Wimbledon Youth Choir

Rehearsals: Sundays 4-5:15pm at St Mary's Church

About us

Wimbledon Youth Choir was set up in September 2015 to give keen young singers in the Wimbledon area the chance to sing a wide variety of repertoire, centred on classical music and extending to gospel, jazz and pop arrangements, in a friendly and supportive atmosphere. Rehearsals take place in the beautiful and historic church of St Mary's, Wimbledon under the direction of the choir’s dynamic young conductor, Max Barley. WYC performs in St Mary's and other local churches, but also further afield, in venues across central London and the rest of the UK.

The 2016/17 season included a return visit of Ken Burton for more gospel music, participation in the Wimbledon International Music Festival, a performance at St Paul's Covent Garden, Part I of Messiah with professional instrumentalists and carol singing in December 2016, being part of a performance of Vaughan Williams' Sancta Civitas in Cadogan Hall in March 2017, and being the ripieno chorus in a performance of Bach’s St Matthew Passion at St Mary’s, Wimbledon, in April 2017.

Upcoming Events

Plans for 2017/18 include singing in the inaugural Wimbledon SingFest in October and performing Verdi’s Requiem in Southwark Cathedral with Eltham Choral Society, West Barnes Singers professional soloists and orchestra, in March 2018.

Messiah 1

Verdi Requiem

With Eltham Choral Society and West Barnes Singers
Southwark Cathedral, SE1 9DA

17 March Saturday

Listen here to our girls singing 'Lift Thine Eyes' from our Elijah concert in May.

How to join

WYC is for teenagers, university students and recent graduates.

Anyone is welcome to turn up to a given rehearsal without an audition. Following this, Max likes to hear people individually in a few vocal exercises to get a sense of voice and range.

We rehearse on Sundays from 4-5:15pm in St Mary’s Church, Wimbledon, SW19 7BP.

The WYC Experience

WYC's birth was inspired by the energy and enthusiasm of three sixth-form choral scholars at St Mary's. The choir is a friendly and positive environment, where we all want to have fun and work hard in order to be musically excellent.

Rehearsing on Sunday afternoons, WYC is separate from the busy school or working week, but complements and enhances singing in school and midweek choirs. University students are welcome to join in the holidays.

With singers from a large range of schools, new friendships are forged; the choir’s active social life is central to its musical success. WYC is fortunate to have access to the beautiful field in front of the church; indebted to a rich vicar of St Mary's in the nineteenth century, who bought it so as to live at a good distance from other residents! We are more inclusive these days, and WYC use the field for games of ultimate frisbee, and more!

WYC members work hard on an unusually wide range of SATB choral music: there is a clear place for Bach, just as much as Billy Joel - in fact, the two go hand in hand.

The focus in rehearsals is on musical education and development. Through the diverse repertoire, sight-reading, aural and musicianship skills are transformed.

For keen solo singers or accompanists, WYC provides a performance platform, with regular solo song sessions before choir rehearsals, including coaching from Max and others. This is ideal preparation for music exams, as well as auditions and university choral scholarship trials.

Whilst the choir itself is made up of young people, choir members also get the chance to work alongside experienced adult choral singers: on a regular basis in the Anglican service of Choral Evensong at St Mary's, and in oratorios with professional orchestras.


To grow and develop, WYC needs funding.

There are inevitably quite significant costs both now, at the start, and ongoing. It is the intention to keep them as low as possible, but money is needed for administration, musical direction, hire or purchase of music, promotion both in schools and elsewhere to encourage new recruits, visiting musicians for workshops and hire of musicians to support concerts, etc.

We have an active team involved in securing support from local businesses but it is very much hoped that individuals will also want to join in supporting this endeavour for young people. We are hoping that WYC will become a registered charity later in 2016 but one of the criteria for doing so is to show a certain level of income.

We have an active team involved in securing support from local businesses but it is very much hoped that individuals will also want to join in supporting this endeavour for young people. We are hoping that WYC will become a registered charity later in 2016 but one of the criteria for doing so is to show a certain level of income.

We are therefore launching a Friends' Scheme:

1) BENEFACTORS make an annual payment of £200 and in return can help decide where their donation goes - it could be to part or fully fund a visiting musician for a workshop, or to pay for two or three professional instrumentalists in WYC's annual concert with orchestra - in the 2015/16 season, this will be Mendelssohn's Elijah on Saturday, 7th May, 2016, at St Paul's Church, Southfields. Patrons receive regular updates on the choir's progress, free entry to all WYC events (concerts, services, and weekly rehearsals, and free participation in adult-friendly workshops!) and are invited to our annual Friends' Drinks' Reception.

2) FORTE FRIENDS pay £100 to help keep the choir in good financial health, contributing to the general costs. Major Friends receive the choir's annual newsletter, half-price tickets at major concerts and are invited to WYC's annual Friends' Drinks' Reception.

3) FRIENDS make a small annual donation of £30-£50 and their support is gratefully received, not just financial, but also in promoting the choir to friends, and encouraging new members. Minor Friends receive the choir's annual newsletter and are invited to WYC's annual Friends' Drinks' Reception.

Corporate Sponsors:

Robert Holmes Estate Agents

Arts Foundations:

Vernon Ellis Foundation


Margaret Lewisohn, Katy Knox, David Williams

Forte Friends:

David and Jane Moss


Hilary Stallybrass, John and Kate Veale, Susan Mayo, Rosie Rendall, John and Hilary Stoddart, Gill Farnsworth, Jane McCready


Max Barley Director

Max was a chorister at King's College, Cambridge and Organ Scholar at St John's College, Oxford, where he studied Modern Languages. He studied conducting at Hochschule für Musik with Michael Gläser and Andreas Herrmann. In the UK he has studied conducting with Paul Spicer, Ralph Allwood and Martin Neary, organ with the late David Sanger, and singing with Robert Rice.

Max is currently Director of Music at St Mary's Church Wimbledon, Director of West Barnes Singers, Accompanist and Associate Director of Thames Philharmonic Choir, Trinity Laban Organ Scholar at the Old Royal Naval College Chapel, Greenwich, and a Choral Animateur for Westminster Cathedral's Outreach programme. He has also worked on the music staff for various residential choral courses: Eton Choral Courses, National Children's Choir of Great Britain, and the National Youth Training Choir of Wales. He was formerly Director of Thames Youth Choir and Accompanist and Assistant Director of Tiffin Boys' Choir.


Accompanist & Co-Founder

Andrew Lennon

Andrew is the deputy organist at St Mary's Church Wimbledon. He lives in Wimbledon with his family, works as a barrister and enjoys running on Wimbledon Common in his spare time.

Pin Location

St Mary's Wimbledon

30 St Mary's Road
SW19 7BP

Max Barley

Contact us