WEST Dorset chamber choir Cantamus will give three concerts during Advent under the baton of new musical director Martin Schellenberg.

The concerts will take place in Loders near Bridport, Dorchester and Hawkchurch on the Dorset and Devon border.

Martin was appointed to lead the choir in September. He is a creative choral and orchestral conductor with many years’ experience and has been director of music and organist at St Mary’s Church, Beaminster, for a year. His previous posts include 16 years as director of music at Abberley Hall School in Worcestershire, as well as a busy freelance career as conductor, consultant, soloist and teacher.

The Advent programme is called O come, Emmanuel, after a gorgeous piece by living composer Bob Chilcott, and includes a range of beautiful seasonal music. The choir prides itself on introducing audiences to new music, and this season’s unusual pieces include a series of anonymous antiphonal chants and a haunting, ethereal arrangement of Es ist ein Ros entsprungen by Praetorious. Also on the programme are the traditional Cherry Tree Carol, Jesus Christ the Apple Tree by Elizabeth Poston, Benedicamus Domino by Peter Warlock and two pieces by John Tavener: Today the Virgin and The Lamb.

The concerts begin on Saturday, December 7 at St Mary Magdalene, Loders (near Bridport) and continue on Saturday, December 14 at Holy Trinity Church, Dorchester, which is a new venue for the choir. The final concert is on Tuesday, December 17 at St John the Baptist Church, Hawkchurch, and includes a preview of the church’s ever-popular Christmas tree festival. All concerts start at 7pm and tickets are £10 on the door. Refreshments will be available.

Cantamus was founded in 2012 and performs the very best in sacred and secular choral music to audiences across the region. For more information, including the full Advent programme, visit cantamus-dorset.org or see the choir’s Facebook page 'Cantamus – Dorset’.