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 on this link

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 and are hard at work preparing for our next concert.

Details of our plans for the 2021-22 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 - chair@roystonchoralsoc.org.uk

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

Just one thing - singing

  • Posted on: 7 November 2021
  • By: huw

Did you know that singing can give you the same ‘high’ as cannabis, and help chronic pain? It can boost sporting performance and immune systems even if you ‘can’t sing well’. The benefit comes for as little as five minutes a day (in the shower if you’re not ‘a natural’?) over a few weeks.

These and other intriguing snippets come from a 15-minute BBC Radio podcast.

The programme also talks about the power of listening to music – so come to our next concert!

The power of music to connect

  • Posted on: 7 November 2021
  • By: huw

For RCS choir members, the pandemic and the enforced suspension of rehearsals just days before our last public performance more than 18 months ago was a bitter blow. Our return to ‘live rehearsals’ has confirmed that many have missed the human connection that music can bring almost as much as the music itself.

Finding your singing voice

  • Posted on: 7 November 2021
  • By: huw

As choir members returned to rehearsals after the enforced break, there was no doubt some apprehension about the work necessary to get our voices back into shape. Despite the excellent online tuition that we enjoyed from our Musical Director, Andrew O’Brien, while in lockdown, our first rehearsals were a nervous occasion for some, but the breathing and other warm-up exercises at the start of each rehearsal have been very valuable.

Life after Royston Choral Society - Howard Walwyn

  • Posted on: 7 November 2021
  • By: huw

I joined Royston Choral Society in 2007 after a rather mixed singing career taking in school choirs, musicals, Bart’s Hospital Choral Society, and ad hoc church congregations. I liked the structure and atmosphere of RCS: the weekly rehearsals, three concerts a year, fantastic music, and man-banter with the other tenors. The people were lovely all round, and many became good friends.

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