In 1975 a young Chris Walker took over the job of conducting Benson Choral Society. In those days it was a village choir of about 25 voices that occasionally joined with other Oxfordshire choirs under the baton of Dr Bernard Rose. Forty years on, the Society has a flourishing membership and, accompanied by our own Elgar Orchestra and with high calibre professional soloists, we perform the major works of the choral repertoire to an enviably high standard. Throughout this period, Chris has challenged and encouraged us with a blend of high musical standards, boundless energy and disarming humour, and we owe our present success to him.

Chris retired from his position of BCS musical director earlier this year and we are in the process of recruiting a new conductor to join us and our accomplished accompanist
Anita D'Attellis. During the inter regnum we have been very fortunate to welcome Richard Laing as our guest conductor. Richard conducted our memorable performance of Vaughan Williams' Sea Symphony in March - an occasion made especially poignant by realisation of the coming lockdown (which started a few days later). If we are able to restart rehearsals in September or October, Richard will also direct us and conduct our November concert (Rossini's Petite Messe Solennelle).

When we are finally able to appoint our new musical director, he/she will be entrusted with helping us meet our ambition to perform at the highest level we are capable of whilst remaining a non-auditioned choir. Watch this space!...

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