About RCS

Royston Choral Society was founded in 1973 to perform The Messiah. Our current membership is around 70 and new singers are always welcome. Members come from Royston and surrounding villages. There is no audition and no requirement to read music, though the ability to listen and sing the same note as the rest of your section is important. We aim to be accessible, friendly and informal, but we do take seriously our desire to perform to the best of our ability. The Frequently Asked Questions aims to explain how we operate in order to achieve this.

RCS rehearses on Tuesday evenings 7.45- 9.45 in Royston Parish Church (St. John the Baptist) 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.

In 2015-16, our first season with Andrew O’Brien as Musical Director, concerts included Brahms’ ‘Ein Deutsches Requiem’, Stainer’s ‘Crucifixion’ and Purcell’s ‘Dido and Æneas’.  

In 2016-17 we performed 'Messiah', Rutter's 'Requiem', Finzi's 'Lo the Full Final Sacrifice' as well as a lighter summer concert which included 'Northumbrian Folksong Suite' by one of our early conductors Richard Prince. 

2017-18 saw us perform Bach's 'Christmas Oratorio' as well as Faure's 'Requiem' and motets by Bruckner and Durufle. Our summer concert included Vaughan Williams' 'Serenade to Music' and Rutter's 'A Sprig of Thyme' as well as spirituals arranged by Ken Burton.  

In 2018-19 we in collaboration with Haileybury College we performed Britten's 'War Requiem'. In the spring we undertook Bach's 'St John Passion' and followed it in the summer with a concert which included Brahms' Liebeslieder Walzer and Morten Lauridsen's Nocturnes.  

During 2019-20 we performed Elgar's Dream of Gerontius (again in collaboration with Haileybury College) and were looking forward to performing Bach's B minor mass in March 2020 when the coronavirus pandemic struck. In-person rehearsals and performances were then halted until the Autumn of 2021.  

In 2021-22 we returned to live performing with Handel's Messiah (part 1) and Haydn's Little Organ Mass in December. Then a much acclaimed performance of the Mozart Requiem in March 2022 and a summer concert that included Will Todd's Mass in Blue. Certainly a year when we showed our flexibility and diversity in programming!

In 2022-23 we celebrated our 50th Season. Included in the year was a performance of Durufle's sublime Requiem in November, combined with Parry's Songs of Farewell. We were delighted to return to Royston Parish Church following the 4 years of restoration work following a serious fire in December 2018 for a Christmas concert. Then in March 2023 we performed Haydn's joyous Creation. The season ended with a summer concert in June celebrating English Music and including Vaughan Williams' Mass in G minor and the spirituals from Tippett's Child of our Time.

Through the 2023-24 season we are continuing to celebrate our first half-century with the 50th anniversary of our first concert. In November we will be performing Bach's magnificent Mass in B minor and follow this in March with the Verdi Requiem. In between we will hold our customary Christmas Concert with plenty of opportunity for audience participation in some traditional carols. The season will end with a concert in June which will include Gloria by Vivaldi.

There are some videos of parts of some of our recent concerts available by following this link.

Membership fees are modest. There is a small charge for refreshments and a popular optional, 100 Club. Members often meet for a drink after choir and get together for a meal or other social event a couple of times a year.