History of the Choir

The Choir’s formation and development is synonymous with John Bate who was founder, in 1964, of both the Putney Bach Choir and the Richmond Choral Society. In 1975, the two choirs merged and subsequently became well-known in South West London as the John Bate Choir. In 1995, it adopted the name Thames Philharmonic Choir.


The Choir has given more than 200 performances in the Boroughs of Kingston, Richmond and Wandsworth. It has also performed at central London venues such as the Royal Albert Hall, Royal Festival Hall, Queen Elizabeth Hall and Cadogan Hall. The Choir twice won the National Choral Competition held at the Royal Albert Hall. In 1995, the Choir was one of twelve from all over the UK invited to take part in the VE Day 50th Anniversary celebrations in Hyde Park; this involved a performance with conductor Sir David Willcocks in front of HM The Queen and some 40 Heads of State. Short tours abroad became a regular feature of Choir life, and in the 1980s a performing partnership with the Symphonic Choir of the historic City of Konstanz on the German-Swiss border was established. In the 1990s, regular summer cathedral residencies began, and in recent years Cadogan Hall has become the Choir’s central London venue of choice.  

Winners of the National Choral Competition, 1965

Singing at the Queen Elizabeth Hall, London, 2009

Singing in Konstanz, 1992


Relaxing at the Bristol Cathedral residency, 1995

Yvonne Howard, one of the soloists who has regularly performed with us

Celebrating with Konstanz visitors in 2013