Cantiones was founded in 1982 by Michael Smith, the then organist of the Parish Church of St. Oswald, King & Martyr, Oswestry. Under its original name "Cantiones Sacrae" the choir comprised 15 voices and set its sights on performing some of the more challenging music in the chamber choir repertoire.
Before long it swelled to well over 20 voices and concerts were given as far afield as Chester and Shrewsbury, as well as an appearance at the Llangollen International Festival. Cantiones dropped the "Sacrae" from its title in the mid-nineties when its repertoire widened to include more and more of the quality secular music available.
Over the years Cantiones has had no more than a handful of Musical Directors. Michael Smith was followed by Geoffrey Talbot, then Chris Argent, Christopher Symons and John Clenaghan, and currently it flourishes under the baton of Gerry Howe. At the present time Cantiones is considered to be towards the top of the premier division of choirs in the area.
Cantiones performing at the Llangollen Eisteddfod, 1990.