West Gallery Music Association
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Study, revive and enjoy
the Sacred Music of the
Georgian Era

Village Choir

The West Gallery Music Association is a charity. Established in 1990 as an association of singers, instrumentalists and scholars, it became a charity in 2017.

The Association was started by Gordon Ashman and Dave Townsend, two of a network of researchers with an interest in the sacred and secular music and dance of the men and women who performed from the west galleries of parish churches, in chapels, and around the towns and villages of England during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Although our interests mainly centre on this period and form of music in the United Kingdom, we are also interested in many aspects of the history and popular culture of the English-speaking world which have influenced or been influenced by our musical and singing traditions. Since 1990 research has gathered momentum gaining respect in academic circles.

The Association has staged many highly successful workshop, study and performance events, and members have appeared on national and local television and radio. Many offshoot performing groups have been formed around the country and there are presently over 400 members. Abroad, we have active members in Australia and the United States, where immigrants developed their own traditions based on knowledge from their Motherland, an illustration of how traditions are carried with people when they emigrate.

Picture: The Village Choir by Thomas Webster (1800-1886)
The original picture now hangs in the Victoria and Albert Museum as part of the Sheepshanks Collection. Copies can be obtained from the V & A.

©The West Gallery Music Association is a Charitable Incorporated Organisation No. 1171664