In the late spring of 1999 Ian Haslam approached Barrie Seaman with an idea of forming a new chamber choir for the Newbury area. During the early part of the summer various meetings were held but progress was slow. Ian went away to a choral summer school and discussed the matter with the choral conductor of the course. His advice was to book a concert date and venue so as to concentrate everybody's mind on the task in hand. Consequently on his return from summer school a venue was booked for a concert on the 19th March 2000. All that was needed now was a choir, conductor and a rehearsal room. Barrie contacted a number of his musical contacts and soon Cantemus had a nucleus of singers although the choir was short of a tenor. Robert Ascott who had agreed to conduct the inaugural concert recruited a Tenor for the choir. However both Robert and the Tenor could not commit themselves to a long rehearsal period so a 6 week rehearsal period was agreed. Robert also told Ian and Barrie that due to work and travel commitments he could not conduct the choir on a permanent basis. Thus the main framework of the choir's operation was set by the first concert. This comprises short rehearsal periods with guest conductors for each concert.