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About Fairford and District Choral Society

There has been a choral society based in Fairford for many years. Archive photographs go back to 1948.

The society was conducted by John Henderson, Tony Frewer and Julia Morris for a number of years but disbanded in the 1970s. Later, in the 1990s, St Mary’s Church, Fairford started to hold concerts of sacred music on Palm Sunday drawing singers from Fairford and the surrounding area. Works sung included the Fauré, Rutter and Mozart Requiems, the Somervell Passion, Stainer’s Crucifixion, Schubert and Haydn Masses and Handel’s Messiah. This Palm Sunday choir became Fairford & District Choral Society in 2006.

The Fairford and District Choir in 1948

The Fairford and District Choral Society 1948

The choir performs choral music of many different types, from the 15th century to the 21st, to as high a standard as possible; to help us in this we engage soloists and accompanists who are professionals singing and playing in some of the finest choirs in Britain. Our aim is to be a welcoming and friendly choir.

The music director from 2006 until the end of 2015 was John Read. His successor in January 2016 was Marysia Gorska-Saj, who had two periods of maternity leave during which the conductors were Jessi Pywell (2019-20) and Katrine Reimers (2022). Marysia conducted her final concert with us in December 2023.

Conductor, Nia Llewelyn Jones

From January 2024 our new Music Director is Nia Llewelyn Jones.

Nia Llewelyn Jones grew up in North Wales where singing and making music played a central part in her upbringing.

She studied music at Cambridge, and was awarded a scholarship to study conducting with Simon Halsey in Birmingham, where she spent time assisting with the CBSO’s many choral forces. She is also a trained teacher.

Nia has served Gloucester Cathedral for 10 years, where she is presently Assistant Conductor. She has coached over 3,000 school children to sing as part of the Cathedral’s Junior Voices Project. The greatest privilege of her career was becoming the inaugural Conductor of the Girl Choristers, following the historic admission of girls to the Cathedral Choir in November 2016. She has also performed at the historic Three Choirs Festival, including conducting two large-scale musical youth projects, accompanied by members of the Philharmonia Orchestra; Carl Davis’s Last Train to Tomorrow, in 2019, and the contemporary opera, The Happy Princess in 2023.
Nia has worked as a symphonic chorus director at the LSO, chorus mastering for Sir Simon Rattle, among others. She has also enjoyed orchestral conducting engagements with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, including a televised children’s programme about classical music. Nia has directed both the National Youth Choir of Wales and the National Youth Training Choir of Wales. This included a tour of Argentina, commemorating 150 years of the Welsh settlement in Patagonia.

Nia loves writing music for children, ranging from a sung-through musical Nativity to many liturgical works.

Copyright © Fairford and District Choral Society 2007-2024
Registered Charity No 1118754

Our logo was kindly designed by Jake Sutton