ONE of Burton’s leading choral groups is taking to the road this autumn – to celebrate nearly 50 years of music making.
Rolleston Choral Society – which gave its first performance in May 1964 – is travelling to four different venues in the area with a showcase of some of its most popular material.
Chairman Nick Willmot said: “We have come a long way since those early days in the 1960s, and we have much to be proud of. Our ambitions have grown, our repertoire has got more versatile, and our audiences have grown steadily.
“Now is the time to thank our supporters, and remind people what we can do.”
The programme will vary slightly from place to place, but the core material will range from classical to folk to pop.
For serious music fans there will be extracts from Faure’s Requiem and Vivaldi’s Gloria.
There will also be another chance to hear the piece that John Rutter composed for the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton, This Is The Day. From the US Gospel tradition will come Wade In The Water, and from the big screen the choir will feature In Dreams, one of the best-known tunes from the soundtrack of The Fellowship of the Ring.
There will also be a piece from Alexander L’Estrange’s Zimbe! Come Sing The Songs of Africa!, in which the society combined with four other choirs in October last year in a sell-out performance at Burton Town Hall – one of its ‘greatest hits’ of recent times.
The choir will be under the direction of its conductor for the past six years, Simon Lesley, who is an accomplished arranger and composer in his own right, and has worked with the celebrated Swingle Singers. The choir has performed many of his own pieces. There will also be essential support from long-standing accompanist Nicholas Waller.
Nick Willmot says the choir is keen not to rest on its laurels. “We are always looking to explore new material and expand our repertoire. Over the past few years we have attracted many younger singers, and our women’s sections are flourishing. However, like many choirs these days, we need more men – both tenors and basses. So why not come along and give us a try?”
In the first concert, at St Peter’s Church in Stapenhill on Friday 6th September, the choir will get together with “A Choir’d Taste”, a group of singers from South Derbyshire, who will bring their own lively contribution to an evening of variety and melody.
The other dates for Rolleston Choral Society’s “Greatest Hits” tour will be: Wednesday 16th October at St Mary’s Church, Newton Solney; Saturday 19th October at St John’s Church, Horninglow; and Thursday 24th October at the Rolleston Club.
All concerts will start at 7.30pm, and tickets are priced at £5 – on the door, or in advance from choir member James Taylor, 01283 516177. Rolleston Choral Society rehearses on Wednesday nights at 7.40 pm, at the Methodist Chapel, Rolleston-on-Dove.