The Occam Singers

We are pleased to sing from a wide repertoire, including unaccompanied fifteenth century church music and madrigals, familiar choral works and twenty-first century pieces. Our annual season includes full-scale concerts with professional orchestras as well as smaller-scale performances, sometimes a capella. Some works we have performed:

  • Bach: Mass in B Minor, Singet Dem Herrn and Jesu, Meine Freude
  • Bruckner: E Minor Mass and Ecce Sacerdos
  • Howells: Requiem
  • Mozart: Coronation Mass, Solemn Vespers and Requiem
  • O’Neill: Music (a poem by Percy Shelley)
  • Purcell: The Bell Anthem, Ode to St Cecilia and Funeral Sentences
  • Ockeghem: Missa Prolationum
  • Schubert: Mass in G

Our rehearsals and concerts are held in the Guildford area and we are always pleased to welcome new members. Singers have a wide range of musical backgrounds and ‘day jobs’ and a hallmark of our choir is the importance placed on friendship and fun.

We have sung at many venues and events across South East England and have sung services at some wonderful cathedrals further afield. We employ a professional Music Director; David Gibson who has worked extensively with some of the UK's leading choirs and orchestras. We undertake regular vocal training workshops engaging the services of professional vocal trainers. Between 1998 and 2013 we also worked with composer Nicholas O’Neill as our associate music director, from whom we commissioned several choral pieces.

Our concerts and events benefit local and national charities; since 1982 the Occam Singers has raised over £100,000. Much of the Occam Singers’ fundraising success reflects the generosity of our sponsors, of our very supportive Friends, and of course of our concert audiences.

The Occam Singers can be booked to sing for your special occasion; weddings, civil ceremonies, funerals and corporate functions.

choir at St Nicks

Become a Friend of the Occam Singers.

The costs of putting on concerts are ever-increasing and we need some help. Please support us by becoming an Occam Friend with an annual donation of at least £25 per year and we’ll keep you in touch with what’s happening on and off stage. This will help us to continue to provide good music for you, and you get cheaper tickets too, as well as a complimentary concert programme and reserved seats. If you would like to become a Friend of the Occam Singers, or to find out more about the benefits of being a Friend, please click on the Contacts tab.

Patron's Message.

For sixteen years it has been my joy and privilege to be Patron of The Occam Singers. I attend most concerts and depart delighted that I have been present. David Gibson and until recently, Nick O’Neill, exact high standards of singing from the choir and the sound they provide is unique. Not only do they strive for perfection but their repertoire is, while mainly Baroque, quite eclectic and everyone is challenged by the discovery of unusual or seldom-performed works. The camaraderie between the choir members has always been a feature. Not only do they get along well socially and the fact that they relish their singing and do it for charity (with all the behind-the scenes tasks being done voluntarily by members) means a spirit of benevolence prevails. May it continue with full hearts and voices!

Lady Lingfield
April 2013

Our History

The Occam Singers trace their roots back to 1980, when an enthusiastic group of friends formed " a small ad hoc chamber group, to sing at weddings and charity events". From these modest beginnings, the choir's reputation spread, and now the Occam Singers regularly promote full-scale concerts of choral music with professional orchestras, as well as continuing to enjoy giving smaller-scale performances.

The choir takes its name from the Surrey village of Ockham, where many of its earlier performances took place. Ockham is the birthplace of the renowned mediaeval philosopher, William of Occam, best remembered for Occam's Razor, the philosophical principle which may be paraphrased as "don't overcomplicate" - a tenet which the choir endorses.

From its inception, the choir has aimed to raise money for local and national charities, including The St John Ambulance, Guildford Breast Cancer Appeal, local hospices, The Rainbow Trust and many others. In 1990 its impressive London debut raised almost £7,000 for Medical Aid for Free Romania, and in recognition of the £15,000 raised at a concert in May 1997, the St Luke's Cancer Appeal placed a plaque outside one of its new examination rooms to record the contribution of The Occam Singers. Since 1996, a Christmas concert has raised money every year for the Mayor of Guildford's Distress Fund. Since 1982, the Occam Singers has contributed nearly £100,000 to local and national charities and fund raising continues to be an important part of our programme.

To mark the millennium, the choir commissioned In Tenebris II from Nicholas O'Neill, which had its premiere performance in Guildford and which can be heard on the choir's CD recording.

On the occasion of our 25th Anniversary in 2005 we were delighted to welcome Patricia Rozario who gave an inspirational performance of Tavener's Lament of the Mother of God.

Since 2005, The Occam Singers has gone from strength to strength, extending and varying the repertoire and continuing to push the standard of singing ever higher. Despite difficult economic times, audiences have been steadily increasing, which is testament to the choir and its Musical directors and their commitment to maintaining and developing the choral chamber music tradition for the enjoyment of future generations