About the Choir
In 2010 the Parliament Choir celebrated its tenth anniversary. The first celebratory concert, given in the magnificent Westminster Hall, consisted of Mozart’s Requiem and a first performance of ‘Of all Persons and Estates’. The latter, a setting of the Parliament prayer, was specially commissioned for the occasion from our Chorus Master, Nick O’Neill. In further celebration the choir gave two performances of Britten's 'War Requiem'. The first of these took place in Coventry Cathedral on the eve of the 70th anniversary of the destruction by bombing of the cathedral. The second performance was on Wednesday November 17th in Westminster Cathedral, London.
The founding of the choir in 2000 arose from a discussion between Lord Filkin and Simon Over (then Director of Music at St Margaret’s Westminster) about the difficulty of belonging to a choir when working in Parliament. The need to work during evenings made it very hard to attend rehearsals. The choir now holds weekly rehearsals in St Mary Undercroft (the chapel within the Palace of Westminster) during parliamentary sessions, which allows MPs and Peers to leave rehearsals at the sound of the division bell in order to vote.
Since its inception the choir has sung a rich and varied repertoire ranging from Bach’s Christmas Oratorio to songs from the shows, carol concerts to Verdi’s Requiem.
Under the inspirational guidance of Musical Director Simon Over and Chorus Master Nick O’Neill the choir has developed and grown, singing to an increasingly high standard.