The Leeds Guild of Singers is an auditioned chamber choir founded in 1948 by members of the university, for “the study and practice of Choral music in order to foster public knowledge and appreciation of such music by means of public performance.”
The initial group of professional and semi-professional singers wished to encourage and promote the highest standards of singing and music making in Leeds, and the Guild has maintained a close relationship with the Music Department at Leeds University.
The number of singers varies between 20 and 30. We pride ourselves on a light, flexible and pure sound, and rapid turnover of repertoire.
The Guild gives around 6 concerts each season - mainly in Yorkshire. The choir has performed in venues including Fountains Abbey, Ripley Castle, Cartmel Priory, St Cuthbert's, and Royal Scottish Academy of Music & Drama, as well as major venues around Leeds.
The choir has always taken an enterprising approach to its performances, commissioning and performing a number of new works, including Songs from Mount Grace by Philip Wilby in 1998 for the choir's Jubilee celebrations. Repertoire ranges widely across 7 centuries, sacred and secular, serious and light, including a number of first performances, for example the choir's visit to Hexham Abbey in June 2008 to present a new performing edition (by our former director) of Cavalli's Vespers (1656), a major work on a par with Monteverdi's great 1610 Vespers, with Baroque orchestra.