Simon's present

Jul 13, 2023

The members of the choir were very generous with their donations for Simon's leaving present. In the end we decided that we would credit his account with most of the money raised and give him a framed picture of the choir at the end of the Wassail concert in December 2022.

The picture shows him in his garden holding the picture after being privately presented with it.

We all wish him the very best as his health improves.


Summer Garden Party

The Old Hall

Jul 05, 2023

On Wednesday 5th July we held our annual party in the garden of The Old Hall, Rolleston. 

We were honoured and delighted that the Mayor of Burton, Councillor Syed Hussain, accepted our invitation to the party and here is a lovely photograph of Sophie Hawthorn, our new MD, the Mayor and Suzanne Alliss our chair.

Further photographs of the happy evening appear in our Gallery Section.



Simon Lesley our MD resigns

Mar 14, 2023

It is with great regret we announce the resignation of our long-standing and highly talented MD, Simon Lesley. The whole choir is desperately sad to see him depart and we send him our very best wishes as he continues his convalescence. Suzanne Alliss, Chairperson, said, "Simon has left an amazing legacy, not only to the society but to the community in Rolleston as a whole. He worked  incredibly hard forging links with John of Rolleston School, embedding a love of music and preforming for future generations. " Thank you Simon for music and the memories!

We are very fortunate to have the services of an interim MD, Stephen Alliss whilst we formulate plans for the future.🎵🎶

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Wassail Christmas Concert

St. Mary's, Rolleston

Dec 17, 2022

On 17th December we held our long-awaited Wassail Concert. We were joined by 25 children from John of Rolleston Choir and they did us proud. We sang to a packed church. The comments we've had have been very upbeat.


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Summer Party 2022

the first for over 2 years

Jun 29, 2022

On 29th June we held a summer party in the garden of The Old Hall in Rolleston. It was a chance for members and their partners to socialise after over two years of "social distancing". It was a warm and bright evening only interupted by a very short and shower which did not dampen spirits. Members brought food items to share and we all had a great feast. 

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Carols at St John's

Dec 18, 2021

After a long 18 months, we were able to perform in public with a traditional concert of carols and readings. We were joined by a young soloist, Ella, who opened the concert with O Little Town of Bethlehem.

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June's Tea Party at the Dovecliff

Nov 27, 2021

On 27th November 2021, a group of June's friends from the choir met for a long overdue celebration of her birthday and retirement from choir. A great time was had by all!

For pictures, see Gallery


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Drakelow Community Event - our gig

Les Miserables & Oh Happy Day

Sep 04, 2021

On Saturday 4 July 2021 we sang for the first time in public since 14 March 2020. This was at the Drakelow Community Event at Drakelow, near Burton upon Trent. It was wondeful to be all singing together again after the Covid-19 pandemic restrictions eased.

We sang excerpts from Les Misérables and Oh Happy Day.

We had the added effort of learning all the words so there was no singing from copies. 

 After the gig we had a lovely party in Carol Kobylanski's garden - again great to be able to celebrate together again.



The First Real Rehearsal After Lockdown

and inside

Aug 18, 2021

On Wednesday 18 August 2021 we commenced singing as a whole choir again. What a relief! We had just three rehearsals before being let loose on the public at the Drakelow Community Event. 

Afterwards several of us headed to the nearest pub for a well earned pint!


Post Covid sectional rehearsals begin

May 19, 2021

On Tuesday 18th and Wednesday 19th May we started singing together again for the first time since our concert on 14th March 2020. These sectional rehearsals were our first tentative steps towards normal singing again. In the picture you can see some of our sopranos and two imposters singing happily together.

We had hoped to sing at a community gathering at Drakelow on Saturday 10th July. Sadly, owing to the ongoing Covid restrictions this event has been postponed until Saturday 4th September 2021.


AGM elects a new Committee

Using Zoom

Feb 10, 2021

On Wednesday 10th February we held our first Zoom AGM. This worked well and 31 members logged on. The main purpose was to elect a new committee as our long standing President, Alan Partington had very sadly died during the year and our chair Carol Wynn and our Secretary Diane Millar wished to stand down. Jo Ballington was elected our new President, Suzanne Allis our new Chair and Ann Morris our new Secretary. Nick Wilmot was elected to replaced Jo as Vice President. The Treasurer, Paul Taylor, Librarian, Linda Kemp remain in post as do the rest of the committee. 


Christmas eCard carol, Peace, Christmas Blessing

Composed by Simon Lesley

Dec 22, 2020

We have just released our Christmas carol, "Peace, A Christmas Blessing", composed by our very own Musical Director, Simon Lesley. It comes in the form of an eCard which can be viewed by Clicking here. There is an introduction by our Chair, Carol Wynn. As with our "You've got a Friend", we rehearsed this carol via weekly Zoom meetings during the autumn months. The excellent graphics were assembled by Robert and Linda Kemp from submissions by our members.


Jane marries Joe

Aug 01, 2020

On Saturday 1 August our lovely Assistant Musical Director, Jane Phinn, married her longstanding friend Joe Goodwin. In these strange Covid times they were unable to marry in the manner they would have wished but a group of choir friends joined them on the Rolleston Croft for a short social gathering - at a distance of course.  We all wish them every joy and happiness together. 


Virtual Choir

Jul 07, 2020

Over the past few months of lockdown we have, via Zoom, been rehearsing Carole King's well known song "You've Got A Friend". We have now each made our own individual recording and Simon Lesley, our great MD, has spent long hours puting all our efforts together to produce a fantastic "Virtual Choir" rendition of Mac Huff's arrangement of this classic song. Click on the song title above to see and hear us. If you like what you hear and want to be part of our friendly group please go to the Contact page and complete the form. We'd love to welcome you.

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Alan Partington

Jun 25, 2020

It is with great sadness that we report the death of our dear President and founder member, Alan Partington. He died on the 10 June after a short illness at the age of 92. His cremation was held on  24 June. About 20 members of the choir assembled on the wide verge outside the Dovecliffe Hotel on this hot Wednesday afternoon and we paid our last respects to Alan as his cortege passed by. He was a real gentleman of the old school, always kind, considerate and very supportive of our choir. He will be much missed by a large number of us who have known him for many years. Rest in Peace.

Click on Read more to see us after the cortege had passed - keeping socially distant!

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Charity Concert for Ghana

Feb 02, 2020

This joint concert with Beatus was given in St. John's Church, Horninglow to help member, Suzanne Allis to raise money for her to vist Ghana to help around the community of Woe. To see photos of the concert click here

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Annual Dinner

The Spread Eagle, Rolleston

Jan 14, 2020

On 11 January 2020 we held our annual dinner in the Spread Eagle, Rolleston. To see more pictures see the Gallery section Click here

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New Piano & June's retirement

Dec 04, 2019

We have recently been given a generous bequest and have purchased a brand new piano. It is housed in St. Mary's church, Rolleston. The attached photograph shows it with Jane Phinn (our assistant MD), some members of the choir and in the front on the right our longstanding member June Wedd who is now standing down from the choir after nearly 60 years. We all wish you a long, healthy and happy retirement.

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Mozart Requiem

St Peter's, Stapenhill

Nov 16, 2019

On the evening of 16 November 2019 we performed a rousing rendition of Mozart's Requiem in St. Peter's church, Stapenhill, Burton upon Trent. Our numbers were swelled by several guest singers from local choirs. We were fortunate to have the acclaimed Helix Ensemble to provide a 24 piece orchestra. The excellent soloists were: Allison Taylor (soprano), Caroline Summers (contralto), Mitesh Khatri (tenor) and Jeremy Leaman (Bass-baritone). 

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Mozart Requiem Workshop

with Nigel Perrin

Oct 23, 2019

On Saturday 19th October 2019 we held a special workshop to help us perfect our interpretation of Mozart's requiem in readiness for our performance on Saturday 16th November 2019.

We were fortunate to be able to engage nationally acclaimed musician Nigel Perrin (formerly of the Kings Singers and currently MD of Bath Bach Choir) to run the workshop.

Click here to see some photographs of the workshop 

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Burton Competitive Vocal Festival

Our First Entry

Mar 03, 2019


On Sunday 3rd March we entered the Burton Competitive Vocal Festival for the first time. We all enjoyed the new experience. We were up against some very impressive competition and although we were not placed we obtained a "Comended" grade with a score of 84. This is wonderful given our members are not subjected to an audition unlike most of the other entrants and certainly the placed groups. This is a great tribute to our MD Simon Lesley.  

Click here to view our gallery of photos


For further details of the competition see the website:



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Skittles Evening

Burton Bridge Brewery

May 07, 2017


We do other things than sing! On Saturday 6 May a number of us spent a highly amusing and enjoyable evening upstairs at The Burton Bridge attempting to knock down all the skittles. We comprised 7 groups of four.

After the first round Diane Millar, the organiser, started to rachet up the fun. We didn't just bowl with our dominant arm but then with the other one. Some teams actually got a higher score this way! We then had to face the wrong way and bowl through our legs. I found that worked quite well!. The next ordeal was to bowl through the splayed legs of the rest of our team. After a few pints, making sure we did not smash their ankles was a challenge. Fortunately no 999 calls were necessary. A few highlights were captured on Margaret's 'phone and they are displayed here. 

The runaway winners were Glyn, Christian and cousins from Poland.

For further pictures see the Gallery section.






Lucy and Ryan Wedding

St Mary's, Rolleston

Apr 22, 2017

On Friday 21st April a group of us had the pleasure of singing at Lucy and Ryan's wedding. Lucy is the daughter of long-standing member and former secretary, Inger Brendstuen. 

First we sang the well-known opening hymn "Jerusalem". Later while the bride and groom were signing the register, we sang John Rutter's now popular "This is the Day". This was composed especially for the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton back in 2011. Our final contribution was "Lord of all Hopefulness".

After the wedding a group of us enjoyed a good lunch at the "Spread".


Branston Golf Club

Team Captain's Inauguration

Mar 11, 2017

Were were invited to provide the entertainment at the 2017 team captain's inauguration. On Saturday 11 March we assembled in front of the clubhouse and sang: "Like a Bridge over Troubled Water", "All you need is Love" and, ladies only, "Wherever You Are".

It was an interesting experience singing outdoors!


We all enjoyed the buffet afterwards.



June Wedd's 90th Birthday

Apr 13, 2016

At our rehearsal on 13 April 2016 we celebrated our founder member, June Wedd's 90th Birthday. Our chairman, Jo Ballington, presented June with a bouquet and June made a delightful speech. Being a choir we sang "Happy Birthday" with great joy and gusto. Afterwards, we continued the celebrations downstairs in the bar at "The Spread". June cut her cake, ably made by Carol Kobylanski and we all enjoyed sharing it with June..


June has and is a very active member of the Rolleston Choral Society having sung in over 100 concerts. She served on the committee in many roles over the 52 years of her membership. She is a delightful person and we trust she will be singing with us for many years to come. "HAPPY BIRTHDAY".

More photographs of this happy occasion appear in the Gallery section 


Spring Concert - March 2016

Rave review

Mar 20, 2016

Our concert titled "Animal music from the deep" was both a sell out and a great musical success. John Phillips has written a detailed and witty review about this latet concert (see Concert Review section). If you performed in or came to the concert you will recognise much of what John has written. For those who did not attend, hopefully this review will inspire you to either join our choir or attend the next concert.

John's photographs of the concert appear in the Gallery section



RCS Advent Tree

Nov 27, 2015

Once again Rolleston Choral Society has entered St Mary's Advent Festival. Now in its tenth year, the theme is "A literary Christmas". We have adopted "The Messiah" as our interpretation of this theme. The RCS tree has been most ably inspired and decorated by members: Cherry Burston and Inger Brendstuen.  We hope the photograph inspires you to pop down to the church and have a real viewing.

There are 40 other entries from village organisations and individuals. Cherry Burston also has an original entry based upon Hercule Poirot's Christmas.

Admission is by way of a suggested donation of £2.

The festival is open daily from 1:00pm to 6:00pm., commencing today Friday 27 November and ending Monday 30th November 2015.




Nick Waller's 70th Birthday - October 2015

Oct 21, 2015

After the rehearsal on Wednesday 21st October we held a surprise 70th birthday party for Nick Waller, our long-standing accompanist. Click on "Read More" for his thank you email to the choir. Go to the Gallery section for more photos.

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Simon Lesley returns as MD - September 2015

Sep 06, 2015

Simon Lesley - Musical Director

Simon Lesley returned in September to take over the reins once again after his sabbatical. We started straight in rehearsing for our autumn concert to be held on 17 October at St John's Church, Horninglow, Burton on Trent. We will be performing Haydn's wellknown Nelson Mass and a recently discovered Requiem by 19th Century composer Robert Pearsall. A further delight will be a performance of Mozart's Kegelstatt Trio by Rev Michael Freeman, Rebecca Lesley and Karen Thompson.


Moving the piano to The Spread - August 2015

Aug 19, 2015

On 18 August 2015 we moved the piano from the Methodist Chapel to The Spread Eagle. This mighty effort was arranged by our accompanist Nick Waller who enlisted Andy Holden and his team to undertake the task. Nick Waller, Ken Ballington and Paul Taylor from the choir assisted in the process.

Initially the piano was carried out of the chapel and onto the back of a flat bed truck which was then driven to the Spread. After much deliberation on the best route to take, it was decided to use the outside fire-escape leading to the upstairs corridor. We had to remove both the fire-escape door and the door to the rehearsal room in order to squeeze it through. The accompanying photograph shows it halfway up the fire-escape.

After a few minor repairs and a retune, it is now back in use for our rehearsals. This has freed up the electric piano for split rehearsals in the neighbouring Church.

Somehow we doubt if the piano will ever leave the Spread!

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Move to the Spread Eagle for rehearsals - April 2015

Apr 15, 2015

After performing The Crucifixion by Sir John Stainer we started moving into our new home at The Spread Eagle in Rolleston. The landlord, Keith Spalton, has been very accommodating and we are not only able to rehearse in the upstairs meeting room but we are also able to store our collection of music in one of the old bedrooms. 

The first rehearsal was held on 15 April. This was for our summer concert titled "Curtain Up". 

Of course, the new venue makes it very easy for those of us who like a pint after our Wednesday evening rehearsals - we just go downstairs!



Leaving the Methodist Chapel - March 2015

Mar 11, 2015

Last year we were given notice that the Methodist Chapel would be closing and we would no longer be able to use it for our rehearsals. On 11 March we had our final rehearsal there. 


Simon Lesley takes a Sabbatical - January 2015

Jane Phinn takes over as MD

Jan 02, 2015

Towards the end of 2014 our Musical Director, Simon Lesley, asked if he could take a sabbatical until the autumn of 2015. This was agreed and we invited Jane Phinn to take over for our Spring and Summer concerts. Very fortunately she agreed.


In 2014 we celebrated 50 years since our first public performance

Oct 31, 2014

We started the year with a concert titled “1914 and All That”. As the title suggests, we performed a wide variety of music popular around 100 years ago. We staged this concert as part of the “Love Rolleston” weekend.

Our major celebration concert for our 50th anniversary year was a performance of Karl Jenkins’ acclaimed work “The Armed Man”. Burton Town Hall was packed and we, along with the Staffordshire Band received a rapturous response.

We rounded off the year with a lovely Christmas concert in St Mary’s, Rolleston. We were ably supported by the children of John of Rolleston School.

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Once again the Society was invited to take part in the village’s Advent festival at St Mary’s Church, which this year was entitled “Light in Darkness”. A tree was the centrepiece, but the rest was up to each group. Ever-resourceful, we decided to make a “mini-choir” – consisting basically of toilet rolls and ping-pong balls. Considering that very few of us are modellers, we came up with some imaginative results!

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