The Avalonian Free State Choir

Glorious harmonies from around the world


We are an a cappella choir specialising in World Music, seeking out songs which represent folk traditions from all over the world. Our repertoire is derived from all five continents, and explores the richness and power of vocal music and harmony representative of our own British musical heritage, from Anglo-Saxon through to modern pop music, and a diverse range of songs in many different languages and styles.

Songs in their perfect form are meant to be heard live, so that the listener can get the full benefit of the harmonic and vibratory pleasures which lead to emotional responses and an opening of the heart. Songs tell stories, stimulate our imaginations and make us laugh and make us cry. 

Sacred songs, love songs, songs of longing, of magic and the love of life. Songs express the true heart of a culture in vocal harmonies, styles and rhythms from around the globe. We invite you to join us at our public performances in and around Glastonbury.

We currently have around 25 members who joined via audition and can also offer singing workshops led by a small group of our members.

Our History

Celebrating The Life & Evolution Of A Community Choir

The Avalonian Free State Choir was initiated in 1992 by Tim Hall, our well known Avalonian singer/songwriter and Glastonian bard. He wanted to restore to life some beautiful old English carols he had found and had written some of his own music that he wanted to hear a choir sing. And so began the life of our Choir. There were just 8 of us then.

It all started in the Assembly Rooms of Glastonbury, the home of so many wonderful community projects and creative happenings. It was not long before other local creative luminaries became involved, bringing their special enthusiasms and creative colours. Sue Palmer's powerful personality and natural ability to inspire and lead drew her into the position of conductor and she brought with her a passionate interest in East European harmony singing, and so began the Choir's love affair with Bulgarian folk and Georgian choral music, which continues to this day. Sue left the Choir in 1995, and I found myself stepping forward into the role of Musical Director, and I am now supported by other conductors from within the choir membership.

As we continued to develop our numbers grew, and so did our reputation. In 1995 we were invited by Michael Eavis to sing on the Pyramid Stage in his community slot on the Sunday morning. We’ve been invited back many times and this year we performed on the Park Stage as part of the programme for The White Ribbon Alliance.

Our repertoire has grown to be as varied as the situations we perform in. We sing in French, Italian, Welsh, Hebrew, English, Spanish, Bulgarian, Georgian, African, Maori ...... and we memorise all our songs! We sing regularly at community gatherings and town events celebrating the turn of the seasons. We perform at festivals such as The Green Gathering, Sunrise, Priddy Folk and Middlezoy Arts. We are invited to sing at private ceremonies, weddings, hand-fastings, birthdays, and funerals.

We'd like to offer our heartfelt appreciation to the many former choir members who have played their parts in the Choir's story. To the workshop leaders and conductors who have helped shape each song, and of course to the creators of each of the songs we have sung over the years, we honour your contribution to this moment.

And so we come to the present, the 30th year of the life of The Avalonian Free State Choir, a year to fully celebrate our current membership - some are founder members, many have been members for well over a decade, not forgetting those wonderful brave people who have joined us in the last few years and are working so hard to learn our songs.

Sally Pullinger, Musical Director

Avalonian Free State Choir

Appreciation & Accolades

"Thank you to all of you who came and sang at our wedding. The sound was angelic, so moving and powerful. It really made the service for us."

Mike and Josephine Rogers

Winners of Choir Sing-Off

Winners of 2012 Choir Sing-Off at Charles Hazlewood’s Orchestra in a Field

On Sunday July 1st, a prestigious panel of judges:

Marcus du Sautoy OBE– Simonyi Professor for the Public Understanding of Science and Professor of Mathematics at the University of Oxford

Dorothy Nancekievill-Director of Music at Wells Cathedral School

Will Gregory of the electronic music group Goldfrapp

awarded us 1st prize against stiff opposition

Of our rendition of Mystere Beni  Dorothy Nancekievill said:

‘Absolutely fantastic, I loved it and your diction was just amazing….really, really great sound, and I really loved the subtlety of what you did this morning……you really dragged us in, you made us want to listen to every single syllable……Well done, fantastic performance!’

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