Cantores Michaelis are the choral scholars of St Michael the Archangel who are funded by The Friends of St Michael’s and based at the ancient Southampton City Centre church of St Michael the Archangel where they sing every Sunday and Feast Days during the academic year. The group (founded in 2000 by the Director Keith Davis) specialises in unaccompanied repertoire composed for the Christian Liturgy.
The singers are chosen by audition from across the disciplines of The University of Southampton, however the majority of the scholars are First Study Singers on either the Graduate or Post Graduate Performance courses in the Music Department. Two singers who recently studied with Keith Davis at University of Southampton have been part of The Sixteen Genesis Project - Harry Bennett (Portsmouth Cathedral) Hannah Woodhouse (Cantores Michaelis). Their repertoire ranges from Gregorian Chant, Tudor and Renaissance Masses and Motets, also mass settings by Haydn, Mozart, Schubert, to works by living composers of the 20th & 21st Centuries.
Cantores Michaelis is well known around Southern England as they have gained a reputation for very high standards and have sung in Westminster Abbey (by invitation of The Dean & Chapter), provided their specialist skills by singing the full Latin Mass Rite for The Latin Mass Society in Portsmouth RC Cathedral, appeared with well known actors such as Timothy West in The Lighthouse Theatre Poole, provided the soloists and small choir parts in productions of Dido & Aeneas by Henry Purcell in Turner Sims Concert Hall Southampton, and Chamber Opera The Knights Templar by Graham Stansfield in Lighthouse Theater Poole. Since 2006 they have sung Christmas Carols on the well-known Cunard Cruise ships Queens Victoria Mary and Elizabeth just before they depart on their Christmas cruises. In March 2015 the group was invited by the Kantor of Lüdenscheid North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany to give two concerts, one in Lüdenscheid, the other in Herford demonstrating The English Choral Tradition.Most recently the group has featured on BBC 1 TV Songs of Praise November 2018.
During the Covid 19 Pandemic Cantores Michaelis will operate as a quintet or sextet of Cantores Alumni. Start date December 6 2020. The student choral schoalrships are suspended during the duration and will be resumed as soon as possible after the threat of Covid 19 transmission is either considerably reduced or eliminated.