Music at St Mary's

Music in St Mary's has for many years been an important part of the Dorchester and wider District scene. The excellence of the acoustic and the beauty of the architecture, itself a late example of the arts and crafts movement, are a good starting point. The welcoming attitude of the church to all musical groups has helped to make St Mary's the premier choice for large and smaller scale performances.

The Dorset Chamber Orchestra performs regularly encouraging outstanding young players to be their soloists, performing a children's concert each year, generously compered by Martin Clunes. We have hosted several European groups and soloists.

The Dorset County & Youth Orchestras have performed on occasion. We further host a visit each year from the Orchestra of Imperial College, London, who together with the Hardye School Choir performs major works. The Bournemouth Sinfonietta Choir gives regular concerts as do the Dorchester Choral Society who perform major works in the choral repertoire to capacity audiences. The Occasional & the Farrant Singers, Salisbury Cathedral Choir, the Casterbridge Male Voice Choir perform regularly and this year we welcomed a visiting choir from Russia and an orchestra from Germany.

The Dorset Musical Instrument Trust's Steinway Grand Piano is lodged at St Mary's and occasional professional recitals are given; among them John Lill, Valerie Tryon, and Fiona Dalzell.

Over the years we have hosted concerts by Peter Phillips and the Tallis Scholars and a Brass Ensemble from the Glasgow Academy of Music in association with the Dorset Summer Music Society. The church continues to welcome creative musical events for the benefit of the wider community.

St Mary's also possesses a fine organ, built by Peter Collins, which is described here.

The Director of Music is Geoffrey Greenhough.