Welcome to Buckland and Betchworth Choral Society, as we have just completed our fifth season under the inspiring leadership of Ben Woodward. We are happy to report, after changing to Division 1, at the 2014 Leith Hill Musical Festival we enjoyed an overall second place finish, with wins in the Part Songs and Ensembles.

The choir rehearses at 19.45 every Wednesday evening in Betchworth Village Hall, Station Road, Betchworth from September to the end of June. As well as participating in the Leith Hill Festival in April, we hold an annual Christmas concert and a Summer concert.  We are keen to welcome new members, this represents a very good starting time. Further information about joining can be found here.

As you would expect for such a lively group we have a very full social calendar. The Events page has details of this season's activities.

Leith Hill Festival results table & comments from the adjudicators

And we're off: The first class of the first day was Morley’s madrigal “Now is the Gentle Season” “which is about what?” asked adjudicator Chris Mallinson with a twinkle in his eye as he reminded the choirs the madrigals was full of lust! 

The women’s song was Alan Bullard’s haughty arrangement of Belloc’s “Charles Augustus Fortescue” with the ladies of Holmbury-St-Mary winning with their clever characterisation. 

The Men’s Song, Copland’s “Ching-a-ring-chaw” seemed to get faster each time it was sung and was followed by Elgars’s “Feasting I Watch” in which adjudicator Ben Costello asked that the choirs follow the score markings “to the last eyelash”.

2014 August BBCS Newsletter.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [401.9 KB]



2015 sees the return of BBCS to home ground. Rehearsals starts on Wed 7Jan 2015 in Betchworth Village Hall.



Wednesday 3rd December


The second ever performance of Sir Philip Ledger’s This Holy Child, was the main item in a programme focused on 20th Century English choral works.  The programme also included the work of a living composer,  Robert Mansell, whose piece Rejoice and Sing was written for St Thomas American Reformed Church in the US Virgin Islands; Herbert Howells’ beautiful A Spotless Rose; and Gerald Finzi’s In Terra Pax. The soloists were Canadian soprano Janet A.N. Fischer and baritone Oliver Gibbs.



Saturday June 21st

The new organ at St Michael's Church was put through its paces by guest organist, Richard Pearce. The soloists were in great form: Alto Jemma Brown gave a fine performance of  O Don Fatale from Verdi's Don Carlo  followed by Catharine Rogers, soprano, who sang  one of Violetta's  arias from La Traviata.


The Choir "pulled out all the stops" and gave a fine performance of Britten's Rejoice in the Lamb followed, after the interval,  by the Durufle Requiem. It was a great evening enjoyed by the Choir and the audience!



Surrey Choirs hit the high notes at 2014 Leith Hill Music Festival. Read about it in the press here. 


Congratulations to all who took part in another wonderful Leith Hill Musical Festival. It was a fantastic day, the choir sounded great on stage with a win in the Elgar part song and a most impressive pair of Ensemble performances attaining joint first!



Congratulations to the Swimarathon team raising money for the LHMF commission. Mandy, Lena & Matthew from BBCS teamed up with Nick and Anne from Leatherhead in Dorking Pools on Saturday 8th clocking up an impressive 58 lengths in an hour (up 11 on last year's total) & coming 'second' to a team of swimming teachers! 


Cake Sales:   Great fund raising effort from BBCS Members. Many thanks to everyone who baked and bought cakes both at our rehearsals last week and at the combined rehearsal on Saturday.


January 8th 2014 - Back to school and time to take a serious look at the Leith Hill competition pieces. It is not too late to join if you wish to participate in the Leith Hill Music Festival but you should be prepared to work hard, attend all rehearsals and make 100% effort.


December 4th: Christmas Concert: take a look at the reviews, there is even one from Nicholas Owen



BBCS Summer Concert Programme
This is the finalised programme for the BBCS Summer Concert. You can check out the running order, programme notes, biographies of the performers.
BBCS Summer Concert programme 2013 to pr[...]
Adobe Acrobat document [2.6 MB]

May 29th: Soloists for the Nelson Mass announced: check out the Biogs of Carris Jones and Olly Hunt.


May 20th: LHMF Post Festival Review notes are published.



April 11th: Leith Hill Musical Festival - BBCS wins Division 2 with highest aggregate score. The day also featured the premiere of 'Never Weather Beaten Sail' composed for the BBCS by Matthew Price and the second ever performance of Sir George Martin's 'Mission Chorales' who came along to listen from the balcony. See press article here.


How musical are you? Take the BBC test and find out - takes about 25 mins.


Checkout the timelapse video of a BBCS rehearsal.