided him with the opportunity to enjoy musical adventures, including recording in Studio 2 at Abbey Road and playing festivals in Poland.
The choir was formed under the name Singing for Pleasure in 1974 when Gordon Bull, who was then organist at Purley United Reformed Church, decided to augment the church choir to give a concert. A wide variety of works were performed over the next five years including a concert version of Carmen and works by Edward German and Lionel Monckton. Two concerts a year were given, with the aim to raise money for charity. The final performance of this era was Judas Maccabeus by Handel, in which seventy choir members took part.
A new name Purley Philharmonic Society was given to the choir in 1980.
In 1989, Nicholas Houghton became Music Director and shortly afterwards, a new rehearsal venue was sought. St. John the Evangelist Church, Old Coulsdon was selected which led to another name change, this time to the Downland Chorale.
Adam Assen took over as Music Director in 2007. An accomplished musician with a wide experience of conducting, composing and performing, he successfully led the choir for 7 years, leaving in 2014.