Welcome to
Bury Choral Society
We’re passionate about singing & always welcome new members.
Bury Choral Society
Bury Choral Society (BCS) has been singing great choral music for a long time; founded in 1838, we are one of the country’s longest established choral societies.

We are a mixed voice adult choir, with some 70 amateur singers from many different walks of life who are all passionate about singing.  We sing a classical repertoire, from William Byrd to today’s composers, performing four concerts over the season, including our very popular Christmas Festivities; we are usually accompanied by the Bury Camerata and/or our super pianist or organist. There are also occasional other concerts and events such as Come and Sing! and compact concerts, a one hour concert “out of town” on a Sunday afternoon, and charity sing-outs. 

Our professional Director of Music is Royal Conservatory of Madrid trained Juan Ortuño, assisted by our professional accompanists, pianist Jonathan Ellis and organist, Elin Rees.  Our concerts are varied with a wide repertoire of primarily choral music, old and new.

Singing is for everyone.  It is a cultural, collective activity and fosters well-being.  We are open to all sections of the community, welcome new singers, young and not so young, and encourage our audiences and the wider population across the borough and wider district to enjoy and become involved in choral music.

The Society has a long connection with the civic authority of Bury and since 1902 The Mayor of Bury has been a Patron (and usually attends our concerts!).  BCS has a long line of distinguished Chief Patrons and we are delighted that since March 2018 Sir Mark Elder CH CBE has been our new Chief Patron.

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Latest News

It is with great regret that our forthcoming concert, Glorious Rhythm scheduled for Saturday, 16th May, has been cancelled. Rarely in the long history of the choir have we suspended all rehearsals and cancelled concerts but, as we all know, the coronavirus pandemic has required the cessation of all gatherings and closure of venues; this is in accordance with the Government’s initial advice and now the new statutory regulations.

But that is not an end to our music-making! We are planning a virtual concert of Glorious Rhythm so please watch this space! We will bring you the links in due course. Our newsletter will have all the latest updates; just submit your email address and request to sign up via the link above. After 182 years we have no intention of being silent let alone disappearing! We will be back, live, as soon as we can.

In the meantime, do have a look at our at our Bury Choral Society’s Facebook page. Our virtual concert will also be posted there but for the present there is a daily link to a great piece of music – not all choral and some not classical, but all good.

Pictured above: Juan Ortuño conducting the choir at the launch event

Chief Patron - Sir Mark Elder CH CBE

Our Chief Patron is Sir Mark Elder CH CBE. Sir Mark is the Music Director of the Halle Orchestra, Principal Artist of the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and conducts many of the world’s leading orchestras as well as conducting in the major opera houses.
We are delighted and honoured that Sir Mark become our new Chief Patron in March 2019; he is the third Knight of the Realm to be Patron of the Society following in the footsteps of former Patrons, Sir Malcolm Sargent and Sir Charles Groves.
Do you enjoy singing?
Would you like to join us? Come and meet us and sit in on a rehearsal.

Our Next Concert

Glorious Rhythm on Saturday, 14th May is cancelled.

Our next concert will feature Beethoven’s Mass in C, Tuesday, 10th November, 2020. Venue TBA.

Meet The Team
Director of Music

Juan Ortuno

 

Spanish conductor Juan Ortuño is enjoying an exciting career in the UK, where he is principal conductor of the Sheffield Symphony Orchestra and the Gorton Philharmonic Orchestra.

He also regularly conducts concerts with Crosby, North Staffordshire, Alderley Edge and Wilmslow Symphony Orchestras. Coming from a family of singers, Juan is very passionate about working with opera and choral societies.
 

Jonathan Ellis began learning the piano at the age of three.

From the age of 11 onwards, he studied at Wells Cathedral School, and then moved on to the joint music course of the RNCM and Manchester University, achieving a first class degree from both institutions plus the PPRNCM diploma in solo piano, and has since attained postgraduate-level diplomas in accompaniment and chamber music, latterly studying with John Wilson.
Meet The Team
Accompanist
jonathan ellis

Jonathan Ellis

Meet The Team
Accompanist
jonathan ellis

Jonathan Ellis

 

Jonathan Ellis began learning the piano at the age of three.

From the age of 11 onwards, he studied at Wells Cathedral School, and then moved on to the joint music course of the RNCM and Manchester University, achieving a first class degree from both institutions plus the PPRNCM diploma in solo piano, and has since attained postgraduate-level diplomas in accompaniment and chamber music, latterly studying with John Wilson.
Meet The Team
Assistant Accompanist
elin rees

 

Elin Rees is the Organist at Bury Parish Church, a freelance accompanist, and piano and organ soloist.

As an organist she is in regular demand as an accompanist to choirs across the North West, including the Alteri Chamber Choir, Congleton, Bury and Salford Choral Societies and Ad Solem, the prize-winning University of Manchester Chamber Choir.
Music & Video
Here is a small selection of some of our recorded performances.
Maurice Duruflé: Ubi Caritas - One of four motets (composed 1960):
Louis Vierne Messe Solennelle (1901):

From the choir’s concert, November 2019                                                                                                                                                                      

Leeming: Cotton Mills (2013)

World premier performance of Zakiya Leeming's "Cotton Mills", specially commissioned by Bury Choral Society in celebration of its 175th season. Words by C. Richard Miles. Performed at the Royal Northern College of Music, Manchester, on 12th May 2013. Conducted by Sinead Hayes.                                                                                                                                                                           

Gabriel Fauré: Cantique de Jean Racine (1865)
So, come and join us!
If you are 16+, enjoy singing and would like to consider joining us, you are invited to come and meet us and sit in on a rehearsal. You are assured of a warm welcome.
Reviews
Read our latest reviews to discover more about us.
Entente Cordiale!

Entente Cordiale!

The advanced publicity promised a large scale opening to the new season but, unfortunately, Elgar’s The Apostles has been postponed. However, the somewhat lighter weight mix of English and French music, including a stunning rendition by Elin Rees of Vierne’s Finale, 1st Organ Symphony…

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Christmas Festivities 2018

Amidst all the tawdry tat which bedevils so much of the Christmas season there are one or two gems to be found.  One such was at Bury’s United Reformed Church, where the Bury Choral Society gave their Christmas concert.  And what a gem it was! There were too many to...

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The Great War: Armistice

For their first concert of the season at Bury Parish Church, Bury Choral Society chose to mark the centenary of the signing of the armistice of the Great War with a very carefully and appropriately assembled programme. Music was interspersed with poetry, narrative and...

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Stabat Mater & Messa di Gloria

This season’s final concert by Bury Choral Society, held in Bury Parish Church on 12 May, comprised two sacred works from composers usually associated with opera.  Puccini’s Messa di Gloria was composed when he was only 22 as a graduation piece, was a resounding...

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0161 761 1544
Secretary
Contact Address:
Bury Choral Society, c/o 166 Tottington Road, Bury, Lancashire. BL8 1RU.
Get In Touch
We would love to hear from you.

Next Event: Glorious Rhythm - Our concert scheduled for 16th May is CANCELLED