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 at the 2015 Leith Hill Musical Festival we enjoyed an overall second place finish, with wins in the Open Class 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.

2015 Leith Hill Festival results and comments from the adjudicators




For the second year running BBCS were pipped at the post by Holmbury St Mary, the overall winners of Division 1, BBCS picked up the Dorking Chamber of Commerce Silver Cock for second highest aggregate score.


Singing Mendelssohn's Abschied vom Wald BBCS won the Oxshott Challenge Cup, awarded for the Open Class.  " Some tidy ensemble singing  that grew in effectiveness as dynamics rose, for instance in the crescendos in the last line. Your bravery to sing unaccompanied music paid off since you kept in Eflat major throughout!"


BBCS entered two Ensemble groups performing As Water to the Thirsty by T.Brian Coleman, arr. John Barnard. BBCS Ensemble Group 1 were awarded the Drew Banner. "A rather touching opening, the descant verse had a natural happiness and the final 4-part cadence was absolutely beautiful"  


BBCS picked up good marks for all other pieces and some pleasing comments from the adjudicators:


The Part Song, Carter's O Mistress Mine, "performed with plenty of energy. Good pace when needed in the performance, a general warmth of tone that was most attractive"


The Women's song, May by Amstrong Gibbs, "crisp attention to text excited the air on page 1 which gave energy to the individual entries. A telling and committed performance"


The Men's song, All throuh the night arr. Keith Christopher, "a neat unison sound, a lovely ending."

2014 Leith Hill Festival 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”.

BBCS September Newsletter
2015 BBCS September newsletter.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [375.2 KB]

BBCS welcomes all singers to join them for this special "Taster Session".


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.




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


Checkout the timelapse video of a BBCS rehearsal.