About Benson Choral Society


We are a friendly, enthusiastic and thriving choir of over 100 singers, based in Wallingford in South Oxfordshire. Although we are a non-auditioned choir, we set ourselves high musical standards and are ambitious to improve to the full extent of our potential.

We are delighted that Jonathon Cole-Swinard, Head of Music and Chorus Director at Garsington Opera has joined us as our new musical director. Jonathon's first concert is on 23rd March - a very exciting mixture of new and familiar works (see right). Thereafter, Jonathon will lead us for our Winter and Spring concerts. In Summer, when Jonathon's commitments with Garsington Opera prevent him from being with us, we will be performing with guest conductors. This Summer, we are very pleased to welcome back Richard Laing to perform Haydn's The Creation.

While the standard classics of the choral repertoire remain at our core, with recent performances of the great works by Bach, Beethoven, Brahms, Verdi and Elgar, we always enjoy the challenges of less well-known music. Concerts in recent years have highlighted both the new - Sunrise Mass by Ola Gjeilo, Mirror of Perfection  by Richard Blackford - and the unusual - Rio Grande by Constant Lambert, Misa Criola by Ramirez and Dona Nobis Pacem by Vaughan Williams.

We rehearse on Tuesday evenings from 7.30 - 9.30 pm in St Mary's Church, Market Place, Wallingford, OX10 0EG, with a refreshment break at half time.

New members will always be welcome and can come and try us without obligation - you won't regret it!

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Our 2023/24 EVENTS

Our Spring concert will be conducted by our new MD Jonathon Cole-Swinard, Head of Music and Chorus Director at Garsington Opera. The very popular Requiem by Fauré will be coupled with a recent work by local composer Richard Blackford, Pietà - a dramatic setting of the Stabat Mater interspersed by the heart-breaking poetry of Anna Akhmatova. Benson Choral Society is greatly looking forward to interpreting this wonderful work with Jonathon.

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Join Benson Choral Society and conductor Jonathon Cole-Swinard on 9th March in a workshop exploring Fauré's wonderful Requiem. Click on poster left for details

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