Introducing Royston Choral Society

  • Posted on: 3 October 2016
  • By: admin

Royston Choral Society (RCS) is a friendly, unauditioned choir of around 70 singers from a wide range of backgrounds and singing abilities united by enjoying singing together to produce memorable concerts.

Follow this link to see details of our next concert.

Some recordings from recent concerts can be seen here

Details of our plans for the 2022-23 season are available here.

RCS currently rehearses on Tuesday evenings 7.45 - 9.30 in Bassingbourn Village College and performs around four times a year in Royston and surrounding villages. New singers are welcome to join RCS by coming along to an open rehearsal.

For more details about the society please contact the chair - Huw Jenkins -

Our 2021/22 season ended with a lively and spirited concert in Holy Trinity Church, Chrishall. The main work Will Todd's Mass in Blue. This is a dynamic, uplifting, and highly popular jazz setting of the Latin mass. The work features driving grooves and blues harmonies, with short improvised piano solos and great moments of musical interplay between soprano soloist and choir. The work certainly presented some new challenges for the choir, but under our musical director's inspirational leadership we rose to them. The final rehearsal, when we were joined by fine jazz musicians and soprano soloist, was electrifying and the audience was hugely appreciative of the concert itself.

The first half was more traditional with some part-songs and movements from Rutter's Sprig of Thyme. The audience also enjoyed some fine solos from the young flautist Lilibet Philpot.

Here is a photo from the first part of the concert.

Our previous concert took place in Ashwell Parish Church in March 2022:

A slightly reduced chorus (as a result on-going Covid19 infections) supported by a first rate group of soloists and orchestral players performed in front of a packed and very appreciative house.

The coronavirus pandemic seriously disrupted our 2019-20 season and meant we were unable to rehearse or perform at all in 2020-21. We were consequently delighted to return to in-person rehearsals in September 2021. Those rehearsals culminated in our first concert for 2 years.

Our voices were perhaps a little rough and rusty when we first started rehearsing again. However, a few weeks of Andrew's patience with vocal exercises was enough to start to get our vocal cords back into shape. The Haydn and Handel works that we performed are amongst the most joyful in the repertoire. That came across in a very well received concert where we were lucky to be joined by some first rate soloists and instrumentalists.

The 2019-20 season for the society got off to a great start.

In September we took part in our first concert of the season. This was the Hertfordhsire High Sheriff's Community Choirs concert, held in Haileybury College on September 28th. Sarah Beazley, in her year as High Sheriff, had an idea for a concert that would bring choirs together from across the county to sing together. Music is something that unites us and choirs demonstrate cooperation, inclusivity and the sharing of a positive experience. Sarah wants to have a focus on supporting stronger communities during her term in office, and felt choirs were a good example of this. Nine choirs took part, performing both individually and together in a concert that was a joyful celebration of the power of song and community spirit.

We returned to Haileybury College at the beginning of November for a performance of Elgar's The Dream of Gerontius. The highly acclaimed performance was in collaboration with Haileybury College Chapel and Lower School Choirs, as well as Haileybury Choral Society with the Herfordshire Philharmonia Orchestra. The picture below shows the performers and more pictures from the concert are available here.

Our Christmas concert in 2019 was A traditional family Christmas concert of carols and seasonal music. You can read a review of it and see pictures here.

We were due then to perform Bach's Mass in B minor in March, followed by a lighter summer concert in June. Sadly both had to be cancelled because of the pandemic.

During the 2018-19 season we performed in 4 concerts.

In November 2018 we participated in a performance of Benjamin Britten's War Requiem. Held at Haileybury College, it was in collaboration with the college choirs and Hertfordshire Philharmonia. Here is a photo of the performers:

We usually hold our Christmas concert in Royston Parish Church. In 2018, because of the dreadful fire that had taken place there, this picture shows us performing at the Meridian school instead:

A link to the review of the concert with more pictures and recordings is here.

In April 2019 we performed Bach's St John Passion in Ashwell Parish Church. Sung in the original German, the soloists included Daniel Joy as the Evangelist and Lukas Kargl as Jesus.
See more pictures and read the review here.

Our final concert of the season was in Barkway Parish church, which turned out to be a wonderfully cool location on what was one of the hottest days of the year.
Entitled Songs of Love, it included music by Schubert, Lauridsen, Alexander L'Estrange, Brahms and the society's own Richard Prince. You can read more about it and see further pictures here.

The choir usually also enjoys one or two social evenings a year, usually involving food and drink. We ended the season by having a barbecue on the Heath in Royston. It also turned out to be one of the more energetic social evenings with many members enjoying a fairly relaxed game of rounders. Some of the more competitive are seen here enjoying a game of croquet