Cantamus Chamber Choir started life in 1994 and Mike Daniels has been its musical director since 1999. The choir's repertoire is drawn from both the classical and jazz traditions and it regularly champions new music. Under the direction of Mike, the choir has built a reputation for its skill in delivering challenging but hugely rewarding programmes.
Cantamus actively collaborates with a variety of soloists, ensembles and composers, both professional and amateur, which has resulted in some memorable performances. These have included:
English Touring Opera
Bradford Baroque Band
Gorgeous Big Horns Big Band (GBH)
Men With Horns and Steven Hollas
Town Hall Gospel Choir - Birmingham
St Laurence School
The choir is privileged to have been in numerous premieres of new music. In December 2014 Cantamus performed the UK premiere of Nils Lindberg's A Christmas Cantata with GBH at the Wiltshire Music Centre to a sell-out audience, and in 2006 the choir recorded Silent Night, a suite of new arrangements of Christmas carols by Matthew Finch.
In October 2014 Cantamus featured as the choir in the English Touring Opera's Advent Cantatas project, and again in October 2016 and October 2018 for Bach's St John and St Matthew Passions, in which the ETO toured with The Old Street Band and joined with local community choirs. The projects involved two day-long rehearsals with ETO conductor, Jonathan Peter Kenny and culminated in performances at the Wiltshire Music Centre. Reviews of the concerts can be found on the Concerts page.
Cantamus has been involved in many community performances. In 2013 the choir featured as the central ensemble to Harvey Brough's Ona's Flood, commissioned by Barnstorm in Bradford on Avon as a companion piece to Noyes’ Fludde as part of Benjamin Britten's centenary celebrations. It was performed as part of a large-scale community project in the town's historic Tithe Barn, involving over 500 local school children and a 250-strong community choir. In the summer of 2014 Cantamus sung with 6 primary schools and another community choir alongside a professional band in a performance of Ahoy! by Alexander L'Estrange, who was also present as the pianist.
In June 2018, Mike fulfilled his decade long wish to perform A Soulful Celebration - Handel’s Messiah, in which members of Cantamus performed at the Wiltshire Music Centre with Black Voices, the Birmingham Town Hall Gospel Choir and their amazing MD Colin Anderson, the Veritas Orchestra and the Soul Celebration Community Choir, produced by Alex Douglas of ADM Productions. The following Spring, Cantamus collaborated once again with GBH and the Soul Celebration Community Choir at Wiltshire Music Centre to perform Duke Ellington’s Sacred Concert, with soloist, Tina May.
In November 2019 Cantamus presented a Gala Concert marking Mike’s 20 years as Musical Director and featuring Haydn’s Harmoniemesse, Brahms’ sublime Alto Rhapsody and works by Mendelssohn and Schubert performed by Men With Horns, the Cantamus Chamber Orchestra and soloists Kirsten Mulcahy, Marie Elliot, Niall Hoskin and Peter Kirk.
Steven Hollas is the choir's rehearsal pianist, accompanist and organ player.
The choir rehearses weekly at Wiltshire Music Centre, Bradford on Avon. If you are interested in singing with Cantamus Chamber Choir, please Contact Us.
Cantamus Chamber Choir is a registered charity, number 1176478
20 years of Cantamus
Watch our Brittany Tour 2014 video!
If you had three words to describe your choir, what would they be?
Fun, Quality, Challenging
Fun, Rewarding, Challenging
Fun, Challenging, Satisfying
Hard-working, Friendly, Musicianship
Disciplined, Committed, Fun
Rejuvinating (I am not a young man!), Stimulating (not a rest cure!), Hard work!
Friendly, Fun-loving, Adventurous
Fun, Hard-work, Good
Sociable, Happy, Fun
What’s the best thing about being part of the choir?
The achievement of performing well
Music and friendship
Being part of a group of like-minded people with a common purpose
Practise night (Tuesday) is the high point of the week
Making friends, learning fabulous and often unknown music, Mike (our maestro)
Mixing with like-minded, musical people
The wide variety of different music
Do you know of any couples, marriages or amazing friendships that have started because of the choir?
Our recent tour to Brittany has brought the choir closer as a whole and we feel like a much tighter ‘unit’ now.
I found my best friend in Cantamus
Lots of friends have been made
I feel very loyal to my tenor colleague
Lots of good friendships, no romance that I’m aware of!
Where would you most like to be invited to sing?
Albert Hall, Notre Dame Paris
Abbey Church, Iona
Edington Priory Church nr Westbury, Wilts
Carnegie Hall, some little outside venue in the Italian hills
St Pauls Cathedral
Anywhere where the acoustics are fab. Imber Church, Coventry Cathedral