Nearly nine hundred people came together in the Grange Park Opera’s Theatre in the Woods on Saturday 23rd September to enjoy performing or listening to Verdi’s dramatic Requiem, a demanding and highly operatic work in its rightful setting. Wasfi Kani CBE had most generously made the opera house available for this special event. Sam Hayes conducted four star soloists, four choirs and the Hennessy Brown Music Collective orchestra in a sell-out performance which delighted the audience of over 600. This was a successful collaboration between Godalming Choral Society, the Epworth Choir, and the Horsley and Oxshott Choral Societies.

Sam Hayes has been the gifted and inspiring Musical Director of Godalming Choral Society since 2017, and this concert marks the end of six very happy seasons with the choir. Over this time he has conducted première performances of new works and new arrangements, refreshed well-loved repertoire, helped steer the group through the Covid pandemic (winning an award for the Society from the Lord Lieutenant of Surrey), led singing workshop days, and worked on a children’s choir project for Godalming. He has moved away with his family and among other roles is now chorus director of Buxton Music Society. They wish him every success!

They are delighted to welcome our new Musical Director, Paul Jeanes, an organ and piano award-holder who has a broad and varied experience in choral directing and has recently retired from teaching to focus on music full time. He is also musical director of the Amici Chamber Choir and the Ember Choral Society, and they look forward to working with him. His first concert will be on Saturday 16th December at St John’s church in Farncombe when they are singing movements from Bach’s Christmas Oratorio and other festive music.

Paul said “I am thrilled to be working with the Godalming choir. This is an exciting opportunity to build upon the distinguished history of the choir and ensure that the choir flourishes in collective music-making in a post-covid era, bringing  excellent choral music to the local community.”

The first rehearsal for our Christmas concert was on Tuesday 26th September at 7.30pm at the Wilfrid Noyce Centre, Godalming. If you enjoy singing and would like to join us please come along to a rehearsal or contact Alyson Burton, for more details.

Background information at