The Steeple Aston Choral Society is a long established Village Society that began in the early 1980’s for singers of all abilities. We are a group of about 20 to 30 men and women who enjoy singing traditional choral works - everything from Vivaldi’s Gloria to a themed concert of ‘Music from the movies’ which included items from Shrek, James Bond and Breakfast at Tiffany’s. We have professional tenor Paul Badley as our director and Pianist/Organist Paul Herrington is deputy director and accompanist. With the two Pauls we have a terrific time at rehearsals with lots of laughs but lots of great singing as well. The tea break half way through gives us a chance to have a chat, socialise and get to know the other singers. We schedule three concerts per year at Christmas, spring and summer which are usually performed in either the Village Hall or in the village Church, depending on the music to be performed.
The Christmas concert is usually a traditional affair with Christmas Carols and audience participation as well as our chosen classical work. The choir also joins with people from the village to form an ad-hoc Church Choir to take part in the parish church Christmas carol service. The spring and summer concerts generally cover a much wider range of musical tastes. In the past we have performed Vivaldi’s Gloria, Handel’s Coronation Anthems, Captain Noah and his Floating Zoo by Joseph Horovitz, Jonah Man Jazz by Michael Hurd, a Movie Music themed concert and many more.
The choir meets for rehearsals in the village hall every Monday evening from 7:45pm to 9:45pm. Membership is open to all singers regardless of age and ability. It is not necessary to read music, only the ability to sing in tune is essential and we don’t require auditions to join.
How to join the choir
To join the choir simply turn up at Steeple Aston Village Hall for one of our rehearsals just before 7:45pm. It is best to try and come at the start of the term when we begin new music but you can join any time. If you would prefer, you can of course contact us beforehand, see the details below.
The choir meets for rehearsals in the village hall every Monday evening from 7:45pm to 9:45pm. Membership is open to all singers regardless of age or ability. It is not necessary to read music, only the ability to sing in tune is essential and we don’t require auditions to join. We are truly an all comers choir with no one being turned away.
The first two rehearsals you attend are free of charge and are your chance to try us out. After that you will be required to join as a member. Subscription fees are set annually and payable each term. The current membership fee is £40 per term. Members are encouraged to join for the whole year but you are welcome, as several members do, to drop in and out each term as your personal schedule dictates. For your first term we offer new members a special reduced rate of just £10 for 12 weeks of rehearsals!
Your membership fees pay for the hire of the Village hall, hire of concert venues, director and accompanist fees and hire of any soloists required for the concerts. Our only income is ticket sales for the concerts and membership fees.
Musical Director: Paul Badley
Paul has worked with some of the best vocal ensembles in the world such as The Monteverdi Choir; The Sixteen; The Tallis Scholars and The Gregorian Singers, singing in excess of 25 operatic roles ranging from Kurt Weill's "Seven Deadly Sins" to Tamino in Mozart's The Magic Flute.
Over his twenty five year career, Paul has toured the Middle and Far East singing Broadway repertoire; sung in session choirs for innumerable Hollywood films and has sung backing on crossover albums and pop discs for artists such as Seal, Bjork and Mike Oldfield.
Paul now divides his time between his family in Monmouth, teaching singing at Stowe School, Prior Park (Bath), Bromsgrove School and the Royal Welsh College of Music in Cardiff while still remaining an active professional tenor.
Deputy Director and accompanist: Paul Herrington
Paul studied piano and organ at the Royal Academy of Music and has been a Secondary School Head of Music, the full time Music Director at St Aldates Church Oxford, a Middle School Music teacher, Head of Electronic Keyboards for the Oxfordshire County Music service as well as undertaking private music teaching. He is currently the Oxford Representative for the London College of Music Exams.