Choral Foundation

The St George’s Choral Foundation is a Registered Charity (1154537) set up in autumn 2013 to provide choral scholarships in the choir of Beckenham Parish Church, to benefit the choral scholars and the choir, congregation and community of St George’s.

 For singers interested in a choral scholarship:

  • St George’s is the main parish church of Beckenham, which lies at the south-east corner of Greater London, with fast travel links to Central London and easy access to rural Kent.
  • The Parish Church choir sings some 70 Sunday services a year at St George’s and a number of  weekday services.  Other commitments include broadcasts and recordings for the BBC, overseas tours and typically 20 services a year in Cathedrals.  Overseas tours have included New York, Washington, California, Ireland, Belgium, Latvia and Estonia.
  • The Parish Church choir sings some 70 Sunday services a year at St George’s and a number of weekday services.  Other commitments include broadcasts and recordings for the BBC, overseas tours and typically 20 services a year in Cathedrals.  Overseas tours have included New York, Washington, California, Ireland, Belgium, Latvia and Estonia.
  • The choir’s repertoire ranges widely from plainsong and Tudor polyphony through to nineteenth century and contemporary works; archive St George’s music lists are planned to be online shortly, and meanwhile are available to view separately.
  • The four manual organ incorporates much of the original 1887 Forster and Andrews pipe work; the specification may be viewed in The National Pipe Organ Register here

The Choral Foundation has six trustees:

  • Canon Derek Carpenter (Chairman) is a former Rector of St George’s Parish Church Beckenham and is now Chaplain to the Bishop of Tonbridge and Assistant Priest at St James The Great East Malling.
  • Paul Bonter (Treasurer) is a member of the St George’s choir, has worked for two charities, and is trustee of another charity related to young people.
  • Fr Jeremy Blunden is the Rector of St George’s Parish Church Beckenham.
  • Dr Harry Bramma is a former Director of the Royal School of Church Music and is now resident in the parish of St George’s Church Beckenham.
  • Joan Conway is a Reader at St George’s Parish Church, Beckenham and is Assistant Chaplain at Heythrop College, University of London.
  • Madeleine Venner is a founder of the St George’s Chamber Orchestra, a professional orchestra based at Beckenham Parish Church, and is a former Choral Director of the Hallé.
  • Nick Willmer (Secretary) is trustee of an annual children’s church music camp in Cumbria and has sung from time to time with the St George’s choir.

Friends of Cathedral Music 

The Choral Foundation greatly appreciates the generosity of over 60 Patrons and individual donors, together with the support of the Friends of Cathedral Music who have recently announced a grant of £25,000 to fund Choral Scholars in addition to the initial grant of £10,000 made when the St George’s Choral Foundation was set up.