About Us

 Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, no Cumbria Rural Choirs concert took place during 2021. The final concert under the Cumbria Rural Choirs’ name took place in March 2022.

The Trustees used the forced break from our normal activities to re-orientate the organisation. Although our official, Registered Charity name of Cumbria Rural Choirs remains, we have adopted a new working name, Cumbria Singers, for our concerts, rehearsals and other activities. This name will be used from late May 2022, with a first major concert planned for 2023.

We will continue to welcome singers of all ages and levels of experience from across Cumbria and beyond. Our ambition is to perform an annual concert where the programme primarily consists of large-scale choral works, led by a professional conductor and accompanied by professional musicians. This will provide participants with the opportunity to enjoy an experience which smaller choirs, with greater financial constraints and smaller numbers, are unlikely to be able to offer. Where circumstances allow, the annual concert will be performed in a high-profile venue in Cumbria with the capacity to accommodate a large choir, orchestra and accompanying singers.

The choir will be led, through a combination of face-to-face rehearsals and e-based tuition (available on-line for practising between rehearsals), by a highly-experienced Music Director, combining the roles of ‘Chorus Director’ and ‘Concert Conductor’. The Music Director will be a professional conductor of national or international renown, and the person appointed to this role is likely to change each year.

Most rehearsals will take place on Saturdays as full-day workshops, divided into morning and afternoon sessions. At least four of these will take place between September to April/May. Occasionally, evening rehearsals may be necessary, but these will usually only take place just before the concert.

Cumbria Singers will strengthen the links which already exist and increase its communication networks with other choirs, arts venues and cultural groups across the region. This will enable Cumbria Singers to regularly ‘signpost’ its members to other musical events taking place across Cumbria, recruit members and publicise its activities.

As opportunities arise, Cumbria Singers will work collaboratively with other organisations to enable its members to have opportunities to participate in innovative community-based projects co-ordinated by Cumbria Singers or other cultural groups.

We are pleased to announce that Cumbria Singers’ first Music Director and Conductor, for the season September 2022 to May 2023, is to be Andrew Padmore.



Why not become a member of Cumbria Singers, joining in our rehearsals and participating in our concerts? There are also other ways in which you can show your support for our activities, for example as a Friend of Cumbria Singers, which will provide you with regular updates and entitle you to priority bookings.

We’d love to hear from you - please use our contact form.


  • Lady Cressida Inglewood


  • Anna Clark
  • Ian Hare
  • Eileen Dunning OBE
  • Mark Duthie, Director of Music, Carlisle Cathedral
  • The Rt. Rev. James Newcombe, Bishop of Carlisle
  • Dr. Andrew Padmore, Choral & Orchestral Conductor


  • Eileen Dunning
  • David and Margaret Ferriby
  • Lady Inglewood
  • Lord and Lady Judd
  • Margaret and John Rigg
  • Anna Clark
  • Bendles Solicitors LLP

Our Sponsors

We are grateful for the support and sponsorship received from the following organisations:

We are very grateful for the generous legacy donation by Evelyn Dover, a member of the Cumbria Rural Choirs for many years, who sadly died in October 2019. Such gifts are invaluable in supporting our ongoing activities.

Born in the Festival of Britain

Cumbria Singers was born out of the success of Cumbria Rural Choirs.

Cumbria Rural Choirs logo

The first concert of the Cumbria Rural Choirs was given in 1951 at the Pavillion in Keswick, as part of the North Lakeland Festival of Britain celebrations, with a performance that included Act II of Orpheus by Gluck. The orchestra then, and on many future occasions, was the Lemare Orchestra; the first conductor, Cyril Gell.

Cumbria Rural Choirs continued to attract well-known conductors and choral specialists, including, in recent years, John Butt, Andrew Padmore, Bob Chilcott, Simon Halsey, Nigel Perrin and Stephen Cleobury. The concerts have brought to Cumbria some outstanding musicians, including the British Sinfonietta and Manchester Camerata, to provide orchestral accompaniment.