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Rugby Philharmonic Choir  Since 1867

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 2019 season reflects the origins of the choir and it’s progression over the years.

Rugby Philharmonic Choir Christmas Concert

Rugby Philharmonic Choir Christmas Concert 2019

Saturday 14th December 2019, 7.30pm.
Temple Speech Room, Rugby School.


Handel:                        Messah  -   Part One

Chilcott:                       On Christmas Night

Vaughn Williams:       A Vaughan Williams Christmas

RPC Finale:                  O Holy Night
                                        A Merry Christmas
                                        Audience Carols


Soloists Emma Griffiths, Chloe Underwood, Jack Dolan and John Fletcher
plus Orchestral members of the Royal Brimingham Conservatoire.


Rugby Festival of Remembrance

Rugby Festival of RemembranceThe Jaguar Land Rover Band, with Rugby Philharmonic Choir, at St Andrew's Church, Rugby.

Saturday 9th November 2019

With more than 100 performers, and over 300 enthralled listeners in the nave of the church, this was a packed, powerful and poignant occasion.   The Jaguar Land Rover Band booked the church for the Saturday of Remembrance weekend, and worked with the Rugby Philharmoic Choir, to honour the fallen, to support the work of the British Legion, and to remember with special affection Charlie Howard, who served the Hillmorton British Legion so well for so long.   From the first moments, and the flag procession, it was -  throughout  -   an evening with a great sense of togetherness and shared purpose.

Brad Turnbull and Mervyn Bethell, conductors of band and choir, guided us through a well-chosen combination of nostalgic numbers from the First World War and the 1940's, and a selection of appropriate music from other eras, dynamic and restrained, haunting and inspiring. The full ensemble work dovetailed movingly with Melanie Cotton's beautiful mezzo-soprano solos, Ian Wright's smooth euphonium sound,  the tear-jerking Last Post and Reveille from three JLR trumpeters, the solemn story of the Unknown Soldier from Revd Maraget Simmons and Larry Burke's tribute to Charlie Howard.   A short report cannot to do justice to the whole programme, but to mention the following is to guarantee that those who were not there will wish they had been:  the Karl Jenkins Benedictus, arranged for brass band and euphonium by Tony Small;  the Agnus Dei to Elgar's Nimrod;  You Raise me Up, by Loveland and Graham;  Purcell's 'Dido's Lament';   Handel's 'Lascia Ch'io Panga';   Glenn Miller.   That's only the half of it.  

In many ways the most moving moments of all came in the remarkable gentleness and control of the big band in its quiet passages, and the massed item of 'The Day Thou Gavest, Lord', with 400 voices raised together in tribute and remembrance.  

The good news at the end of the festival is the intention of these ensembles to come back to the same place at the same time next year.  You'll be well advised to book early.

Come and join us...

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 November 2019