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peterborough chamber choir

The Peterborough Chamber Choir was founded by the late Henk Kamminga in 1984 and has, from the start, concentrated largely on singing liturgical music.

Over the years the Choir has sung the weekend services in nearly all of England's great cathedrals, as far apart as Durham, Exeter, St. George's Chapel, Windsor, Truro and Carlisle. We are now embarking on singing in Cathedrals in Wales, The Isle of Man and the Republic of Ireland, as you will see from our schedule.

The Choir has been to France three times, twice visiting Peterborough's twin town, Bourges. The third visit was to the Abbaye de Valloires, followed by services and recitals in Abbeville, Amiens Cathedral and Notre-Dame de Paris.


Subsequently, a visit was made to two of the most famous cathedrals in The Netherlands, the St. Bavo Basilica and the St. Bavo 'Great Church' in Haarlem, where services and recitals were sung.


A tour of Belgium followed in 2004; in four days the Choir sang a Saturday Mass and Concert in Rupelmonde Church, Sunday morning Mass in Antwerp Cathedral, Evening Mass in Ypres Cathedral and performed at the daily Menin Gate Remembrance Ceremony.  Concerts followed in Brussels Cathedral and Basilica and St. Baaf Cathedral in Ghent.


The last visit to Europe was in 2016, when we sang in Utrecht. We sang Evensong and a recital at the Dom Church and Eucharist at St Catharina Cathedral.


A trip was planned to The Hague, but scuppered by the pandemic.


Since the pandemic and since Henk’s passing in 2022, we have continued with our visits to Cathedrals in the UK. John Wyatt is our new Director and Gary Sieling and Christopher Moore our organists. Gary or Christopher may direct should John be unavailable.

It is really good to sing as a member of the friendly PCC team: the choice of sacred music is varied and is enjoyably challenging. We need to be on our toes but we can relax as the organisation, directing and accompanying is smooth and professional. Michael, PCC member

An interview with two of our longest serving members can be found here, from our recent visit to Bradford Cathedral, February 2024

Henk Kamminga | Founder

peterborough chamber choir

The founding Conductor, the late Henk Kamminga (1938 - 2022), was a Dutch national who settled in Peterborough with his wife and family in 1972, after many years in the Far East. He founded the choir in 1984, having previously formed and conducted choirs in places as diverse as Eindhoven, Holland; Karachi, Pakistan; and Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. 

Founding member Mansell Duckett says: 'Having settled in Peterborough, Henk quickly appreciated the contribution being made by the legendary Dr Stanley Vann, then towards the end of his long tenure as Master of the Cathedral’s music. By analysing the techniques behind the production of Vann’s distinctive sound, and by championing much of his music, Henk crafted methodologies of his own going forward.

'Prominent was a mission to improve and develop the sight-reading skills of his own choir, even though his methods were occasionally beyond the comfort zones of some. A ping of the tuning fork, followed swiftly by the injunction: “Sing!” could be a tad disconcerting, and in the early days one or two quite distinguished local singers effectively fled at the first ping. But in the longer-term, the approach would pay dividends, enabling excursions into repertoire often well beyond the norm.


'Henk’s somewhat elastic attitude to time could sometimes seem exasperating. An insistence on perfecting some awkward corner, with rehearsal time for other repertoire running out rapidly, might well produce a few anxious glances at the clock. Any attempt to intervene so as to move things on a bit might result in some irascible rejoinder, such as: “if it was easy, I’d sing it myself”. This was all part of the fun of living dangerously, such as characterised the era.


'Such waspish aphorisms, coupled with a certain Dutch brusqueness which the uninitiated might sometimes construe as rudeness, notwithstanding, Henk successfully developed a group to which, for the most part, individuals remained loyal for many years, in some cases decades. They would come to appreciate his total commitment to running the whole show virtually single-handed for the best part of four decades, taking entire responsibility for programme content and results, thereby extending significantly their own choral experience and expertise.’

John Wyatt | Director

JOHN WYATT studied organ and piano at the Royal Academy of Music whilst also being assistant organist to Christopher Moore at St Augustine’s Kilburn. A few years later he became the Director of Music at St Augustine’s following Christopher’s footsteps!

After graduating John gained the Professional Certificate for Organ Playing from the RAM, the FRCO and PGCE from the Roehampton Institute. For many years he was Director of Music at Aldenham School in Elstree where the choirs frequently did trips to foreign lands such as St Peter’s Rome, Notre Dame, Orleans and Cologne cathedrals and several cathedrals and college chapels in this country. He was also Organist and Choirmaster at St James Church, Bushey in Hertfordshire.

He now conducts Harrow Philharmonic Choir and the St Peter’s Singers in Ely. He also accompanies several singers and instrumentalists and plays the piano in various chamber groups. He is the organist for the St Alban’s Chorale and plays occasionally for the Parish Singers at St. Alban’s Cathedral.

peterborough chamber choir

Gary Sieling | Organist

peterborough chamber choir

GARY SIELING was born in Bedfordshire and educated at Dunstable Grammar School. He read for his BMus degree at the University of London, Goldsmiths’ College and while a student played for the debut of the London Cantata Choir with whom he is still associated.


He studied organ with Peter Moorse, Nicholas Danby at the Royal College of Music, Dr Peter le Huray at St Catherine’s College Cambridge, and Jane Parker-Smith.


He was awarded FRCO in 1981 and MA in Performance from Anglia Ruskin University in 1997, studying organ with Nicholas Kynaston at Caius College Cambridge.

He was organist of Dunstable Priory and then Assistant Master of Music at Peterborough Cathedral. During his time there he was Conductor of the Peterborough Philharmonic Society, Director of the St Peter’s Singers, and Founder and Associate Conductor of the City of Peterborough Symphony Orchestra. He also taught organ and piano at Oundle and Stamford Schools. He played for the Cathedral Choir on two tours of America in addition to regular TV and radio broadcasts and recordings.


After 6 years in London as Director of Music at Bromley Parish Church and All Saints Blackheath, Gary has now returned to live in Bedford and, as a Bedfordshire Freemason, has been appointed Provincial Grand Organist for Bedfordshire. He is the Founder and Director of the chamber choir ‘FineChants’ which has recently sung at Brussels, Cologne and St Paul’s Cathedrals. He works as a freelance organist, harpsichordist, conductor, adjudicator, and examiner for the Royal College of Organists. He spent the summers of 2009 and 2011 as the Music Adjudicator to the Sri Lanka Performing Arts Festival.


His CD recordings include one for Priory Records from Chelmsford Cathedral featuring the major organ works of Stanley Vann, sometime organist of Peterborough Cathedral, and the ‘Kenneth Leighton Memorial Album’ which Gary compiled and published. Gary has also recorded a CD of harpsichord and organ music at Bromley Parish Church. Organ concert venues in this country include St Paul’s, Canterbury and Westminster Cathedrals, King’s College Cambridge and Westminster Abbey. He has made ten international concert tours visiting Denmark, Germany, Italy and USA.


Gary likes to relax by travelling, exploring old churches, and messing about on the English waterways on his narrowboat.

Christopher Moore | Organist

CHRISTOPHER MOORE was born in Sussex and educated in Hertfordshire and at Durham University, where he graduated BA (with Honours) in Music.


After a year’s further study at the College of St Nicolas, Addington Palace (Royal School of Church Music) he worked in schools and churches in Dorset, London and Sussex before moving to Cambridge in 1986 to take up the post of Director of Music at Great St Mary’s, later moving to the Church of Our Lady and the English Martyrs.

peterborough chamber choir

In 1998 he moved to Sudbury, Suffolk, and then to London where he was Acting Organist to the Honourable Society of Lincoln’s Inn. In 2004 he moved to South Africa to be Director of Music at the Cathedral of St Michael and St George, Grahamstown, but later returned to the UK to take up the post of Director of Music at St Michael and All Angels, Croydon.


For thirty years he was an examiner for the ABRSM and for twenty years a director of the English Hymnal Company. For two years he was Assistant Director of Music at St Mary-le-Tower in Ipswich and for five the conductor of the Bury Friendly Orchestra and the Tudor Rose Singers.


Christopher now lives in Clare, Suffolk, and is busy as pianist, organist, harpsichordist, accompanist and teacher as well as being involved in many aspects of musical life both in this district and further afield. His last church post was Choir Director at St Mary’s church  in Bury St Edmunds before retiring in 2018.


He is pianist of the Sokolowski Trio and the Linnet Ensemble.


He studied the organ with Martin Neary at St Margaret’s Westminster, Conrad Eden at Durham Cathedral and Timothy Farrell at Addington Palace.


He is a Fellow of the Royal College of Organists and of Trinity College London, and an honorary Fellow of the Guild of Church Musicians. He also holds the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Diploma in Church Music.

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