The Abbey Singers
Carlisle, UK
  [These web pages were last updated 25 February 2016]

Home (A)

Future Programme (B)

Recent Concerts (C)

Choir History (D)

Our Director (E)

Our Committee (F)

Partners & Sponsors (G)

Book Us (H)

Join  Us (I)

Contact Us  (J)

Past Concerts
            and Reviews

Support Us (L)

Andrew Seivewright,
            Our founder



The Abbey Singers form one of Cumbria's leading small choirs performing a wide variety of music throughout the county and more widely. Based in Carlisle we draw our membership of rather more than thirty singers from the city and the surrounding area. We are particularly renowned for the broad range of our repertoire, encompassing many musical genres and styles: sacred and secular, classical and popular, spanning choral music of six centuries with diversity from Bach to the Beatles.

Since our foundation in 1962 we have been at the forefront of Cumbrian musical life and have maintained consistently high artistic standards. We perform a capella, with organ or piano accompaniment or with professional orchestras. We also combine with other local or visiting choirs of a similar standard and with professional soloists to present larger scale works including the great choral masterpieces, giving local people the opportunity to hear superb interpretations of these without the need for travel to larger cities. Thanks to the high standard of our members' singing we do not often have to call upon the services of outside soloists. Click on the photo to see a larger image.

In 2012 we celebrated our Golden Jubilee with concerts at the Cathedral and St John's Keswick, where we performed, together with Carlisle Cantate children's choir, a new work The Cataract of Lodore specially commissioned by us from the distinguished Cumbrian composer Adrian Self. The year also marked the retirement of Jeremy Suter as Director and the appointment of our new director Jonathan Millican.

Since the Golden Jubilee, Jonathan has taken us through a musical adventure covering many wonderful works, some in conjunction with the Cathedral choir and Rural Choirs such as Bob Chilcott's Salisbury Vespers, some on our own such as Monteverdi's Christmas Vespers, Louis Vierne's astounding Messe Solennelle, Maurice Durufle's exquisitely moving Requiem and Karl Jenkins' gripping cry for the ending of war The Armed Man, whilst others are delightful miniatures like Eric Whitacre's Sleep and Gorecki's setting of the single word Amen. And on a different note, Gilbert & Sullivan The Gondoliers!Most recently, we supported the Tenor Russell "The Voice" Watson on his visit to the Sands Centre Carlisle in May 2015.

As Abbey Singers we promote our own concerts, participate in local festivals and welcome enquiries for concerts and for singing at private functions including weddings. We have a strong tradition of touring beyond our region both in the UK and abroad - in 2015 we will be singing for services in Bristol Cathedral. For more details of the choir's origins and history please visit our History page (D).


Saturday 16th July 2016 7.30pm at University of Cumbria Arts Theatre, Stanwix, Carlisle:

Gilbert & Sullivan: "The Pirates of Penzance":

A semi-staged performance

"Pirates" is one of the best-loved G&S productions, incoporating all the ingredients of hilarious misunderstandings and mistakes, good "baddies" (the pirates), and bumbling authority (the police and the Major-General), and the inevitable romantic interests in Frederick, Ruth and Mabel.

Frederick is a pirate apprentice and the opera tracks his path from the end of his indenture and move from wanting to destroy the pirates through the realisation that they are not actually bad, to helping them overcome the reason they never manage to rob anyone.

Frederick was born on February 29th of a leap year, and this also brings amusement to the proceedings with the pompous Major-General.

Come along to the Arts Theatre on Brampton Road on 16th July and enjoy a fun-filled evening of mishaps, confusion and the inevitable "happy ever after" ending!

See (B) for details of our forthcoming concerts

See (C) for details & reviews of the most recent concerts

See (K) for reviews of our previous performances

"...Howells’ "St. Pauls" Magnificat was movingly performed with excellent ensemble during tempo changes. It was good to see attention by singers to the director, so important in this music; this was evident throughout the concert..."

Feast of Mary, Carlisle, December 2014

“…a thought-provoking evening with much fine music-making…”
In Memory of the 1st World War, Keswick, July 2014

…music sounded fresh and original… a stunning choral recital…Abbey Singers excelled themselves in this concert, filling the building with a subtle blend of sound, speaking to the audience as only vocal music can, communicating their joy in singing…”
Christmas Concert, Lanercost Priory, December 2008

. 2016 The Abbey Singers - Registered Charity No: 506991