How it all began……
West Barnes Singers (WBS) was founded in 1972 by the late Josephine (Jo) Richardson, a well-known local soprano. (“West Barnes” refers to the ward within the London Borough of Merton). Since then the choir has continued to rehearse weekly at the Holy Cross Church Hall in Motspur Park, and has given a wide variety of concerts in the Merton area. A memorable performance of Mozart’s Requiem was a highlight of our 40th anniversary in 2012.
Over the years, our repertoire has expanded to include many of the greatest names in choral music. It includes masses by Haydn, Mozart, Puccini and Rossini, requiems by Verdi, Brahms, Durufle and Faure, and oratorios by Mendelssohn, Bach, Janacek, Orff, Poulenc, Rachmaninov and Vivaldi. In a lighter vein we have sung operettas and opera choruses, as well as jazz classics and songs from shows.
WBS has enjoyed a fine reputation not only for music-making but also for the long-standing commitment of its singers - one founder member is still in the choir (over 45 years later!) as are a number of others who joined in the early days. A former musical director, Andrew Charity, joined WBS in 1973 and successfully developed the choir for 34 years
West Barnes Singers is an intrinsic part of Merton’s cultural heritage and continues to enrich the local community with the great gift of music.