Previously known as St. Johns Choir at St. John the Evangelist Church, Spitalgate, Grantham, we were founded in 1940.
In 1960 we were taken on by Organist and Choirmaster, Geoffrey Winter B.E.M. where upon he inherited a small choir of boys (who couldn't sing but looked pretty) and a couple of men. He was under pressure to put on a good service for Harvest and so Geoffrey invited members of St. Wulframs School Choir, where he was Head of Music, to come and help sing. The men of the choir were so impressed that they asked them to come back every week which they did.
Over the years as the choir grew, we built up an outstanding reputation and have performed all over the country and around Germany.
Performance venues include Lincoln Cathedral, Southwell Minster, along with many local and village churches for services, charity events, concerts and weddings.
We toured Germany extensively between the years of 1965-1995, singing in churches and cathedrals in Zweibrucken, St. Augustine (Grantham's twinned town), Altenburg, and then into the former East Germany around Leipzig.
We have won many competitions due to our outstanding musicianship and beauty of sound.
We took part in The Choir of the Year competition, and have had several finalists in the BBC Choirgirl of the Year competition. We have also featured on BBC Radio Lincolnshire frequently over the years.
Since Geoffrey's passing in 2018, Helen Winter, Geoffrey's daughter, has taken over directing us. Our new name, The St. John's Winter Singers, creates an exciting new direction for our future with carrying on our heritage and dedication to Geoffrey and all the music he wrote for us.
The group has grown significantly in size in the last couple of years since Covid and we now have a lovely new junior section of the choir ranging in ages from 7-16 years old. Our oldest member of our main choir is 70. You are never too old for our group.
We are still the resident choir at St. Johns the Evangelist, Grantham. www.stjohnspitalgate.com
Geoffrey Winter B.E.M. FRCO LRAM
Geoffrey was born in Grantham in 1932. He was the youngest church organist in the country at the age of 12 at St. John's Manthorpe.
He studied at York & Ripon St John and trained in York Minster.
Highly sought after by many cathedrals all over the world, he toured extensively until the 1980's, with and without his beloved choir.
Geoffrey was Head of Music at St. Hughs School, Grantham until 1989 after which he taught music privately at home. He was awarded the British Empire Medal in 2012 for services to music. He was the founder of Grantham Music Festival, Grantham Singers and the Grantham Operatic Society.
Geoffrey was an avid composer of choral music, organ solos and vocal solos.
He was Choral Director and Organist of St John's Church, Spitalgate, Grantham for 60 years until his passing in 2018.
His beloved choir are committed to carrying on Geoffs legacy!
Helen Winter Bmus TCM
Helen Winter is a graduate of Trinity College of Music, London, after which she went on to become a member of the BBC Singers’ ad hoc chorus, and then continued her training with ENO.
Operatic roles have included Ninetta inThe Love for three Oranges(Prokofiev) for English Pocket Opera; Musician in Manon Lescaut(Puccini); Apparition in Macbeth(Verdi), Barena in Jenufa(Janacek), Voce Interna in L’amore dei tre Re(Montemezzi), and Monterone’s daughter in Rigoletto(Verdi), all for Opera Holland Park; Musetta in La Boheme (Puccini) and Adele in Die Fledermaus(Strauss) with European Chamber Opera and to huge acclaim, the role of Elle in La Voix Humaine(Poulenc).
Helen worked on the ITV series Popstar to Operastar,performing with Mexican tenor and vocal coach Rolando Villazon, and also on the ITV production of The Sound of Music LIVE.
Alongside her operatic career Helen has a wide experience performing operetta and music theatre. She has been on the stage performing in Gilbert & Sullivan and Rogers & Hammerstein productions since the age of six. She continues to enjoy performing in this style and was the principal soprano at Thursford Christmas Spectacular from 2008-2010.
Helen has performed all of the major Oratorios in many prestigious venues such as Saint Thomas Kirche (Leipzig), The Royal Festival Hall (London), Symphony Hall (Birmingham) St. David’s Hall (Cardiff), and many British cathedrals.
Helen is currently performing the title role in Puccini’s opera ‘Suor Angelica’, on tour with Opera Anywhere and last year she released her 3rd solo album entitled Footprints, a CD of English Song dedicated to the memory of her Father.
Helen is Head of Singing at Repton School and Lincoln Minster.
For further details please visit www.helenwinter.com