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About Us

THE EXON SINGERS, founded in 1966, is recognised as one of the UK’s leading chamber choirs. It has become renowned for its dynamic and expressive performances of music from the Renaissance to the present day, with reviews describing the choir’s performances as “brilliantly sung” (Classic FM), with “beautifully tailored singing” (Gramophone), and a “brilliant soprano sound” (The Daily Telegraph), where “The Exon Singers excel” (BBC Music Magazine).

The choir broadcasts regularly on BBC Radios 3 and 4 and has made a number of highly acclaimed recordings for Albany, ASV, Delphian, Regent and Rubicon Classics record labels. The choir’s Artistic Director and Conductor is Joseph Judge, successor to Richard Wilberforce,  Matthew Owens, Andrew Carwood, Christopher Tolley and Chris Teuten.


Under the direction of Matthew Owens, the choir received considerable recognition for its commitment to commissioning new works from some of today’s most exciting composers. The choir has welcomed many of these as Festival Composer-in-Residence, including Richard Allain, David Briggs, James Burton, Brian Chapple, Gary Davison, Robin Holloway, Grayston Ives, Francis Jackson, Gabriel Jackson, Matthew Martin, Philip Moore, Joseph Phibbs, Howard Skempton and Philip Wilby, and in 2018 Russell Pascoe.


Richard Wilberforce’s final project with the choir in January 2018 was a recording of the music of Toby Young, who had been Festival Composer-in-Residence in 2017.


To celebrate the choir’s 50 years of music making and its 50th Festival, they recorded a new CD of music commissioned by them for Choral Evening Prayer, Before the Ending of the Day, released on Rubicon Classics. Click here for more details. The disc was given 4 stars in its review in the July 2017 edition of BBC Music Magazine.


Since 1973, the annual Exon Singers Festival has been based in the historic market town of Tavistock on the edge of Dartmoor, and includes the beautiful venues of Tavistock Parish Church and Buckfast Abbey.


The choir’s festival performances include the Oxford Festival of Contemporary Music and the Edinburgh Festival, as well as concerts in St John’s College, Cambridge, Gloucester Cathedral, Wells Cathedral and at venues in Winchester, Salisbury and Belfast.

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Joseph Judge - Conductor & Artistic Director

Highly versatile UK Conductor, Singer, and Producer, Joseph Judge is Chorus Master of the Leeds Philharmonic Chorus, Artistic Director of the Exon Festival, and a Hallé Associate Artist as Director of the Hallé Choral Academy.

A graduate of the RNCM, he studied with Clark Rundell and Mark Heron, conducted the Manchester Camerata, received masterclass tuition from renowned conductors such as Sir Mark Elder, David Hill, and Omer Meir Wellber, and assisted the BBC and Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestras. He was awarded the Mortimer Furber prize and has a Masters with Distinction.

Joseph curates a varied and exciting programme of classical music for the Exon Festival each summer, which often features live on BBC Radio. He continues to prepare Leeds Philharmonic Chorus for concerts with professional orchestras such as the Hallé and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestras, also conducting them in performances, and has been Guest Chorus Master for RLPO Chorus and Chetham’s School of Music. As Director of the Hallé Choral Academy, he inspires mixed ability singers to develop their vocal technique and sight-reading abilities through the singing of core repertoire.

As a Countertenor he continues to perform regularly as an oratorio soloist. He was a member of the BBC Daily Service Singers, a Lay Clerk at Manchester Cathedral, and one of the inaugural Fellows of NYCGB, frequently involved with the organisation as Section Leader for NYC and their Training Choirs. He has recorded music for Sony PlayStation, recently worked with the Northern Film Orchestra, and produced the recordings for Northern Lights – an album of contemporary choral works with BBC Choir of the Year winners, Voices of Hope.

David Hill - President

I am delighted to be President of the Exon Singers, a group I have admired for many years.

I am thrilled that Joseph Judge has become Artistic Director and Conductor of the Exon Singers, following on from 6 years of exciting choral leadership of the choir by Richard Wilberforce. I wish Joseph and all associated with the Exon Singers every good wish for the future.

There are exciting plans ahead and I would urge as many people as possible to take the opportunity to hear the group ‘live’ in one of their many concerts or on their CDs and future broadcasts.

Choral singing and the ‘English Choral Tradition’ is at the heart of our national musical life. The Exon Singers are an intrinsic part of this heritage and their contribution of excellence in this field is unquestionable.

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