The Choir

The Choir of Christ Church Freemantle is a small but enthusiastic parish choir of mixed ages. The main purpose of the choir is to help to lead the Sunday worship in the both the morning and evening services.

Sung Evensong comprises of Psalms, Responses and an Anthem. The choirs anthem repertoire is large and varied performing music from the past and present. In addition to weekly services, the choir takes part in the Winchester Area Diocese Festival at Winchester Cathedral that is an enjoyable day out.

The choir is available for singing at Weddings, Funerals, Baptisms and other Festival occasions. Please contact the Rector in the first instance to discuss music for your occasion.

We are always interested in new members. The choir has a good social life including evening suppers and trying to crack the weekly quiz at the Waterloo. If you are interested in joining please contact the choirmaster, Craig or just turn up at one of our Wednesday rehearsals.

Choir practice is every Wednesday from 7.15pm-8.15pm. Entrance is via the Choir Vestry on Waterloo Road by the bus stop.

Craig Lawton
Organist and Choir Master

Craig Lawton is a lively and enthusiastic conductor working in the South of England. Firmly believing in the power a musical experience can give someone, he tirelessly brings this passion to rehearsals, concerts and projects.

Working with a diverse range and size of ensembles has allowed Craig to develop a large repertoire, none-more so than his concerto and solo repertoire. Empathising with the importance and difficulty in getting solo work with ensembles, Craig seeks to give musicians an opportunity where he can. This mission has, for four years developed with Mary Mehuin from the Kent International Piano Courses, given young people concerto opportunities with the Winchester Chamber Orchestra.

Craig made his professional conducting debut in Europe with the Ostfold Symphony Orchestra in Norway. Continuing to enjoy podium time in France, Berlin, Bulgaria and Italy.

Studying organ with Sarah Baldock at the University of Southampton, Craig has remained an active organist, appearing as organ soloist in Poulenc’s Concerto in G minor, and numerous performances of Saint-Saens’ Organ Symphony. He plays weekly services as Director of Music at Christ Church Freemantle and occasionally gives organ recitals.

In conjunction with a busy conducting schedule, Craig makes time for charitable music projects, something incredibly important to him. In 2016 he was approached to spearhead the “Oncology Choir” a choir formed of staff from the University Hospital Southampton’s Oncology department to fundraise for the revolutionary new ‘Centre for Cancer Immunology’ in Southampton. The choir makes its debut performance at a black-tie dinner in November 2016.

This passion for fundraising through music is shared and brought to fruition with friend and colleague Paul Ingram. Between them, the dynamic duo have undertaken two epic musical marathons for Comic Relief; Haydathon (2009) and Beethovathon (2015); performing all symphonies by the two heavyweight composers and raising thousands for Comic Relief. They have one more project in them for 2017… so keep an eye out!

Craig has continued to develop his skills with Jason Lai, and most recently, in Berlin with Prof. Colin Metters (RAM). He initially studied with Dr John Traill and later at the University of Southampton with Robin Browning. He currently holds positions with the Northwood String Orchestra, Winchester Chamber Orchestra, Conchord Singers, Charity Symphony Orchestra and Christ Church Freemantle.

Off the podium, Craig is a member of CAMRA, an avid film fan and enjoys swimming and walking. When not rehearsing or performing, you can often find Craig in a local watering hole enjoying a good pint of real ale with friends.

Contact Craig on:
Phone: 07814 305 261