An emotional time this evening, as the choir said a fond farewell to our brilliant Musical Director, Michael, with a concert of his favourite Cantare music, ‘The Best of Betteridge’, at St Edmund’s Church, Rochdale. We thank him for everything he’s done for the choir and wish him all the very best for the future.
Let Christmas commence! Thank you as always to the Friends of St Edmund’s Church and to our lovely, appreciative audience this evening as we celebrated the festive season with beautiful music by female composers, readings and candlelight, mulled wines, mince pies and, of course the world premiere performance of the specially commissioned ‘Rochdale Carol’ (words by Rebecca Hurst, music by Lucy Pankhurst).
Bringing Hebden Bridge Arts Festival’s ‘Weekend of Wonderful Women’ to a close, we performed alongside Splinters Band, celebrating 100 years of women getting the vote. The evening finished with a grand finale performance of The Pankhurst Anthem, conducted by the composer, Lucy Pankhurst.
We were delighted to support the congregation of St John the Evangelist, Thornham, with a varied concert – part of St John’s commitment to Heritage England and the Lottery Fund to increase the use of the church as a community venue.
This evening, we opened a very special event at Rochdale Parish Church of St Chad by singing The Pankhurst Anthem prior to Dr Helen Pankhurst’s discussion of her book Deed Not Words, part of Rochdale Literature & Ideas Festival 2018.
Tonight we helped celebrate 90 years of voting equality when we were asked to open an Equali-teas event at Rochdale town hall. Edna Robinson, Chair of the People’s Powerhouse, a movement which aims to bring about sustainable prosperity to communities in the north of England, was interviewed by multi-award-winning journalist, Helen Nugent, at this prestigious event. For the choir it was also an ideal photo opportunity. We hope you like our new images, captured in and around the magnificent town hall.
This evening in Manchester’s Albert Square, Cantare members joined with 80 local choirs, forming ‘Manchester Together – One Voice’, to remember those killed in the 2017 Manchester Arena bombing. The superbly organised event included a performance by the ‘Survivors Choir’ made up of people who’d been at the Ariana Grande concert a year ago, and concluded with a mass singing of Don’t Look Back in Anger, Never Forget, One Day Like This and One Last Time. The event was a fitting and positive tribute, looking forward, and celebrating Mancunians as a force to be reckoned with. Afterwards, there was time to walk to St Ann’s Square to hear the bells ring at 10.31pm – the exact time of the explosion. The square was once again filled with flowers, and the mood here more sombre and thoughtful.
Tonight we were pleased and so proud to be invited to sing The Pankhurst Anthem, a brand new choral piece commissioned by BBC Radio 3 to mark 100 years of women’s suffrage, at Manchester’s Pankhurst Centre during the launch of Dr Helen Pankhurst’s book, Deeds Not Words. The anthem features music by composer Lucy Pankhurst and text by Helen, based on a speech by her great-grandmother, Emmeline. It was an inspiring and humbling event and we were delighted to be a part of it. You can find out more here.
It wouldn’t be Christmas without Cantare in concert! This year, in the stunning venue of St Edmund’s, Falinge, not only did we have beautiful and varied festive music from the choir and special guests, The Sunday Boys, and traditional audience carols, we also had pie and peas for supper! Thank you, as always, to the Friends of St Edmund’s for their hard work and warm welcome.
We’re very proud of our MD Michael Betteridge! Tonight he was awarded ‘Artist of
the Year’ at the Rochdale Borough Sports & Culture Awards in recognition of his commissioned work with poets Ian and Andrew McMillan for the finale of Rochdale Literature & Ideas Festival 2016.
We had an early start today as we assembled at Manchester’s prestigious Bridgewater Hall to take part in the Tram Tracks project, in celebration of the 25th anniversary of Metrolink and the Bridgewater Hall’s 21st
birthday. It was an exciting experience to perform We Sing of Rochdale, our contribution, jointly composed by choir members and our MD, Michael, based on our town centre tram terminus, one of 93 new pieces of music, on the main stage of this world class concert hall. “Remember the mills, think of the hills…”.
What a great summer evening’s concert we had! A varied and entertaining programme from our marvellous special guests, Rossendale Male Voice Choir with their MD, Matthew Thomas, a warm and enthusiastic audience and wonderful hosting, as always, by the Friends of St Edmund’s (complete with home-baked cakes and prosecco!) ensured no one rained on our parade!
Still in competition mode, this evening we sang for the second year at Rochdale Youth Festival of Performing Arts and were, once more, awarded Honours in our class. What a joy it is to perform in our uniquely beautiful town hall!
We love to sing for audiences, but we also strive to be the very best choir we can be and one of the best ways of doing that is to perform at festivals. Today, for the first time, we sang some challenging repertoire at Manchester Amateur Choral Competition at the Royal Northern College of Music. We didn’t win, but we received some great, positive feedback from the judges – and we still managed to have fun.
Our second candlelit Christmas with Cantare concert at St Edmund’s Church was a great success. Many thanks to our special guests – The Sunday Boys – for their beautiful singing; to the Friends of St Edmund’s for their warm welcome and delicious refreshments; and to all who came to listen and join in with the carols.
We were immensely proud to be invited to sing at the finale of
this year’s Rochdale Literature & Ideas Festival at the Church of St Mary in the Baum. Not only did we showcase some of the most beautiful songs from our repertoire, based on poetry, but we also performed a completely new poem, Singing Volumes, specially commissioned for the festival by Ian McMillan and based on the Maskew story, with stunning (and very difficult!) music composed by our own, Michael Betteridge. What an amazing experience!
The highlight of our weekend away in Oxfordshire was being invited to sing with the inspirational Blackbird Leys Choir in Oxford, made famous in 2006 by their formation on the Channel 5 series, The Singing Estate. At the concert, the combined choirs premiered a new piece, Sing, Sing, specially written for the occasion by our MD, Michael Betteridge.
We had the best time tonight at our summery Birthdays concert in the magnificent setting of St Edmund’s Church, and reactions from the audience suggest they enjoyed it too. Much of the music was chosen by our birthday girls, members of the choir celebrating significant birthdays in 2016. This, together with scones, strawberries and fizz made for a perfect summer evening.
Exciting news! We’ve just been informed that Rochdale Youth Festival of Performing Arts is to award us the Jim Noble Trophy for Outstanding Performance in the 2016 Festival; also that the choir has been selected to perform in the 2016 celebration concert on Sunday 8th May, 4.45 – 8pm, at Rochdale Town Hall. Tickets for family members & friends will be available from Rochdale Music Service from Wednesday 13th April, £4.00 for adults, £2.00 for children. Family Ticket £10.00 (2 adults + 2 children).
It was a privilege and a pleasure to sing at Rochdale Town Hall this evening for Rochdale Youth Festival of Performing Arts – and we did rather well too! We were awarded “Honours” in all our three classes.
We’re back after the Christmas break and are busy practising for Rochdale Youth Festival of Performing Arts which this year is welcoming adult entries for the first time. We’ll be performing in three classes at the Town Hall on the evening of 8th March. Please come and support us if you can.
We all really enjoyed our candlelit Christmas concert, our first in the stunning venue that is St Edmund’s Church, and were delighted to receive wonderfully positive feedback from the audience. Special thanks to the Friends of St Edmund’s for their warm welcome, excellent administration, beautiful decorations and delicious refreshments. Over £600 was raised and the amount split equally between the choir and St Edmund’s, which is administered by the Churches Conservation Trust. Merry Christmas and a happy New Year everyone!
We’re pleased to report that our joint concert with Greater Manchester Police Male Voice Choir at the RNCM, showcasing the world premiere of our specially commissioned piece, Visions of Paradise by Chris Roe, and including Faure’s Requiem and Chilcott’s A Little Jazz Mass, was a huge success. What’s more, it was a wonderful, exciting occasion which we thoroughly enjoyed. Many thanks to Chris and to our MD, Michael, to the wonderful orchestra and accompanists, to our soloists, Erika and Charlie, and to all those who supported this venture, financially and/or by attending on the night. Please see our Gallery for a selection of photos.
We travelled to Bath for a second year to take part in the Mid Somerset
Festival at the beautiful Guildhall, achieving a Distinction in the Female Voice class and a Commended in the Popular/Show Song class. You can see what a wonderful weekend we had in our Gallery.
An exciting day today! Cantare met with GMPMVC for the first of many joint practices and we had our first sight of Chris Roe’s commissioned work, Visions of Paradise, working towards our concert at the Royal
Northern College of Music on 18th July. (Please see our Future events page for further programme details and ticket information.) The brand new piece has been specially written for the two choirs, the result of our composition competition, and we were delighted that Chris was able to make the journey from London to be with us today. First impressions from choir members ranged from “Brilliant!” and “Beautiful!” to “Challenging, but a lot of fun”. See our Gallery for photos of this first practice.
We are also looking for donations and sponsorship towards the commissioning and rehearsing of Chris’s new work. If you are interested in sponsoring this fantastic new piece, please visit: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/new-choral-work-by-composer-chris-roe/x/8241518 for more information.
Our MD, Michael, and representatives from the committees of both Cantare and Manchester Police Male Voice Choir visited Springhill Hospice today to hand over a cheque of £1,000 – the proceeds fom our joint Christmas concert on 18th December.
We were amazed this evening when it seemed like the whole of Rochdale had turned out to hear our special, candlelit concert – Benjamin Britten’s A Ceremony of Carols, beautifully accompanied by Angelina Warburton on harp, in the atmospheric setting of St Mary-in-the-Baum.
We’re starting to feel very festive! Tonight, a packed house at Rochdale’s Curtain Theatre enjoyed Christmas favourites and carols when we sang as guests of Greater Manchester Police Male Voice Choir, in aid of Springhill Hospice – just a taster of next year’s major collaboration between our two choirs. Watch this space!
Tonight we performed our summer programme at Dearnley Methodist Church, Littleborough: Musicals & Spirituals – a lighthearted concert of favourite tunes and songs from the shows. Thank you to our lovely, appreciative audience.
Today we were invited to sing at the Mayor Making ceremony at Rochdale’s magnificent town hall. Three of our unaccompanied songs were followed by the grand finale, the Rochdale Borough Song – verses by local poets Robin Parker, Katie Haigh and Ann Robinson set to music composed by our own Michael Betteridge. Check out the photos in our Gallery.
We have just announced our Composition Competition in collaboration with the Greater Manchester Police Male Voice Choir.
On Saturday 22nd March 2014, the choir travelled to Bath to take part in the Mid Somerset Festival for the first time. You can see photos of the weekend in our Gallery and read all about our success at the competition here.