Charity Commission Registration Number: 1087409

Cantores is an independently run and independently funded choir with Charitable Status.

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Cantores Dominicae, Sunday Singers, was originally a family affair, formed in 1979 from a 'Joseph' backing group of parents who enjoyed singing together round the kitchen table.


The choir was founded by Musical Director, Gerry Howe with James Nichols as Chairman and later President.  James Fehr then took over the baton from Gerry and led the group through early years which included performances in northern France.


Cantores Dominicae then developed as a smaller mixed voice choir of between fifteen and thirty voices and was based in Elmsted, Wye and for the last fifteen years or more in the village of Lyminge, giving concerts in many churches and other venues in East Kent,



We have been on tours to France and Italy. In 2001 the choir hosted an exchange visit by Coro Vetta, a male voice choir from Ponte-in-Valtellina in the Italian Alps. The two choirs performed concerts at Dover Castle, Egerton Village Hall and St Gregroy & St Damien Church Wye. Cantores then spent a week in Italy in 2002 and performed in four highly successful concerts. We have also been to Essex to perform with The Barking and Dagenham Adult College Choir and Kingsley Choral Group. With two successful return concerts when both choirs visited Kent.  On Trafalgar Day 2016, we performed in front of HMS Victory, Portsmouth Dockyard.



Cantores really enjoy performing in joint concerts with other choirs including; The Mustard Seed Singers at St Peters in Canterbury, Choir de Universitat, Hohenheim at St Eaynswyth Church in Folkestone, Elham Valley Voices at St Pauls Church in Sandgate, the Barking and Dagenham Adult College Choir and Kinglsey Choral Group. We also joined with Whitstable Oyster Singers and Portsmouth Festival choir at St Edmunds School Canterbury and together with Canterbury area musicians in 2017, for an evening service of remembrancence' at Canterbury Cathedral. Our collaboration with Four Villages and Portsmouth choirs gave us an unforgattable experience at the Trafalgar Day event at Portsmouth Dockyard.


Some Cantores members have performed; Fauré Requiem at The Albert Hall directed by Sir David Wilcox, for his 90th Birthday celebrations, Eternal Light at St Sepulchre Musician Church Newgate at a workshop masterclass with Howard Goodall, Canterbury Cathedral for Palm Sunday event in 2009. Taken part in the 4 Villages Festival held at Littlebourne and a Songs of Praise initiative which was held at St Marys Church Woodnesborough


Cantores hosted a weekend of choral events held in Canterbury Cathedral on 10 & 11 November 2018, which marked the centenary of the ending of the First World War. Cantores together with Heinrich-Schütz-Kantorei from Kiel, the Oyster Singers from Whitstable and The Canterbury Singers performed Adrian's piece 'Remembrance & Reconciliation'.  The collaboration of four choirs and musicians performing this incredible music at Canterbury Cathedral, was an unforgetable experience for all involved.



We have sung at weddings held at; St Peter & St Paul in Worth, St Mary in Brabourne, St Peter & St Paul in Charing, St James in Elmsted, St Lawrence in Ramsgate and Lympne Castle.



We have presented concerts at; St Peters Monks Horton, St Pauls Sandgate, St Leonards Hythe, St Mary Elham, St Mary Stowting, St Margarets Hothfield, St Vincents Littlebourne, St Lawrence Godmersham, St Michaels Smarden, URC Folkestone, St Mary & St Ethelburga Lyminge, Holy Trinity Folkestone, St Cosmos & St Damien Challock, All Saints Boughton Aluph, Perry Court Canterbury, Sibton Park Lyminge, Stelling Minnis Village Hall and Elham Village Hall where The Rt Hon Michael Howard QC MP was a guest of honour and joined in singing 'Guide Me Oh Thou Great Redeemer' on the stage with the choir.



In 2012 we began a Cantores Youth Choir project as it was agreed that we should encourage local young people to join a choir.  Victoria Bawtree was Musical Director for this project.  Funding from Cantores and a lot of planning and preparation went into starting the Youth Choir.  Unfortunately, after a very enthusiastic start the project failed due to lack of interest.



We are now a registered charity and make efforts to support the local community and other charitable organisations in Kent or with musical connections.  Members are involved in nominating a different Charity each year. Over the years Cantores has benefitted from Lottery Funding and donations from other sources. Volunteers from Cantores supported Lively Singing Sessions for Sing For Your Life and Mustard Seed projects.



We take on challenging works from a varied repertoire which have included:


Dvorak Mass in D, Faure Requiem, Vivaldi Gloria, Puccini Missa di Gloria, Brahms German Requiem, Britten Rejoice in the Lamb, Monteverdi Beatus Vir, Shearing Songs and Sonnets and Rutter Sprig of Thyme


At the Lyminge Prom, we have performed a wide variety of songs including arrangements from South Pacific, Les Miserables, Sound of Music, Pirates of Penzance, Beatles, Folk and other popular favourites such as Goodnight Sweetheart and The way you look Tonight.


At Christmas time we enjoy performing a wide repertoire of music including Vaughan Williams Ceremony of Carols, Britten Fantasia on Christmas Carols, and Britten Saint Nicholas


Compositions and arrangements by Adrian Bawtree including Sunset Lilly, Make More Sail (the story of the battle of Trafalgar) and Remembrance and Reconciliation as a memorial to the Great War.



Cantores, as we now style ourselves, has continued to grow and develop into a hard-working ambitious choir which is popular in the locality.  In recent years membership has increased and we now have over 50 members and for some voices a short waiting list, as we do not wish to develop into a large choral society.


We thank a succession of Chairmen and Musical Directors who have provided valuable leadership and added to our musical experiences over the years.


All credit for our success in recent years must go to our Musical Director, Adrian Bawtree for believing in us and taking us on such a fantastic journey. Adrian has been with Cantores since 2011. He makes rehearsals fun whilst being challenging.  He also brings out the best in the group, with his patience and determination for us to achieve the best result.  

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Cantores History