About The Choir

The West Cork Choral Singers, a mixed choir of between 30 and 40 members, under the musical directorship of Susan Nares is based in West Cork, Ireland.

The choir usually holds it’s weekly practice every Monday night in St. Matthews Hall, Church Cross, near Skibbereen.  Choir members come from a radius of 40 kilometers and, at last count, comprised eight nationalities. Diversity is the raison d’etre of the choir.

Our repertoire is a broad one, with a leaning towards classical rather than popular works. We aim to learn and perform at least one larger work from the classical or contemporary classical repertoire each year.  We also take part in collaborations both at home and abroad when the opportunity arises.

Who can join the choir?

You do not need to have had formal voice lessons to take part in West Cork Choral Society. Members are, however, expected to be able to sing in pitch and with accurate rhythm. Sight-reading skills are useful but not essential and practice tracks are often provided to assist learning. Our practice nights allow new members to brush up on their vocal and musical skills.

How do I join?

If you are interested but don’t have a lot of experience with choirs, why not just come along on Monday night and try out a rehearsal or two. No harm in testing the water to see whether our music suits you! After a few weeks, WCCS will audition you to assess which voice part is best for you.

So, if you are interested or want to find out more, please get in touch using our contact page.

Take the plunge and join us on Mondays for our weekly rehearsal!

History

In December 1990, Reverend Richard Henderson asked Ann Chambers (a locally-based American artist) to invite non Church of Ireland members to help boost the strength of the choir for the annual carol service. The group which eventually evolved into the West Cork Choral Singers first saw the light of day in 1990 at the Christmas carol service in Abbeystrewry Church, Skibbereen. In 1991, the fledgeling choir came together under Ann Chambers for a Christmas carol service in Abbeystrewry Church. A formal choir was formed shortly thereafter and named the West Cork Singers.

The choir initially comprised a very small group: 6 sopranos, 4 altos, 2 tenors and 2 basses. Their first concerts were also small affairs held in Abbeystrewry Hall. In 1995 the choir performed a musical called The Tram, written, produced and directed by Ann Chambers. In 1996 an abridged version of The Mikado by Gilbert & Sullivan, with Jerry Kennelly as Nanky Poo, Nuala Gibbons as Yum Yum and Margaret Newcombe as Katisha, was performed, with the children of Abbeystrewry National School providing the chorus. In 1997, Ann Chambers returned to America and Margaret Newcombe became musical director.

In 1998, the choir had the good fortune to meet Diana Llewellyn, a classically trained Welsh cellist, who took the choir under her wing and served as musical director until 2019. She was eventually to rename the choir the West Cork Choral Singers.

When Diana retired our new director, Susan Nares, took up the baton in 2020.