About Us

Bedford Gallery Quire is a community group of singers and instrumentalists performing three and four part musical pieces from the West Gallery period, around 1700 to 1850.  Following a workshop singing day in 2003 given by founder, Ken Baddley, enthusiastic participants were keen to continue and Bedford Gallery Quire was born.

In the conventional voice parts of Soprano, Alto, Tenor and Bass with instruments doubling the vocal lines, we perform in Bedfordshire and the neighbouring counties in costume representing what might have been worn by our counterparts in Bedford around 1810—1830.  We have no religious affiliation and members are of all faiths and none.

In Bedford there was a church band and choir in the Three Ridges Chapel which is now called the Bunyan Meeting Free Church.  They left a legacy of manuscripts of the metrical psalms, hymns, anthems, and carols which they performed.  This, together with other Bedfordshire collections, forms the core of our repertoire but also included are some West Gallery pieces from other parts of the country and music from the shape-note tradition of North America.

We have been fortunate to have been awarded a grant from The National Lottery through Awards for All to pursue our aim of bringing this forgotten music back to the local communities of Bedfordshire and the surrounding area. Here are some of the gratifying things that have been said about us.

Our performances have included concerts for churches, historical societies, museums and libraries, workshops, civic and commercial events.  We sometimes do a tour of churches or chapels visiting around four over the course of a day and singing for an hour or so in each.  Though guests are welcome this event is principally for our own pleasure, that is to say, for the joy of bringing the rich musical heritage of Bedford and the surrounding area back to where it originated.

 

Anniversary Workshop
Guyhirn Picnic
 Bedford Gallery Quire 2007 Church Tour
Higgins
Clockwise from top left 10th Anniversary Workshop 2013, picnic lunch during a workshop at Guyhirn Chapel 2017, joined by friends and guests from other quires, enjoying a tour of some of Bedfordshire's interesting churches 2007, in performance at The Higgins Art Gallery & Museum 2016 Photo: Adrian Fett.
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