Rugby Philharmonic Choir

Rugby Philharmonic Choir has been proudly performing in the heart of the town since 1867.
Furnished with an eclectic repertoire and a chorus of over 120 voices, the programme for the 2018 season reflects the origins of the choir and its progression over the years.

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Rugby Philharmonic Choir

Term begins Tuesday 8th January 2019.
Rehearsals are Tuesday evenings at 7.30pm at the URC,
  Hilmorton Road, Rugby.

Our Next Concert...

Gala Concert Poster0119_200
Charity Gala Concert
Saturday 23rd February 2019

Rugby Philharmonic choir is pleased to join the Rugby Dunsmore Rotary and The Friends of St Cross, to take part in a  great night of stirring music from one of the best bands in the country, the Jaguar Land Rover Band.


RPC 2019 Gala Concert launch_350Our members met up with the Mayor of Rugby, organisers  Friends of St Cross and Rotary Rugby Dunsmore,  Rugby FM and members of Jaguar Land Rover Band  for an official event launch.

This is a very popular event so we recommend you get tickets early to avoid disappointment.

Tickets are 12.50 in advance, available from the Rugby Visitor Centre or online at
www.fsx.org.uk or 15.00 on the door on the night.


“The Phil at Christmas” Rugby Philharmonic Choir at the Temple Speech Room,
15th December 2018

2018Cristmas Concert_450The hallmarks of The Rugby Philharmonic Choir’s partnership with their musical director Mervyn Bethell become more clearly defined with every concert. So too the quality of the performances, and the strength of their support - this was a very big audience. One hallmark is mutual confidence: a two-hour programme in which the Choir itself is the key performer for 95% of the time demands unwavering concentration and a strong belief that interpretation, sound and tone can be sustained and consistent. None of this is possible without another hallmark: discipline - there is always precision in the conductor’s direction, and the choir responded with beautiful accuracy in the shape of phrases, and very good, often outstanding, clarity of words. It’s not fair to leave out a final hallmark, of course: shared fun.

The “Phil” asked a lot of themselves. Britten’s famous ‘A Ceremony of Carols’ sets a series of medieval poems in styles varying from plainsong to layers of abrupt syncopation. Then a different challenge - Alan Woods’ ‘This Joyous Night’ from 1999, although popular wherever it has been heard, has not apparently been performed in Rugby before. Most of us, therefore, were offered a pleasing new treat. John Rutter is much more familiar to many. But that does not reduce the impact of his work, or the trickiness of harmony and tuning: and ‘The Gift of Life’, was a moving start to the second half of this concert. And so, to carols, including Adolphe Adam’s 1843 ‘Oh Holy Night’ which has become such a favourite.

A lot was also asked of the soloists and accompanists, who all know the Phil well, and again were vital in the success of the evening. The ease and skill of Jo Foote’s accompaniment was remarkable. She and James Williams on the organ made their two instruments sound orchestral in range and depth - a tour de force. Emma Griffiths’ soprano floated magically above the choir, and Jack Dolan showed his versatility by singing baritone solo early on, and then revealing his soaring tenor range in the second half. A team of percussionists added layers of strength in the second half.

The “Phil’s” capacity for partnerships took another leap forward too. They worked in this concert with Rugby FM: the concert, kindly sponsored by the Hinckley and Rugby Building Society, was recorded for radio, and Jason Moss, familiar voice on Rugby FM, was the compere for the evening.


Rehearsals are on Tuesday evenings from 7.30 - 9.30pm at the United Reformed Church, Hillmorton Road, Rugby.
New members are very welcome. If you would like to join the choir, please come along to rehearsals. Please print and complete a New Members Form and bring it along with you.

Rugby Philharmonic Choir.  Contact Mervyn Bethell at musicaldirector@rugbyphilharmonic.org.uk

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© Rugby Philharmonic Choir 1867 - 2019 
Updated January 2019