The Ashburton Singers…

Ashburton Choirs Festival

The Ashburton Singers are delighted to be taking part in this celebration of the many and varied amateur choirs singing in and around Ashburton.

Ashburton Singers Directed by Bridget Ansell


We will be joined for this concert byViva, a women’s close harmony group based in Totnes.


Viva choir

Viva Choir


Ashburton Choirs Festival Concert

Friday 12th May

St Lawrence Chapel Ashburton 

Concert starts at 7.30pm

Tickets £6 In advance from Ashburton Information Centre and on the door

For full programme see Ashburton Choirs Festival

Spring Concert – Cancelled

Spring Concert Cancelled

The Ashburton Singers with pianists Jenny Quick and Rosalind Lammage perform  Brahms Love Song Waltzes, Mendelssohn Spring Songs op 48 and music by Bartok, Kodaly, Seiber and Tormis

Written out of love and about love, the Brahms song cycle is composed for piano with four hands and mixed choir, setting poems that describe the many variants of the passion from flirtation to disappointment, first love to domestic harmony.  The poems are themselves translations and imitations of folk poetry from Eastern Europe.

Also in the programme are Mendelssohns’s charming Songs of Spring, exuberant Hungarian and Slovak Folk Songs by Matyas Seiber and Bela Bartok, and gentle Estonian lullabies by Veljo Tormis.


Christmas Concerts 2016

Ring Christmas Bells!

Saturday 10 December 2016


Christmas 2016The Ashburton Singers warmly invite you to raise your voices with choir and organ in several well-known carols during our concert of varied and evocative music for Christmas.

Gentle lullabies, spirited wassailing songs, shepherd tunes and music of contemplation are all on this programme of seasonal music dating from the medieval ages to the present day.

There is also music from Bohemia, France and the Ukraine, with the atmospheric “Northern Lights” by the Norwegian composer Ola Gjeilo.

Contemporary settings are by Bob Chilcot, John Tavener and James Macmillan and two carols have both words and music by the much loved John Rutter.

Interval refreshments include mince pies, mulled wine and mulled apple juice.

Directed by Bridget Ansell 


Friday 9th December 2016 – Torre Abbey, Torquay (Private Concert for Friends of Torre Abbey)

Saturday 10th December 2016 – St Luke’s Church, Buckfastleigh

Concert starts at 7.30pm

Free admission with a retiring collection

Friday 16th December 2016 – Broadhempston Church

Concert starts at 7.30pm

Admission £5 to include mulled wine and mince pies

Summer Concert – July 2016

English Music

Pastoral Landscape

Tudor Anthems by Byrd, Parsons, Batten, Farrant and Mundy
Handel Coronation Anthem: Let thy hand be strengthened
Purcell Fairy Queen (excerpts)
Elgar They are at rest
Holst Anthem Let thy humble supplication
Rutter Blessing The Lord Bless you and keep you
Vaughan Williams Antiphon

The programme opens with music of the sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries, a period often described as the Golden Age of English church music, by William Byrd and his Tudor contemporaries.

Purcell’s Fairy Queen is a strange, delicate masque recreating the enchanted world of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Excerpts from this extravagant stage work contain sprightly choruses, instrumental dances of great spirit and solos songs of a rare gentle beauty.

Born in Germany, Handel became a naturalised Englishman and “Composer of Musick of His Majesty’s Chappel Royal”. His Coronation Anthem “Let thy hand be strengthened” was composed for the coronation of George II and has remained justly popular ever since.

The second great age of English music came to full flower with the very individual and sincerely felt music of Edward Elgar. His orchestral music and that of his younger contemporaries Vaughan Williams and Holst has always been held in great affection by the British public but their choral music too is characterised by their work outside London and a deep love of the English countryside.

The Ashburton Singers are joined by soloists Carolyn Westwood, Patricia Mahon and Mark Bennett and the orchestra is led by Sue Smallshire.

Directed by Bridget Ansell 

Where and When

Saturday 16th July 2016 – St Luke’s Church, Buckfastleigh

Choral Workshop

Saturday 16th April 2016

16.04.16-workshop-poster[1]Nigel Perrin was the ex Kings Singer’s high voice and inspirational choral director of, among others, the Exeter Festival Chorus. He will be bringing his own inimitable warm-up and vocal exercises and working on choruses from Purcell’s Fairy Queen, music by Elgar, Holst and Vaughan Williams and two anthems from the Oxford Book of Tudor Anthems.

Music will be provided. Booking is essential.

Saturday 16th April 10am to 1.30pm

Methodist Church School Room
West Street

Tickets: £20 (£15 members of the Ashburton Singers) to include refreshments.

For more information contact Bridget Ansell.


Spring 2016

“Bring us in Good Ale!”

In this year, the 400th Anniversary of Shakespeare’s death, The Ashburton Singers present a concert of songs from the plays, and music inspired by Shakespeare’s words. 

The programme mixes ballads that would have been very familiar to Shakespeare’s company and audiences, such as “Bonny Sweet Robin” and “Fortune my Foe”, and twentieth century settings of the Shakespeare texts “The cloud-capp’d towers” and “Full fathom Five”. Music is by William Cornyshe, William Byrd, Charles Wood, George Macfarren, Ralph Vaughan Williams, with three songs from John Rutter’s Song Cycle “When Icicles Hang” accompanied by Jenny Quick (piano).

Directed by Bridget Ansell 

Where and When:

Friday March 18th – All Saints’ Church, Kenton near Exeter

Saturday March 19th – St Lawrence Chapel, Ashburton, Devon

Autumn 2015

Concert – Vivaldi Gloria

Joined by an instrumental consort of strings, oboe, trumpet and harpsichord, the Ashburton Singers perform the much loved Gloria by Antonio Vivaldi and Beatus Vir by Claudio Monteverdi together with music by other Baroque composers associated with the important Italian musical centres of Rome, Venice, Verona and Bologna. 

In the early seventeenth century, the new Italian musical style swept over Europe and Italian composers were prominent in the creation of opera, cantata, oratorio concerto and the sonata as musical genres. Composers developed new styles of instrumental playing, introduced elaborate ornamentation and expanded the size, range, and complexity of instrumental performance.

Most importantly however, this new Baroque style was the result of a search for a more direct emotional expression and a more immediate and moving musical experience. The chief characteristic of the Italian masters is their love of the voice and song and their attention to the vocal line, bringing out the natural beauty whether in instrument (particularly the violin) or the human voice. The result is heart winning music of emotional exuberance and drama.

    Manfredini   Concerto Per il Santissimi Natale
    Torelli            Concerto di Pastorale 
    Carissimi       Pulchra et decora
    Monteverdi  Cantate Domino
    Cavalli            Exultet Orbis
    Palestrina      Sicut Cervus
    Croce              Regina Coeli


Soprano Lynda Grieveson
Contralto Cheryl Stead

Leader: Sue Smallshire

Directed by Bridget Ansell

Where and When:

Saturday 28th November 2015 – St Luke’s Church, Buckfastleigh, Devon

Summer Tour 2015

2006-11-12 001 2006-11-12 002The Ashburton Singers took their summer concert on tour, singing at four churches in the South Hams and one on Dartmoor. They presented a varied programme of music both sacred and secular to include American spirituals, Estonian folk songs, French Chansons, Russian Orthodox Church music and songs of the English renaissance.

All proceeds went to individual church projects.

Where and When:

Saturday 27th June – St James the Less, Kingston, Nr. Modbury

Thursday 2nd July – St Mary the Virgin, Woodleigh, Nr. Loddiswell

Saturday 4th July – St George’s, Dittisham

Thursday 9th July – St Paul de Leon, Staverton

Saturday 11th July – St John the Baptist, Leusdon, Poundsgate