Our History

Formed in 1964 by staff of the Harris College, we have promoted classical chamber music concerts at midday continuously for more than half a century.  The College has now morphed into UCLAN, but we still retain the original name of Preston's Victorian benefactor Edmund Harris.  Until 2002 we met in various college/university premises, including St. Peter's Arts Centre and the Vernon Gallery.  In September 2003 we moved into the newly refurbished Preston Minster.  This has a reverberant acoustic which supports a wide range of musical ensembles.

The Piano

We enjoy the use of a fine Bösendorfer Imperial Grand Piano, built in Vienna in 1972 and originally owned by the Royal Northern College of Music.   It is unusually large, with extra bass notes giving at a full 8 octave span.  It is currently on loan to the Minster courtesy of Redmayne Developments Ltd., through association with Mr. John Hammersley.

The Venue

Preston Minster, formerly known as Preston Parish Church, is a decorated neo-gothic building completed in 1855.   Several previous churches occupied the site since the 7th century.  In 2001-3 extensive refurbishment was undertaken, the pews removed, and underfloor heating installed.  To mark the granting of City status to Preston in 2002 on the occasion of the Queen's Golden Jubilee, the church was elevated in status.  At this time the nave was re-purposed for community use.  The Minster continues to function as the Civic Church of Preston for official occasions, and for regular worship.