The choir was originally formed by a group of nurses at St Bartholomew’s Hospital conducted by Robert Anderson. The first performance, of Gilbert and Sullivan’s Trial by Jury, took place at the hospital in June 1965.
The choir started to grow and within a few years was giving performances in prestigious venues such as the Royal Festival Hall, Southwark Cathedral and Westminster City Hall. Barts Choir has continued to develop and is now an established part of the world of amateur choral singing in London.
Here are some of our highlights of the last 50 years:
- 1965: first performance of Handel's Messiah at St Bartholomew the Great
- 1973: a concert at St Paul's Cathedral to mark the 850th anniversary of the founding of St Bartholomew's Hospital
- 1975: Barts Choir's first performance at the Royal Albert Hall
- 1982: choir tour to Egypt with a performance of Alexander's Feast in the Ambassador's garden, Cairo
- 1985: Verdi's Requiem in Amsterdam
- 1987: Dream of Gerontius in Köln
- 1990: Mozart Mass in C Minor in Denmark
- 2000: Mahler's 'Symphony of a Thousand' at the Royal Albert Hall
- 2012: performed in the Olympic stadium at the Paralympic Opening Ceremony
- 2016: accompanied Boy George for Channel 4 programme Stand Up to Cancer
- 2018: contributed a small number of NHS staff's voices to a BBC Radio project entitled 'NHS Symphony', which was recently honoured with 2 radio awards.
- 2019: a group of Barts members participated in the project 'Sing for Shelter'. The single is available to purchase which raised funds for the charity, Shelter.