Music in the Chantry: Cantlos

Musician duet
Published : 30 May 2017 Last update : 21 Aug 2017

Join us at Buckingham Chantry Chapel for an evening of traditional music and songs from the British Isles and Ireland at the oldest building in Buckingham as traditional music duo Cantlos perform in concert on Saturday 23 September.

Cantlos take their name from the last month in the ancient Celtic calendar.  In the language of second-century Gaul, it translates as The Time for Singing.  Cantlos are Kirsty Morris Selley and James McCafferty and play clàrsach (Celtic lever harp), cittern, dulcimer, guitar, melodeon and bodhrán.  Their performances are a rich harvest of traditional songs from the British Isles and Ireland, and they sparkle with Kirsty's ethereal vocal harmonisations over James' uncluttered fingerstyle guitar and cittern. 

" Well what a wonderful evening you gave us last night! Your programme of music and comment were very special and suited the audience so well. I had never heard, let alone seen, some of those instruments you played so beautifully, and your singing accompaniments and harmonising were magical. "
- Susan Rand, Ashbern WI Group, Buckinghamshire

Their repertoire spans more than five centuries of song, including medieval carols, Elizabethan tavern songs, folk music and contemporary songs within the traditional idiom. 

Kirsty Morris Selley plays the clàrsach and bodhrán with Cantlos, and also regularly performs solo at public and corporate functions, including the Royal Albert Hall.  She is Musical Director of Universal Performing Arts' Show Choir with TV and West End star Sam Attwater, and is the founder of Keylicious Ltd, a sought-after music school whose students have excelled in West End shows, university placements and choral scholarships.  Kirsty is also Head of Singing for the Spotlight Musical Theatre School.  Her choirs have performed on Sky TV and at sports stadiums, and her choral arrangements have aired on BBC radio.  Although she teaches all singing styles, including classical, musicals, jazz and pop/rock, her family roots in the Shetlands and Ireland have always drawn her back to the traditional songs of the Celtic cultures.

James McCafferty first picked up a guitar in his teens and discovered his lifelong passion for the traditional music of the British Isles and Ireland. He taught himself to play the recorder and slowly built up a collection of reconstructed early instruments from the Medieval and Tudor periods, including cittern, dulcimer, crumhorn, cornamuse, kortholt and psaltery.  He founded the acclaimed early music group Milady Clare's Musicke and, under the banner of Early Music in Schools, he continues to take his demonstrations of early musical instruments round to schools and community groups.  He is also the author of Live Recorder, a unique series of workbooks and CDs enabling complete beginners to become musically literate.

You can view video clips of some of Cantlos' performances at

Refreshments will be available on arrival and during the interval - cash only please. 

This is an intimate venue with limited seating, so pre-booking is strongly advised. 

Tickets are £5 in advance, £7.50 cash on the door and are available from Buckingham Chantry Chapel or the National Trust Stowe ticket line: 01280 817156.

Doors open 6:30pm, concert begins 7:00pm. Free parking in West Street (200m) or Community Centre car park (700m).