Laudemus is a choir of experienced choral singers who meet for a week each summer to sing choral evensong in picturesque parish churches throughout Dorset. We recruit from all over the UK (and further afield) and welcome applications from anyone whose sight-reading is above average and who relishes the challenge of singing in a small group.
The brainchild of choral director and former King’s Singer Jeremy Jackman, and Maurice Howell (chairman of the Wimborne Arts Festival 1990–1992), Laudemus was originally a good, one-off idea, hatched in 1990 to bring cathedral-style choral evensong to village church congregations around Wimborne during the Festival. But it proved too good an idea to drop: somehow we found ourselves returning year after year, and 2020 marked our 30th anniversary (‘postponed’ to 2021 due to the pandemic, as we only managed one evensong that year).
Operating as an annual summer course, our repertoire is wide ranging, and the music is different for each service on the tour (click here for this year’s tour details). Thirty singers is our maximum – no room in village choir stalls for more – so every voice counts. When we’re not singing (most mornings) members of Laudemus are exploring Dorset, heading for the beach, or just being lazy; and most of us find it essential after evensong to make a bee-line for the nearest place to quench our thirst . . ..
While in Dorset we are resident at Bryanston School in Blandford Forum; non-residents willing to travel each day to the various churches are also welcome. Any competent choral singer can apply to join us for the week, and, thanks to the support of the Michael James Music Trust, the Ann Jane Green Trust, the Wimborne Minster Musical Heritage Trust and generous individuals who contribute to our scholarship fund, our trustees are able to award three or four substantial scholarships each year to student singers (aged 18–25), and bursaries to singers of any age.
If you’d like to join the Laudemus mailing list, and be contacted about future choral evensong tours, either as a singer or as a member of the congregation, click here to download a form.
Choir numbers are usually finalised by the end of April. Singers reading this between May and July, and wondering if there are any last-minute vacancies in the current year’s tour, should email Marianne Barton immediately.