The Society

The Ottery St Mary Choral Society is an active community society, based in Ottery St. Mary in East Devon. Members come from many towns and villages in East Devon to meet every week between September and April. The society regularly produces two concerts a year in the magnificent parish church dedicated to St. Mary, from which the town gets its name. Other concerts take place in the Great Hall at Exeter University and there have also been performances in Exeter Cathedral.

The Spring Concert is usually a week before Easter and comprises a full-length choral work, such as a Handel oratorio, a well-known requiem or two shorter works such as Bach’s Magnificat and Mozart’s Grand Mass. The Christmas Concert will normally comprise a shorter choral work, a selection of unusual carols sung by the choir as well as some popular carols for the audience to join in. There is also a short orchestral work performed by the orchestra.

There has been a choral society in Ottery since the latter part of the 1800s and records exist showing that, in its present form, the society was founded in 1904. The centenary was celebrated with a special performance of Verdi’s Requiem in the splendid setting of Exeter Cathedral. There has been a concert tour to Ottery’s twin town in Germany, as well as participation in BBC’s Songs of Praise.

The Ottery Choral Society is  the main choir in the Classics Galore concert series. Held in Exeter University Great Hall every two years since 2007,  the 2019 concert has taken the money raised for the Force Cancer Charity to over £100,000.

The Society continues to thrive with an 80-strong choir plus orchestra under the baton of Malcolm Matthews, who has been Musical Director since 1999. In 2016 David Wade became the  Society Chairman

To find out more information about the Society please contact [email protected]