Festival Details

52nd Annual Summer Festival
Saturday 29th July 2018 – Exon Festival Chorus workshop day
Tuesday 31st July – Sunday 5th August 2018

More details will be published in Spring 2018.

Based in the beautiful 13th century parish church of St Eustachius in Tavistock, the 2017 Exon Singers Festival was the seventh under the direction of Conductor and Artistic Director Richard Wilberforce. 

Full details of the 51st Exon Singers Festival (1st – 6th August 2017) can be downloaded below.

Exon Singers Festival Information 2017

Conductor & Artistic Director:  Richard Wilberforce
Composer in Residence:             Toby Young

Guest Organ Recitalist:                Peter King
Guest Artists:                                  Katharine Fuge
                                                             Zeitgeist Chamber Orchestra

To book Festival tickets, please email tickets@exonsingers.org.uk. We will then confirm the reservation of your tickets, and give details of how to pay.

Tickets priced £12 (under 18s free) will be available at the door for all Festival evening concerts, or in advance from tickets@exonsingers.org.uk . Entry is free to the lunchtime recitals and Festival services, with retiring collection.

A Festival Ticket is available at £35.00 – this covers entry to all concerts, and a Festival Programme, giving a total saving of £28.00. (The Festival Ticket is available to Friends and Benefactors, and choir members’ Tavistock hosts at £30).

Come and Sing Workshop Day

The Festival will feature a Come and Sing Workshop Day, continuing the development of the Exon Festival Chorus on Saturday 29th July 2017 at Tavistock Parish Church, when the Exon Festival Chorus will prepare movements from Rachmaninov’s Vespers to sing at the Festival Opening Concert on Tuesday 1st August 2017. Details can be downloaded here.

The Exon Festival Chorus (Come and Sing 2017) workshop day is ticketed separately to the Festival concerts, as follows:

Workshop Day Tickets:

Workshop day 29th July—£15
Music hire—£3 or bring your own copy
Workshop day 29th July & Exon Festival Chorus concert on 1st August—£25

To book a place for the Exon Festival Chorus workshop day, please email comeandsing@exonsingers.org.uk 

Advance ticket sales:

Festival concert tickets and Festival Chorus Workshop Day tickets will be available for advance sale from Bookstop, 3 Market Street, Tavistock 01822 617244 (Monday-Saturday 09.00-17.30) or by sending an email to tickets@exonsingers.org.ukWe will then confirm the reservation of your tickets, and give details of how to pay.


All concerts and services, including the Exon Festival Chorus workshop day on Saturday 29th July 2017, are held at Tavistock Parish Church, including the recording of the Sequence for Epiphany, for BBC Radio 3, which will be recorded in Tavistock.

How to get there

Car: Via M5 or A303, follow signs for A30 then A386 for Tavistock.
Direct services to Exeter and Plymouth (with connecting bus services to Tavistock) from London Paddington & Waterloo, Cardiff, Bristol and Birmingham.


Richard Wilberforce

Artistic Director and Conductor

Richard Wilberforce closeup

Richard Wilberforce trained at St John’s College, Cambridge and the Royal College of Music, where he was the recipient of a number of awards. His career as a countertenor led him to sing solo roles in many of Europe’s principal opera houses, such as the Staatsoper unter den Linden, the Tiroler Landestheater Innsbruck, the Théâtre du Capitole and the Grand Théâtre de Provence, and with such conductors as René Jacobs, John Eliot Gardiner and Christian Curnyn.

Richard has just completed a 4 year term as Director of the Hallé Youth Choir, and continues to work with many of the country’s leading choirs, including, the Leeds Philharmonic Chorus as Chorus Master, the Exon Singers as Conductor and Artistic Director, and English Voices as Associate Artistic Director, as well as the London Philharmonic Choir, the BBC Symphony Chorus, and the Hallé Choir. He has previously directed the Choir of the American Cathedral in Paris, the Orlando Chamber Choir and Dorking Choral Society, whom he led to overall victory in the 2012 Leith Hill Music Festival. He has conducted at the Royal Albert Hall, the Bridgewater Hall and the Royal Festival Hall.

Richard has conducted the Hallé Orchestra, the Bristol Ensemble and the National Festival Orchestra. He chorus-mastered Richard Jones’s Olivier Award nominated production of Ariodante, conducted the off-stage chorus for Simon McBurney’s Die Zauberflöte, and conducted Flavio. Richard’s own compositions have been recorded and broadcast.

During this season Richard has conducted Shadwell Opera’s production of O’Regan’s Heart of Darkness in London, James Burton’s The Convergence of the Twain, and Rachmaninov’s Vespers. He also made his Royal Opera House debut singing in the chorus of Gluck’s Orphée.


2017 Programme


SATURDAY 29th JULY 11am-5pm

With Richard Wilberforce. Registration at 10.30am.

Come and sing movements from Rachmaninov’s Vespers with the Exon Singers on Tuesday 1st August (rehearsal at 2.30pm), with a fun and stimulating workshop on Saturday 29th July led by the Exon Singers’ Artistic Director and Accompanist. Or if you prefer you can just take part in the Workshop day.

Workshop & Exon Festival Chorus concert on 1st August—£25
Workshop day 29th July only—£15
Music hire—£3 or bring your own copy

For more information, email: comeandsing@exonsingers.org.uk

Tickets £12 (under 18s free)

Rachmaninov Vespers

Composed on the eve of the Revolution, the centenary of which falls this year, Rachmaninov’s sublime masterpiece of a cappella choral writing, the All-Night Vigil, encompasses every human emotion. Sung here by the Exon Singers and the Exon Festival Chorus.

Organ Recital by Peter King (Bath Abbey)
“He is a virtuoso of world class…he plays with such élan, and passion.” (BBC Radio 3 CD Review)
Peter King, Organist Emeritus of Bath Abbey, presents a varied programme of Mendelssohn, Saint-Saëns, Pescetti, Karg-Elert and Reubke.

Will Todd Mass in Blue
Toby Young Dancing Star
A contemporary setting of the Mass for jazz trio, solo soprano and virtuoso choir, and our Composer-in-Residence’s choral celebration of dance in all its forms – the simplicity of folk, the elegance of ballroom, and a nod to the urban nightclub.

Let the Bright Seraphim
A special treat to welcome back star soprano Katharine Fuge, singing Handel’s well-loved aria, and Bach’s virtuosic Cantata 51 Jauchzet Gott in allen Landen, complemented by Handel’s Water Music and Vivaldi’s Double Trumpet Concerto. With the Zeitgeist Chamber Orchestra, directed by Sam Poppleton.

Monteverdi Vespers
Monteverdi’s ground-breaking setting of Vespers, complete with trumpets and trombones, must have astonished its first audience in 1610.  Its power to thrill, calm and console is undiminished 400 years later. Sung by the Exon Singers, accompanied by the Zeitgeist Chamber Orchestra.

Admission free, retiring collection

Wednesday 2nd August – Song Recital
Thursday 3rd August – Song Recital
Friday 4th August – Instrumental Recital

Admission free, retiring collection

Tuesday 1st – Friday 4th August
Tuesday 1, Thursday 3 August—
Choir Compline
Wednesday 2, Friday 4 August—Congregational Compline

Friday 4th August, 4pm, doors close at 3.45pm
Recording for BBC Radio 3, to be broadcast in 2018.

Mass setting by Gabrieli, with instrumental accompaniment.