Recent Events


4th May 2019

Ringers' Razzle

Henlow Parish Hall
66 High Street
SG16 6AT

We were delighted to provide the entertainment for a commemoration of the Henlow bell ringers' arrest for riotous assembly! One evening 200 years ago, in their cups, they tried to break into St Mary's Church; not to steal anything but just to ring the bells! They narrowly avoided transportation to Australia! Their present day counterparts celebrated with a beer and curry evening. A maximum capacity audience joined in what was an unusual programme for us, being entirely secular. They sang with us the drinking songs, catches and glees that their predecessors might have known and we concluded with ‘A Loyal Song’ or ‘God Save Great George, our King!’


16th March 2019


St. Bartholomew's Church
Great Gransden


Our concert included pieces from a unique specimen of a book of music by the composer William Tans'ur (1706 - 1783) which was found at the church in recent times. The music is plate-engraved with the pages of hymn text type-set.
We lovingly transcribed these into modern form from which we sang and played as the church band of St Bartholomew's would have in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.


12th January 2019

January Revels

Brickhill Community Centre Upper Hall
Avon Drive
Bedford MK41 7AF

BGQ at January Revels

A Christmas party with supper, dancing, carol singing and entertainment spots in conjunction with Bedford Early Dance & Music.

Dance Display

6th December 2018

'Village Carols'

The White Horse
84 Newnham Ave
MK41 9PX

BGQ at the White Horse

When our music disappeared from the churches the carols lived on in some public houses in the north of England where they are still sung at Christmas today. We introduced them in Bedford at this informal 'Village Carols' event where we played and sang the music as our forefathers did in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.

BGQ at The White Horse

29th September 2018


Abington Avenue United Reformed Church
Abington Avenue
NN1 4QA.

The strong voices and talented instrumentalists of the Northampton and District Organists' Association, along with friends from local choirs and churches, gathered to hear about and try West Gallery Music. We sang and played pieces by local composers such as Thomas Jarman, the journeyman tailor of Clipston, Northants, and William Randall of Wellingborough. With Violins, flagelettes, recorders, Ophicleïde, and Serpent, the organ lid remained firmly closed all afternoon. Thanks to NDAO President Mark Gibson (seen introducing Ken), and members, for a most enjoyable afternoon of music!

Northampton Workshop

22nd September 2018

Harvest Concert

St. Neots United Reformed Church
High Street
Tebbutts Rd
St Neots
PE19 1BN

A return visit to give a harvest concert which used the works of composers William Gresham and William Randall from around this area, and, among others, Dutchman Peter Hellendaal who was popular locally. During the West Gallery period the harvest season was celebrated more in the barn than the church and our programme included secular pieces. The poems of John Clare and writings of William Cobbett completed our portrayal of a bygone harvest season.  

Here's what they said


30th June 2018

Workshop and Concert

Friends of St Mary's Church
CB23 7ED

Comberton Workshop

A workshop day of music familiar to the people of Comberton during the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. Sixty-five singers and instrumentalists including nine local people and WGMA members from eight counties worked on pieces which would have been played for church services and for village social occasions. Instruments included violins, viola, cello, violone, clarinets, recorders, flute, Cor Anglais, flagelettes, bassoon and sackbut. The day's work was presented to an audience in an early evening concert and the wonderful sound was met with enthusiastic approval. Here's what they said
Picture: guest conductor, Ros Clements Photograph Matthew Jennings


2nd June 2018


St James' Church
Church Street
Hemingford Grey
PE28 9DF


BGQ at Hemingford Grey

Ken on ophicleide

The beautiful St James’ Church on the bank of the River Great Ouse was a lovely setting for our concert which was hosted by the church in conjunction with Hemlocs, the local history society. We were fortunate to find lots of local historical information which we interwove with pieces from the church’s own music books from the early 1800s which have survived in the county archives of the historical county of Huntingdonshire. Here's what they said

Photographs Brian Burton

13th January 2018

A Brontë Family Party

Brickhill Community Centre Upper Hall
Avon Drive
Bedford MK41 7AF

Dancers ready to begin

A Christmas party on the Brontë theme with supper, dancing, carol singing and entertainment spots by Bedford Early Dance & Music and Bedford Gallery Quire. A world of dance and song inspired by the novels of Anne, Charlotte and Emily Brontë, and the musical treasures of Branwell's flute book.

Dancing at Bronte Party

9th December 2017

Roxton Congregational Church
High Street
MK44 3EB

Sally & Ken Our concert in the beautiful thatched chapel at Roxton included an instrumental line up of bassoon (left) serpent, ophicleïde, fiddle, sackbutt, and clarinet (below, left to right). Amusing, sad and rousing Christmas readings and poems linked our musical pieces. Here's what they said
Roxton Concert

14th October 2017

St Andrew's Church
High Street
PE28 0BF

Bedford Gallery Quire

A performance of music that would have been heard in rural Huntingdonshire in the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries.

Bedford Gallery Quire

17th June 2017

Guyhirn Chapel
PE13 4EQ

Guyhirn Inside

'A Puritan Presence in the Fens' was a workshop day for singers and instrumentalists at the unique Guyhirn Chapel, built during the Commonwealth period. Music ranged from the metrical psalms of the early dissenters to the exuberant and popular hymn tunes of nineteenth century non-conformist revivalists. Friends and visitors from afar helped to make this a very special day and kind weather completed our enjoyment.

Guyhirn Outside

13th May 2017

St Mary's Church
CB23 7ED

BGQ at Comberton

Our concert featured the music of local composers; music both sacred and secular, from the hymns and anthems heard in the area in the early nineteenth century to the four-part songs of the catch and glee clubs of the time. The organiser told us that our local research had 'brought our village history alive again'. See what they said

14th January 2017

Brickhill Community Centre
MK41 7AF

Fill the Foaming Cups Again

A dance and music celebration with Christmas cheer inspired by the poetry of John Clare. This joint event with Bedford Early Dance and Music included community singing and dancing as well as a performance by Bedford Gallery Quire, poetry and other varied entertainment spots not to mention a delicious supper.

17th September 2016

St Faith's Church
Woolgrove Rd

Thy Goodness Crowns the Year, a harvest concert in which we sang the music which was used in harvest celebrations as well as telling something of the practices and preparations: the slaughtering, baking and brewing that took place in readiness for what was one of the high points of the country year.

10th September 2016

St Mary's Church
Turvey Road
MK43 7LD

Our local research for this concert produced an extract from the Rev Rogers’ diary in which he mentions trimming his harvest cart and setting off with a man to play the fiddle and some of the local lads and maids to sing in celebration of the bringing in of the harvest. We sang pieces which would typically have been sung on these occasions. We found references to beer bought for the ‘ringers’ (not the singers, unfortunately) and, sadly, wine provided as pain relief for the terminally ill followed by the purchase of a coffin; this called for one of our beautiful funeral hymns.

7th May 2016

The Higgins Art Gallery & Museum
Castle Lane
MK40 3XD

A dance workshop and concert for a Georgian Day celebrating the Elizabeth Snitch Bedfordshire Map Sampler of 1779. We gave a display of Georgian dances which was very well received followed by a workshop in which members of the public joined with enthusiasm achieving very pleasing results. Our concert featured music composed for All Saints' Church, Southill where Elizabeth Snitch is buried. The day was rounded off by an interesting talk by Marion Moule on her Georgian collection. See what they said

Higgins Dance Workshop

5th December 2015

Church of SS Peter and Paul

We were approached by Wendy Page, a local historian who had researched this church and dug out information about its interesting history. Our concert put the musical meat on the bone and a fascinated audience heard Wendy’s account of the past life and fabric of the church which was interwoven with our examples of the music that might have been heard here in the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. The church has a resident bat which flew around up in the rafters throughout our run-through and performance. We were told this signified approval; he only comes out for particularly good concerts! See what they said.

17th October 2015

St James's Church

3rd October 2015

St Michael’s Church
St Albans

Two performances of a harvest concert which included a description of rural church music before the West Gallery period and the developments that came with it such as short fugues, time changes and short symphonies. We also recounted some of the country practises around the harvest which were already disappearing in 1823. Most West Gallery music was written by English local composers but in this concert we included a piece called Ightham, our first by Italian composer Venanzio Rauzzini (1746 – 1810). Rauzzini was that rare thing, a natural male soprano, who came to live in England in 1773 and seems to have been the inspiration for another of our pieces, Creation, adapted from an aria in Franz-Josef Haydn’s oratorio of that name, which we also included. Whilst West Gallery composers were mainly local artisans their work was often influenced by famous foreign composers such as Haydn and Handel. See what they said.