Formed as the Werneth Gentlemen’s Vocal Society in 1884, the choir later became ‘Oldham Musical’ then ‘Oldham Choral’. The choir draws its members principally from Oldham and the surrounding area, with a few coming from considerably further afield. It has become one of the leading choirs in the North West.
The repertoire includes most of the major Choral works, including Bach, Handel, Haydn, Mendelssohn, Verdi, Elgar. It has also performed many operas as concert versions, as well as musicals, operettas and Gilbert & Sullivan works.
The choir performs regularly in the Oldham area and also much further afield, members of the choir carrying the tradition of live music to many locations around Britain and Ireland, and to Finland, France and New York. For example, since 2007 a number of the choir have participated in the St Gauderic Music Festival in France, which is organised by two of our members.
There has been a tradition of joining with Sale Choral Society, the Philharmonic Choir of Manchester and the Manx Festival Chorus and some notable performances have resulted, often for the benefit of Charities.
The Society is very honoured to have Jeffrey Lawton, the renowned Oldham Tenor, as its Patron and we are grateful for his continued interest and support.
Nigel Wilkinson has been the Musical Director since 1998 and under his leadership the membership has increased significantly. Almost all concerts are now performed with an orchestra (or a brass band).
2009 saw the Society’s 125th anniversary, which was marked with a series of special events and concerts.
Oldham Choral Society is a registered charity, No 518255.