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

We are BACK! Who could have imagined that it would be a year and a half before a semblance of normality would allow Bury Choral Society to safely return to rehearsals and to programme a season of concerts with glorious choral music to the fore? Whatever happened to the prediction that it would all be over by Christmas – the pandemic, not the Great War! We re-commence our “normal” rehearsals at Holy Trinity Primary School, Cecil Street, Bury, on Tuesday, 7th September at 7.30pm.

We are very conscious that the pandemic has not gone away even if we are no longer at such risk as we were, and are seeking to make our singing environment as safe as we can.

We are planning a full season of concerts in spacious, airy venues and you can see the full programme under Upcoming Events via the Concerts banner at the top of the page. But we start with a special event following an invitation to be the choir assisting in the commemoration of John Bradburne singing specially commissioned works all set to poetry and prose penned by the man – he wrote 6000 poems! This will take place at Holy Cross Church, Oxford Road, Manchester (in the middle of the University area) on Saturday, 25th September starting at 2pm. John Bradburne? A former RAF serviceman who later, after many wanderings, became a missionary helper at a leprosy settlement in Zimbabwe (then Rhodesia); he was murdered in September 1979 at the age of 58.

Our 2021-2022 season starts with an In Memoriam concert at Bury Parish Church (TBC) on Saturday, 20th November with Fauré’s Requiem, Handel’s Foundling Hospital Anthem a work by local man, Peter Skellern; we also hope to repeat a performance of the Requiem in an afternoon Compact Concert – Just an Hour – on Sunday, 21st, at a venue to be announced . Our ever popular Christmas Festivities will be held on Tuesday, 14th December. In 2022 we will be performing our much delayed commemoration of the 250th anniversary of the birth of Beethoven (December 1770), performing his Mass in C. Our 2021-2022 season will conclude with Glorious Rhythym an uplifting concert of diverse, rhythmic music including Lambert’s Rio Grande and Ramirez’ Misa Criolla; a virtual concert of this programme on our website has now been deleted so if you haven’t heard this fantastic music come and hear it live!

Finally, throughout our enforced separation music has been posted on our Facebook page to be enjoyed by all. All types of music and performances illustrating the diversity and wonder of music – it is not all choral!. We are indebted to one of our members, Dot Cooper, ably assisted by Naomi Jahoda, for what has been a real tour de force of inventiveness, knowledge and above all stamina. Thank you to Dot and Naomi and all the other members who have contributed to bringing us this remarkable catalogue of music, and all the wonderful musicians, performers and composers.

We look forward to seeing you our friends and supporters joining us in singing or hearing great choral music – live, again!

BSC-choir-and-orchestra-wide
Pictured above and below:
Our last concert – Mozart’s Requiem at St Vincent and Paul Church, Norden,
on Sunday, 15th March 2020 – a Just an Hour concert
BSC-choir-and-orchestra-wide
Pictured above: Juan Ortuño conducting the choir

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 agreed to be 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.

Music!

Each day since the pandemic commenced and the choir has been unable to get together in person, wonderful music has been posted on the Society's Facebook page, performed not only by world class professionals but also amateur choirs and singers which brings home to each of us how important music is in our lives.  But it is second best to live music in which we participate, either performing or listening. If you would like to hear this daily posting you don't need to have signed up to Facebook - you can link to HERE

Until concerts re-commence here is another Virtual Concert with a brief selection from the daily postings – a real mixture with glorious voices:

         Alleluya A New Voice is Come on Hand - a new carol by Wishart

         A Spotless Rose  

         Ella Fitzgerald - Gershwin, The Man I Love 

         Brahms, German Requiem - How Lovely are Thy Dwellings Fair
         Bach, St Matthew's Passion, Final Chorus 

         Fidelio, Prisoners' chorus – from Beethoven’s only opera

         Jessye Norman - Strauss, Four Last Songs

         VOCES8 - Harris, Bring us O Lord

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.

Schubert: Magnificat in C, part 3

Juan Ortuño conducting Bury Choral Society, the Bury Camerata, organist Elin Rees and soloists Alicia Hill, Laura Wood, Joseph Buckmaster and Peter Lidbetter

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.                                                                                                                                                                           

Mozart: Requiem, Requiem Aeternam

Juan Ortuño conducting Bury Choral Society, the Bury Camerata, organist Elin Rees, and soloist Alicia Hill

Mozart: Requiem, Lacrimosa

Juan Ortuño conducting Bury Choral Society and the Bury Camerata

Mozart: Piano Concerto no: 26, 3rd movement

Soloist Jonathan Ellis, with Juan Ortuño conducting the Bury Camerata 

Vivaldi: Gloria, opening

Juan Ortuño conducting Bury Choral Society, the Bury Camerata and organist Elin Rees

Maurice Duruflé: Ubi Caritas - One of four motets (composed 1960)

From the choir’s concert, November 2019 

Louis Vierne:  Messe Solennelle (1901)

From the choir’s concert, November 2019

Gabriel Fauré: Cantique de Jean Racine (1865)

From the choir’s concert, November 2019

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.
Requiem

Requiem

Bury Choral Society’s concert at Bury Parish Church, Saturday, 14th March 2020 Two days after this concert the Prime Minister announced that all theatres, bars, venues and gatherings in the country would close and a week later directed everyone to Stay at Home.  And...

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Just An Hour – A Compact Concert

Just An Hour – A Compact Concert

The music was a partial repeat of the concert performed by the choir earlier in the week at All Saints Church, Stand – Entente Cordiale, a mixture of French and British music – with half of the choir taking part for this short concert…

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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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Judas Maccabaeus

Judas Maccabaeus

Those who attended Bury Choral Society’s performance of Handel’s rarely sung oratorio Judas Maccabaeus at All Saints Church, Stand, enjoyed a real treat. The choir of about sixty (a few more tenors would be helpful), with good diction, and most attentive to the...

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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.

We are BACK! See below for our Latest News and our concert programme here  View