The year 1962 marked the beginning of a new era for the St. George’s Cathedral, in that the first Youth Fellowship was formed. Time and again the need for a singing group in the fellowship was felt. And so, a few members formed a group in 1963 to render spiritual and gospel songs before each Bible Study session. This was the humble origin of the present St.George’s Cathedral Men’s Chorus with Raj Samuel as its leader.
The Choir gained popularity and soon established as one of the top Choirs in Chennai and as an organised group of selected voices with emphasis on tonal quality and musical sensitivity. Invitations to perform came from the British Council, Max Mueller Bhavan, USIS, Russian Consulate, Alliance Francaise; also, from places like Vellore, Bangalore (1975, 1989 & 2006), Kodaikanal (1976 & 1982), Hyderabad (1989) and Pondicherry (2001), for their fund-raising programmes.
The Choir augmented by ladies’ voices and orchestral accompaniment has rendered complete works such as Haydn’s Creations” (1984), Handel’s Messiah”
(1992 & 1993), Vivaldi’s “Gloria” (1986), Vivaldi’s “Beatus Vir”, Monteverdi’s Beatus Vir”, Vaughan Williams “Fantasia on Christmas Carols”, Byrd’s “Mass for 3 and 4 voices” and Weber’s “Mass in G Major” (2003).
Over the years Cathedral Men’s Chorus has introduced some of the works, not usually performed in the city, viz Cherubini’s
Requiem in D Minor” a challenging work for male voices (2000). In 1997, they were privileged to have Diana
Crockford from UK, who rendered Brahm’s ‘Alto Rhapsody’ with Men’s Chorus. Anne Dunbar (Oboe) and Jenni Meade
(Double Bass) from UK were guest performers in the Choir’s 2001 concert. In 2002, Claudia Heberlein Johnson, a
German organist gave a stirring performance on the Pipe Organ and accompanied the Men’s Chorus.
Mr. Benny Samuel
Hon. Music Director