The choir was founded in 2011 by Music Director, Benedict Preece. The name of the choir was inspired by the Latin word for charity, ‘Caritas’, and the group has maintained a charitable ethos since its formation, raising thousands of pounds for various charities, good causes and churches.
Members are drawn from around East Kent and feature both professional singers and advanced non-professional singers. The ensemble has become an important part of the cultural landscape of Canterbury. In 2016 the choir gave 13 concerts and sang 25 cathedral services.
Canterbury Cathedral dominates the city and it’s a great privilege to be invited to support their worship. In 2016, the Right Reverend Dr. Robert Willis agreed to be an Honorary Patron of the choir.
Stephen Portman, a retired International Conductor and mentor to our Music Director, is our other Honorary Patron. He studied with the esteemed George Szell and Pierre Monteux and it’s a wonderful privilege for the choir to have Stephen’s continuing support of our activities.
Another exciting feature about Caritas is our international collaborations. We enjoy a wonderful relationship with Haga Motettkör (Sweden), Cantica Sacra (Netherlands), Saint Mary’s Chamber Singers (USA), Lille Cathedral (France) and are looking forward to collaborating with Corps d’Espirit Kammerkor Rotterdam (Netherlands) this year. In October the choir was invited to sing at the Inauguration of an Art Exhibition featuring William Morris at the Juan March Foundation, Madrid.
2017 was an exciting year for the choir, not only for the international collaborations listed above but also for the inaugural Young Composer Competition, where we welcomed David Conte to judge a number of short listed compositions in July. The winner was Sarah Cattley’s The Pardoner’s Tale.
The choir in just seven years has performed hundreds of works. Recent new works by Ola Gjeilo, Mikael Carlsson, Patrick O’Shea, David Conte, René Clausen and Benedict Preece have been well received by audiences.