The Exeter Bach Choir (neé Society) was founded on 21 March 1995, the anniversary of J S Bach's birth, at a meeting in The Guildhall, Exeter by Alderman Ramon Yeo, an accomplished organist and admirer of J S Bach’s many compositions.
Since its formation the choir has delved deep into J S Bach’s repertoire, hosting numerous performances of his cantatas, Lutheran masses and instrumental works. Our choral performances over the past few years have included J S Bach's Missa Brevis in F, Christmas Oratorio, St John Passion, St Matthew Passion, and his iconic Mass in B Minor. Major concerts and cantatas feature professional musicians and soloists from Devon and further afield.
The choir continues to stay true to its Baroque tradition but frequently takes steps into the wider musical world including Ola Gjeilo's Sunrise Mass (Summer 2019), Britten's Saint Nicolas (Christmas 2018), Will Todd's Mass in Blue (Summer 2017) and Durufle's Requiem (Easter 2017).
In addition to choral and orchestral concerts, the Exeter Bach Choir organises an annual public choral workshop, instrumental recitals and talks throughout the season, which runs from September to early June.
There are currently around 40 - 50 active members in the Exeter Bach Choir. We represent a broad spectrum of musical ability and experience, ranging from accomplished sight-readers to those who have had few prior opportunities to perform this type of music. What we all share is a passion for J S Bach’s music, an enthusiasm for performance, and a committee who ensure we have plenty of opportunity to do so. We are supported ably by our Honorary President and founder, Ramon Yeo.
The Exeter Bach Choir's Honorary Patron is Jonathan Peter Kenny. Jonathan enjoyed a long and distinguished career as a counter-tenor and is currently one of the Musical Directors of English Touring Opera - one of the UK's leading opera companies and known for creating vivid new productions of the works of J S Bach which it brings to venues across the UK.
The Exeter Bach Choir is lucky enough to have an expert selection of local professional instrumentalists on whom to call, led ably by Anna Cockroft, and they accompany many of our concerts and generously volunteer their time for free events, such as cantata services. Many of these musicians support us on a regular basis and provide the expertise to expand their ranks when required – as with the ambitious double Baroque orchestra needed to accompany the St Matthew Passion.
Committee and Musical Staff
Musical Director: Jonathan Lucas Wood
Assistant Musical Director: Sam Nickels
Chairman: Mia Bjornevoll
Secretary (Membership): Nick du Buisson
Secretary (Minutes): Ray Flack
Treasurer: Nick du Buisson
Elise Elderkin; Gabi Humphries; Rachel Sturley