Our Gold 50th Anniversary 2023 – a very exciting year around the corner!

Join us in creating a wonderful year of music-making for Henley and our community! 


In 2023 Henley Choral Society celebrates our special 50th Anniversary with an exciting schedule of events, including the world premiere of a new composition specially commissioned by Henley Choral Society from internationally renowned British composer, Cecilia McDowall. Winner of a prestigious Ivor Novello Award, Cecilia McDowell is working with award-winning Oxford-based poet, Kate Wakeling, to produce a choral work inspired by themes of water and the river that runs through the heart of Henley-on-Thames.

You can get involved in this very special year:

  • Come to our concerts
  • Join us to sing (there are no auditions!)
  • Become a sponsor
  • Become a Gold Friend of Henley Choral Society

Read on to find out more about a super programme of music, concerts and workshops for 2023 and how you can become a Gold Friend.

In the meantime, if you would like to support us as a sponsor, please contact HCS Chair Tim Wilson [email protected] or Susan Edwards [email protected] to discuss the ways you would like to get involved.

Become a Gold Friend for 2023


Becoming a Gold Friend of Henley Choral Society in 2023 will be a great way of supporting music-making in your local community! As a Gold Friend, you will be:

  • Supporting the performance of a new, original work by two leading contemporary female artists, inspired by the river at the heart of Henley-on-Thames
  • Supporting our FREE membership scheme of Henley Choral Society for young people aged 18-30 and a range of FREE events for young people in the special 50th Anniversary year 2023 including singing Workshops designed to develop skills and encourage a love of singing
  • Enabling Henley Choral Society to bring superb-quality composers, musicians, and performers to our local community across an exciting range of concerts and Workshops in the special 50th Anniversary year 2023
  • Supporting the local community arts scene in Henley and the surrounding areas and the development of home-grown musical talent
  • Helping deliver ambitious performances and bringing the joy of choral music to a wider audience.

As a Gold Friend, you get the following very special benefits.

Benefits to Gold Friends  

  • Thanks and acknowledgement with your name as a Gold Friend in each programme for the entire Gold Anniversary Year 2023 including the Gala Concert and World Premiere on April 1st 2023
  • A complimentary Programme for the Gala Concert and World Premiere on April 1st 2023
  • Invitation for two people to the party before the Gala Concert and World Premiere on April 1st with Cecilia McDowell and librettist Kate Wakeling
  • A complimentary ticket to a talk on the inspiration and themes of the work by composer Cecilia McDowall and librettist Kate Wakeling
  • Two tickets to the Henley Choral Society Summer Party on Monday 26th June
  • A complimentary ticket to The Big Henley Sing Workshop
  • Advance notice of ticket sales for all concerts and events in the special 50th Anniversary year 2023.

Please follow this Gold Friend link to sign up as a Gold Friend. We will then be in touch with you to make sure you enjoy all the activities in this very special year. 

Thank you. Your support makes all the difference.


Gold 50th Anniversary Year – dates for your diary   


Talk by Composer Cecilia McDowall and Librettist Kate Wakeling  

d:two, Marketplace, Henley. Date and time tbc.

Cecilia McDowall and Kate Wakeling explore the themes and inspiration behind the new choral commission for HCS. An exclusive free event for HCS members, Gold Friends, and Gold Sponsors.

50th Anniversary Gala Concert and World Premiere

7.30pm Saturday 1st April 2023, St Mary’s, Henley

World premiere of Cecilia McDowall Commission in a concert including Vivaldi Gloria and Bach Mass in G Minor

Tickets £20.00 (under 18s £5.00)

Bob Chilcott Workshop

10.00am – 4.00pm Saturday 20th May 2023, St Mary’s, Henley

All singers welcome to this Workshop led by renowned composer and conductor, Bob Chilcott

Tickets £25.00 non-members including music hire

£15.00 members including music hire

(Under 30s free)

Summer Concert

7.30pm Saturday 24th June 2023, Christchurch Centre

Bob Chilcott Songs and Cries of London and A Little Jazz Mass

Tickets £20.00 under 18s £5.00

The Henley Big Sing

Saturday 14th October 2023, venue, timing, and tickets tbc

Our big community event – all over 18s welcome to come and sing a superb selection of popular pieces under our Musical Director, Richard Harker. Find your voice again!

The Henley Kids’ Big Sing

Saturday 14th October 2023, venue, timing, and tickets tbc

Our big community event for children! Everyone from age 7-17 welcome to have fun and gain confidence in singing contemporary songs with Henley Youth Choir Musical Director, Richard Harker.

Bach Christmas Oratorio

7.30pm Saturday 16th December 2023, St Mary’s, Henley

£22.00 under 18s £5.00

A special festive celebration to round off the Gold Anniversary Year.

Please check back to the website shortly for full details of all events in the year including tickets. We can’t wait to have you involved in a very special year of music-making for Henley and our community!