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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.
Iain Cooper is delighted to be taking up the post of Music Director of the Downland Chorale in September 2014. Iain began his musical career as a cathedral chorister and went on to study music at the universities of Oxford and Bristol. His teaching career gave him the opportunity to build up some very successful school choirs as well as working with adult groups. He has been a freelance musician since 2002, conducting choirs, examining for ABRSM, lecturing for the Open University's Music department, teaching the piano, writing, composing and arranging.
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.