About Us

Parceval-Hall1Cantores salicium is a chamber choir based in the Yorkshire Dales. From its modest start in 2007 when a group of people sang unaccompanied choral works around the kitchen table, the choir has developed into an established group of twenty members.

Based in Long Preston, but drawing on singers from the surrounding area, we give at least two concerts each year in the Craven area of the Yorkshire Dales, a Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols each Christmas, and a special service of music and readings for Lent in the beautiful Priory Church at Bolton Abbey. Our first concert was in St Mary’s Church in Long Preston on 30th May 2009, the eve of the bi-centenary of the death of Josef Haydn. The programme, entitled ‘A Tribute to Josef Haydn’, celebrated this anniversary as well as anniversaries for Purcell, Handel and Mendelssohn and the concert was extremely well attended and enthusiastically received, raising more than £800 for the start of a project to restore the Capronnier stained glass in the church.

Our steadily increasing repertoire includes music by Purcell, Handel, Bach, Byrd, Tallis, Gibbons, Palestrina, Victoria, Monteverdi, Britten, Sanders, Gowers, Walton, O’Neil, Mozart and Haydn. We have already performed three of Haydn’s smaller masses (see Past Performances). Future projects include a performance of Bach’s Mass in B minor. This monumental work is well-suited to a small choir like Cantores salicium, and for this project we will be joined by a small number of invited singers. Our first ‘study day’ for this was held in January 2013 and was an exhilarating and rewarding experience.

Most of our concerts to date have raised money for local charities. If you would like us to do a concert to raise funds for a charity, local, national or international, please contact us to discuss the possibilities.

We are often asked about the name of the choir. The literal meaning of Cantores salicium is ‘Singers of the willows’, which very loosely can be interpreted as ‘Willowwarblers’. But the Latin name for this bird is ‘Phylloscopus trochilus’ and the choir’s name was chosen to represent Lindy’s favourite garden bird, whose melodious song, heard in April each year, is a welcome herald of spring.

Singing with Cantores Salicium

Cantores Salicium is an auditioned amateur chamber choir of 20 – 24 voices (SATB). Numbers vary slightly according to repertoire for a particular event. The choir aims for a very high standard of singing, with clarity and fullness of tone and clear words in stylish and expressive performances. In preparing for concerts we work hard and have a lot of fun doing so.

Anyone wishing to audition for the choir should be able to demonstrate an ability to sing in tune and to blend well with other voices as well as good sight reading and listening skills. Experience of singing in a small group is a further useful asset. Auditions can take place at any time of the year.

If you are interested in singing with us and you think you meet the above criteria please contact us by using the ‘contact us’ form (here) with your name, voice part and a short outline of your singing and choral experience. Please put ‘Audition’ as the subject heading.

Following an audition, the decision as to suitability rests with the musical director.

We look forward to hearing from you.

Can we sing for you?

Cantores Salicium is happy to receive requests for the choir or a smaller group to sing at your events, such as weddings, anniversaries and church services.  If you would like to discuss this with us, please use the 'contact us' form outlining the basic details of the event (date, time, venue). We look forward to hearing from you.


We are very grateful to the following people for their help in making this website and in ongoing support for the choir:

  • Martin D Parr - for his kind permisssion in letting us use his photograph of a Willow Warbler (Phylloscopus trochilus).
  • Elizabeth Judson - for creating the Willow Warbler logo.
  • Steve Finch for Cave Rescue / Choir / Giggleswich Chapel photographs. www.stevefinchphotography.co.uk.
  • Stephen Garnett/Craven District Council for Arts & Culture Award ceremony photographs.
  • Jo Wulf, Alan Hemsworth & Phil Simnett for all other photographs.
  • John Bruce, Web Designer of Webbyfoot - for invaluable help in linking our domain name to this WordPress site and for hosting the site: email john@webbyfoot.com.
  • This website has been built by Phil Simnett in WordPress using the 'Vantage' Theme.
  • Cantores salicium is also grateful for generous donations towards music purchase and hire from The Craven Trust in 2009 and from AFAR Exhibition Services Ltd in 2010, 2011 and 2013.
  • The choir is also grateful for the Ward Member Grant from Craven District Council which supported our June and July 2018 concerts.