About RRCS

RRCS began in 1941 when a professional pianist, Geoffrey Tankard, called a meeting of local musical people at his house, Clairville, in Wray Common Road. Early members included local residents and members of the armed forces stationed locally.

The first rehearsal was held in Redhill on 2nd December 1941, and was conducted by Dr WH Reed with 34 sopranos, 29 altos, 5 tenors and 11 basses. The first concert was Handel’s Messiah in April 1942 at Central Hall Redhill, which has long since disappeared.The society then moved to Shaw’s Corner for its Tuesday evening rehearsals taken by Geoffrey Tankard.


The first concert presented was Handel’s Messiah and since then we have been proud to present not only the great choral masterpieces, but new and unusual repertoire which has both delighted and challenged our members and audiences.

Many of today’s top soloists began their careers singing solo roles with amateur choral societies, and we are no exception. The pattern began with our performance of Elijah in 1942, which featured Isobel Baillie as one of the soloists. The trend has continued since then; examples from subsequent decades include John Shirley Quirk in Bach’s St. Matthew Passion in 1964, Philip Langridge in Dyson’s Canterbury Pilgrims in 1970, Catherine Wyn Rogers in our 1984 performance of Elijah, and Katerina Karnéus in Bach’s Mass in B Minor in 1994.  The eminent soprano and vocal professor Patricia Rozario OBE is not only a more recent soloist but our current President.

Not all of our previous soloists progressed as singers. Included here are Roger Norrington (now Sir Roger) as the tenor soloist in the 1964 Messiah,who is now better known as a conductor, and Brian Kay, the baritone soloist in the Fauré Requiem we performed in 1971 who now pursues a busy career as a conductor and Radio 3 presenter. Most notable amongst those who have subsequently excelled on the podium is our music director in the 1956 Season, Sir Colin Davis, who was the Society’s President until his sad passing in 2013. Further details of our past performances can be found in the archive; this includes details of the repertoire we have performed, together with details of the soloists, conductor, orchestra, date and performance venue.

CONDUCTORS SINCE 1942

Venues since 1942

DR WH REED 1942
GEOFFREY TANKARD 1944 to 1954
SIR GEOFFREY DYSON 1942 to 1946
DR SYDNEY WATSON 1947
SIR PERCY HULL 1951 to 1955
SIR ERNEST BULLOCK 1955
COLIN DAVIS 1956
KENNETH JONES 1957 to 1965
ROBIN GRITTON 1966 to 1977 & 1991
JONATHAN BUTCHER 1978 to 1988
ANDREW FARDELL 1988 to 1992
CHRISTOPHER FIFIELD 1992 to 1996
DAVID EVERETT 1996 to 1998
PETER FARRANT  1998 to 2020

COLE BENDALL   2020 to 2021

JORDAN THIES   2021 to 2022

PENNY HOMER  2022 – 

It is a great compliment to all these conductors that the RRCS is still going strong and performing a wide range of choral works to local and international audiences.

CENTRAL HALL REDHILL  1942 to 1958
ST MATTHEW’S CHURCH REDHILL 1959 to 1998
ST JOHN’S CHURCH REDHILL 1959 to 1998
ST MARK’S CHURCH REIGATE 1960 to 1997
REIGATE PARK CHURCH from 2000 to 2008
HOLY TRINITY CHURCH REDHILL  2008 & 2009
ST MARY’S CHURCH REIGATE 1958 to 1980 & 2014 onwards
HARLEQUIN THEATRE REDHILL from 1989
DONYNGS RECREATION CENTRE REDHILL 1999
DORKING HALLS from 1986
ST MARTIN’S CHURCH DORKING from 2002 to 2014
ST PETER’S CHURCH BRIGHTON MAY 2005 & 2007
ST BART’S CHURCH BRIGHTON from MAY 2009 to 2016
FAIRFIELD HALL CROYDON 1986
ST JAMES’ CHURCH PICCADILLY 2002
ST PAUL’S CHURCH COVENT GARDEN OCT 2010 & 2012
BRISTOL CATHEDRAL MAY 2007
BATH ABBEY MAY 2009
GREAT ST MARY’S CHURCH CAMBRIDGE MAY 2011
CHRISTCHURCH PRIORY MAY 2013
WELLS CATHEDRAL MAY 2015
EGLISE ST PIERRE BRUNOY FRANCE MAY 2002
LA MADELEINE PARIS MAY 2002
BRUSSELS CATHEDRAL MAY 2004
NOTRE DAME DE LA TREILLE LILLE MAY 2006
ROUEN CATHEDRAL MAY 2008
EGLISE JEANNE d’ARC ROUEN MAY 2008
ST GERMAIN DES PRES MAY 2010
NOTRE DAME PARIS MAY 2010
ST PAUL’S ANTWERP JUNE 2012
ST BAVOS GHENT JUNE 2012
NATIONAL BASILICA BRUSSELS MAY 2014
ST GEORGE’S YPRES MAY 2014
REIMS CATHEDRAL MAY 2016
LAON CATHEDRAL MAY 2016

composers SINCE 1942

No. of concerts in which their works have featured
HANDEL  24
MOZART  19
BACH  18
VAUGHAN WILLIAMS  15
HAYDN 13
ELGAR  13
FAURE  12
PARRY  8
BRAHMS  7
BRITTEN  7
CHILCOTT  7
VIVALDI  5
POULENC  5
JENKINS  5
DVOŘÁ5
RUTTER  5
MENDELSSOHN  5
ROSSINI  4
STANFORD  4
DURUFLE  4
GOUNOD  4
BRUCKNER  3
FINZI  3
CARTER  3
CARR  3
BERNSTEIN  2
SCHUBERT  2
PUCCINI  2
TAVENER  2
PURCELL  2
WILLCOCKS  2
WALTON  2
HOLST 2
BEETHOVEN  2
TIPPETT  1
MONTEVERDI  1
LLOYD WEBBER  1
DEBUSSY  1
HOWELLS  1
ORFF  1
DELIUS  1