Orlando Chamber Choir is a small and friendly London chamber choir which performs regularly in Central London venues. The choir specialises in Renaissance and baroque music but doesn't shy away from the occasional more modern work, including by contemporary composers.
The choir, named after Orlando Gibbons (1583 - 1625), is directed by Will Dawes. He is an experienced choral conductor and a professional singer himself - so he knows precisely how to ply our voices into pleasing polyphony.
Orlando Chamber Choir has about 40 members, all enthusiastic amateur musicians. Most have had singing lessons or vocal training and many perform with other choirs as well. The sight-reading standard is such that we can afford to focus mainly on interpretation, blend and sound quality (and, in the interval, on biscuits and cake).
The choir organises four concerts each year. The most ambitious event is usually a large-scale performance with professional soloists and instrumentalists, often at St James's Piccadilly. Recent highlights include Schütz' Musikalische Exequien, Scarlatti's ten-part Stabat Mater and Handel's Dixit Dominus. The autumn performance is followed by a traditional Christmas concert. In spring and in summer Orlando Chamber Choir organises a cappella concerts in which choir members get the opportunity to sing in smaller ensembles or to take on a solo. There is a summer break from mid-June until mid-September - but then we miss singing (and each other) so we plan a summer workshop or a choir weekend away.
Orlando Chamber Choir is a registered charity (no. 1059881). It also has a flourishing side-line in fabulous cakes, consumed during rehearsal days and concerts, and it is probably the only chamber choir in London with a house gnome.