About us

 

We are a small, friendly, vocal ensemble who meet in central Exeter

 

Exeter Chorale was established in 2000 by Arthur Bending and when he died in 2004, John Byrt took over. Under Arthur the choir performed mainly popular works.  John, however, was a specialist in early and baroque music and the choir became known for singing material from the 15th-17th centuries. 

John was succeeded by Nigel Browne, musicologist and organist, and our repertoire expanded again.

Our current musical director is Simon Dunbavand

 

Simon Dunbavand was a piano pupil of Martin Roscoe, and studied organ with Roger Fisher and David Sanger. Simon was Organ Scholar of Peterhouse, Cambridge, and Charles Bryers Scholar of The University of Sheffield, researching the theological symbolism of French composer Olivier Messiaen. Simon’s love of music constantly strives to reveal the spiritual aspect of sounds, and he is particularly proud to have played the ceremonial gong at a Hindu watermelon ceremony on Moheskali Island in Bangladesh. Simon’s passion for travel sometimes coincides with his research interests: collecting rare editions of Russian Orthodox choral music in St Petersburg, Moscow, and Kiev, or visiting the music libraries of colonial choral foundations in the churches of Ecuador, Bolivia, and Peru. He is currently working on the manuscripts of Charles Tournemire to prepare new editions of this music and to spread awareness of the composer’s special understanding of symbolist organ music as prayer.

From the beginning EC has been a small chamber choir, performing music from around the 14th Century to the present, religious as well as secular, a cappella (motets, madrigals etc) and accompanied by instrumentalists with soloists.  

 

We practice on Monday nights at St. Michael's Church, Mount Dinham, Exeter from 7.30pm.