The Festival was initiated at a public meeting in Winchester’s
Guildhall held in September 1921. The first performances took
thplace in May-June of the following year. Its 50 anniversary
was marked by a performance of Bach’s St Matthew Passion
by the combined choirs in Winchester Cathedral in 1971. The
guest conductor on that occasion was the long time director of
the London-based Bach Choir, David Willcocks.
For our centenary Sir David’s successor and former Winchester
Cathedral organist David Hill will direct all the current festival
singers accompanied by the Southern Sinfonia orchestra. To
accommodate all seven participating choirs and their audience
this special concert will take place in Basingstoke’s purpose-
built concert hall, the Anvil. A first-class team of experienced
soloists has been assembled for this celebratory performance
of Handel’s glorious and dramatic oratorio.
Ticket and box office details will be on the Anvil web-site in the
New Year. See