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York Musical Society

York Musical Society


The Society's History

York Musical Society is one of the oldest Musical Societies in England.  It was founded in 1765 by several of the city's musicians including John Camidge (1734-1803), Organist of York Minster from 1756.  


The Society began as a club concerned more with instrumental music, and in its early days it seems to have been quite exclusive in its membership.  Rule 2 in 1825 said 'No person in any business or profession shall be deemed admissible as a Member of this Society, unless he be a principal or partner in such business or profession.'  The total membership was limited to sixty, who met on Mondays at 7.00pm, in Baynes's coffee house in Petergate.  Supper was at 9.30pm and cost two shillings (10p) which included malt liquor. Members could bring friends to meetings (but not more than one in four meetings) if they were residents of York.  Instrumental performers 'being disqualified by Rule 2 from being admitted into this Society' were not subject to this restriction and could be introduced at any meeting.  

In 1833 York Choral Society was formed, most likely to provide a more democratic group for music making, and this flourished until the end of the century, by which time the societies had merged.  When Thomas Tertius Noble became conductor of the Musical Society in 1900 he increased its membership to over 200 and it has continued as a large choir since that time.    


Recent Events

In January 2016 YMS held a Workshop at Central Methodist, and spent the day studying Faure's Requiem

The YMS Easter concert was on Saturday 19 March in York Minster, where YMS performed Mozart The C Minor Mass, Andrew Carter's Benedicite and on Saturday 11 June YMS performed Carl Orff's Carmina Burana at The Barbican.

On Saturday 12 November YMS performed Ein Deutsches Requiem by Brahms, Four Last Songs by Strauss and Towards the Unknown Region by Vaughan Williams.  They were joined by the Philharmonic Choir from Munster for this performance.  


York Musical Society

Future Events

















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The Archbishop of York , Dr John Sentamu, has been President of York Musical Society since 2006.