Keeping you updated with the latest news


22 October 2020
Virtual AGM and Return to Sing
14 September 2020
How can I keep from singing?
14 September 2020
Coronavirus Update
7 September 2020
An Angel, a Nun, and a Red Priest
29 August 2020
Choral Alphabet reaches 3000
27 July 2020
Virtual Quiz Time
1 July 2020
Our MD begins with RLSBC
8 June 2020
Howells in Lockdown
9 March 2020
Committee Changes
9 January 2020
New Appointment for our MD
6 January 2020
Choral Evensong in Oxford


3 December 2019
Stephen Cleobury 1948-2019
24 November 2019
Bach, Brahms, Reger - a moving tribute
23 September 2019
Over 300 for Fourth Rutter Day
30 July 2019
Evensong in Westminster Abbey
24 June 2019
Berlioz Requiem : a NBC first
29 May 2019
Evensong in Winchester Cathedral
20 April 2019
On Tour 2019 : The Netherlands
17 February 2019
The Colours of Mozart
25 January 2019
Bach Choir Burns Supper







Rossini Rave Reviews

108 choir members combined with four soloists and two keyboard players to lift the roof of St Matthew’s Church last night in a performance of Rossini’s Petite messe solennelle, receiving rave reviews from all who were there for the performance.


The choir were delighted to welcome Northamptonians in the form of Eleanor Minney, our Mezzo Soprano soloist, and a regular soloist with Sir John Eliot Gardiner’s Monteverdi Choir, and the pianist, composer, lecturer, and broadcaster, David Owen Norris. Both of our keyboard instruments – an 1881 Mustel Harmonium and an 1887 Pleyel Piano (owned by David Owen Norris himself) – were constructed around the time of the composition of Rossini’s Mass (1863), and the sonorities ranged from the intimacy of a song recital, up to full blown, all-guns-blazing choruses.

Mustel Harmonium
Pleyel Piano

For what we think is the first time in the choir’s history, the singers performed in a mixed-up arrangement on stage; in other words, no-one in the choir was sat next to anyone else singing the same vocal part as them. This had been tested in rehearsal, and the whole choir committed to the brave step with great panache, and it paid off. A number of audience members commented on the quality of the tuning and the blend, and it was noticeable from the conductor’s podium how much more powerful and alive the sound was.

Adrian on the Harmonium
Quartet in Action

Rossini’s Mass is, of course, neither small – running to around 80 minutes in length, nor solemn – texts which you might expect to be the subject of awe-stricken reverence are treated with a spring in the step which often veers towards the jauntiness of operetta. And while it follows the form and Latin text of a mass (once our Musical Director had ironed out Rossini’s mistake in the Credo!), it is only occasionally that you discern any linkage to standard liturgical music: this is unquestionably the output of an opera composer sticking to what he does best.

Soprano Solo
Soloists in Full Flow

The soloists, keyboard players and choir, brought the work to life in a vivid way, and our Musical Director was congratulated by innumerable audience members after the concert for bringing the standards of the choir up to their highest level in years. We cannot wait until our next concert with him on 10 December, after our recording sessions of Fauré’s Requiem on 21/22 October, and Poulenc Gloria with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and Jean-Luc Tingaud on 27 November.

Soloists Applause