Cantate Domino began in the early 1980s wth the main aim of providing liturgical music in churches where there was no choir or where the resident choir was unavailable. A group of singers met together in the lunch breaks at a weekend singing seminar in St. Austell, rehearsed some appropriate music and went on to sing Harvest Festival Evensong in the lovely rural church of St. Allen, near Truro. Our twentieth anniversary was celebrated at the same church, followed by a buffet supper at Kenwyn. The canticles (Stanford's inspired setting in G) had particular significance on that occasion, the soloist in the Magnificat being a young and gifted guest soprano, Phillipa Lusty, and the Nunc Dimittis sung very beautifully by the oldest choir member, the highly regarded John Taylour, who, with his wife Marjorie, had joined the choir in its earliest days. 2011 saw the thirtieth anniversary of the choir, and Harvest Evensong was again sung, on the Sunday nearest to the actual anniversary, this time in the Parish Church of St. Wyllow, Lanteglos-by-Fowey. The service included the first performance of a setting of the Preces, Versicles and Responses composed by our Director.
Over the years we have provided service music in churches throughout most of Cornwall, from Morwenstow in the north-east to St.Buryan and St. Just in the south-west, Mullion in the south and Antony in the south east. There have been many performances in Truro Cathedral, and a particularly memorable one in Wells Cathedral when we took part in the Keskedh Kernow celebrations in 1997.
Regular commitments have included services in the Cornish language, notably on the Sunday nearest to St. Piran's day and the Sunday following the Gorsedd (our Director, a Cornish Bard, has for many years held the honorary title of Gorsedd Organist, and in 2007 was awarded the Cornwhylen Cross in recognition of her contribution to liturgical music) and an annual summer visit to the beautiful and atmospheric church at Morvah.
Whilst music in the liturgy is the main raison d'etre of the choir, we have performed in numerous concerts, both in Cornwall and further afield, and at weddings, funerals and memorial services. In January 2009 present and past members of the choir, together with singers from other choirs, had the honour to be invited to sing at the Memorial Service for Geoffrey Self, performing the anthem Cantate Domino which he had composed for the choir, and dedicated to our Director.
In the early days rehearsals were held in the houses of various choir members, until a regular venue became available at Kenwyn. We now rehearse in the Lostwithiel Community Centre on Fridays at 6 p.m. Additional rehearsals are arranged from time to time.