Cantar Community Choir is an exciting non-auditioning choir founded in 2015 by people with a passion for choral singing and a strong interest in both contemporary and classical choral works from around the globe. We are a non-profit making choir that performs for enjoyment at a range of community, charity, arts and music events, bringing stimulating and diverse choral singing to communities both locally and further afield. Profits from events are shared between two charities nominated each year by our members.
Our aim is to provide a wonderful singing experience for members in a friendly and welcoming environment. We enjoy singing a variety of musical genres and our core repertoire includes classical music, both church and secular, from all eras along with a range of popular, folk, gospel and jazz music, all sung in four to eight part harmony. We have extended this range to include more international contemporary music using folk, gospel and jazz traditions as influences.
Like all other choirs, we had to abandon live performances and rehearsals when restrictions were introduced in response to the pandemic. Due to the hard work and dedication of Katie Privett (our Musical Director from 2017 to 2021) the choir was able to remain active through Zoom rehearsals and we have retained our loyal membership of about 50 singers. We have now resumed in-person rehearsals and have recently appointed a new Musical Director, Eimear Hurley.
Prior to the pandemic we were holding 2 or 3 indoor concerts, one outdoor concert and a Christmas concert each year. Our ambition is to work together to enable the choir to resume a successful programme of events in 2022 recognising that we will need to rebuild confidence and get used to singing together again. As a first step we have an informal Christmas concert planned at the National Centre for Early Music on 17th December when we will invite family and friends to attend. Please keep an eye on our events page here or visit and ‘like’ our Facebook page to keep up to date with future activities. Alternatively, if you would like to go on our Mailing LIst to receive advance notice, please follow the relevant link below.
We have a diverse membership of around 50 singers of all ages and we meet on Monday evenings from 7.30pm to 9.30pm at The Priory Street Centre in York. We are currently looking to increase our Tenor and Bass sections so if you are interested do please get in touch. If you sing Soprano or Alto you are welcome to join our short waiting list, and we will contact you as spaces become available. The ability to read music is helpful but not essential, although you will need a good ear and the ability to sing in tune! For further information regarding membership please email us via the contact button below.
We are very fortunate to have a committed and dedicated musical team to lead the choir.
Our Musical Director is Eimear Hurley who joined us in October 2021. Eimear is studying for a PhD at the University of York on community music initiatives. Prior to this she worked for 3 years at the Royal Opera House as a Learning and Participation Officer. She has led youth choirs, a choir for homeless people and two choirs via Zoom as part of the Cork International Choral Festival. We are excited to be entering into a new phase of Cantar’s development under her leadership.
Katie Privett was Musical Director from 2017 to 2021 and has decided to take up a new position as Music Team Assistant. During her time as M.D. Katie raised the standards and confidence of the choir and created a fun environment for learning new pieces. She led Cantar in many successful concerts including sharing the platform with the nationally regarded Ian McMillan, the ‘Bard of Barnsley’, at Christmas concerts in 2017 and 2019 and showcasing widening repertoire in concerts at the University of York, St Michael Le Belfrey and the National Centre for Early Music.
Joe Christie is Cantar’s Accompanist and he teaches music and leads other singing groups in York. Joe was Assistant Accompanist for several years and has also sung in the choir.