Saffron Walden's Choral Society since 1883
Patron: John Rutter | Music Director: Janet Wheeler

The Choir

Under the inspired leadership of conductor and composer Janet Wheeler, SWCS offers enthusiastic singers of all ages the opportunity to join a friendly, hard-working and accomplished choir.

We perform a challenging and diverse repertoire ranging from Renaissance and Baroque favourites to compositions from exciting contemporary composers such as Jonathan Dove and our own Janet Wheeler.

The choir started in 1883, with its main concerts in St Mary’s Church in Saffron Walden. Since 2013, however, the principal concert venue has been Saffron Hall, where the choir’s recent highlights have included Verdi’s Requiem (2013), Orff’s Carmina Burana (2014), Vaughan William’s A Sea Symphony (2015) Handel’s Messiah (2016) and singing with the BBC Concert Orchestra for their Christmas Concert in 2016.

SWCS is regularly invited to perform at Thaxted Festival. In 2016 they returned with the Mozart Requiem and the world première of The Ceaseless Round of Circling Planets, composed for the choir by Janet Wheeler, a ground-breaking work greeted with enthusiasm and critical acclaim.

Close links with all local schools are maintained through the choir’s annual Spirit of Christmas concerts at St. Mary’s Church. As well as singing with a large choir of combined schools, SWCS performs the winning entries in its Carol Composing Competition, which provides an amazing opportunity for young composers in the area and which has been running for nearly 20 years.