MayFest and Ripon Information

Below is the text of the information sheet sent to choir members by email but which several members did not receive.

You can download and print off a PDF version of it HERE

Richmondshire Choral Society

Notes re singing in Ripon 28 May etc

Both Events

  1. Please indicate on the attendance registers whether you expect to be singing as part of the choir on 2 May (Richmond Mayfest) and 28 May, Messiah performance in Ripon Cathedral.
  2. Please check emails, including junk folders, for further instructions. Information may also be in the Members’ Information pages of the website ( or our Facebook page.


  1. Please encourage ticket sales for Messiah. Swaledale Festival needs to sell 400 tickets to break even on this concert. The soloists are superb (as also is the choir, and the orchestra, of course)
  2. The final two Monday rehearsals (16 and 23 May) will be in Richmond Methodist Church and will be both choirs combined.
    It is very important that you attend these rehearsals and you could be asked not to sing in the concert if you miss them.
    Peter will be working with the two groups to ensure the voices blend well and the seating arrangements should work once in the cathedral. Please do not be tempted to miss them for other than urgent and important matters that are unavoidable.
  3. Hire copies of Messiah need to be returned to the library before 1 June so please remove as many pencil markings as possible before the concert. Others may be rubbed out on the coach back to Richmond and handed in then. If you are not returning by coach then please try to leave minimal markings and hand in score before you leave.
  4. Concert dress will be the same for both choirs, and as RCS is the guest choir of Swale Singers when performing at Swaledale Festival, we follow their dress code other than their usual coloured scarves for the ladies.

Ladies – black top with long or ¾ length sleeves. No bare shoulders. Long black skirt or ‘evening’ trousers (not jeans or chinos etc) No coloured scarves, jewellery not flamboyant. Black jacket/cardigan may be worn if cold.

Gentlemen – black open necked shirt, black trousers. Black jacket may be worn if the weather is cold.

  1. Changing, toilets and hot drinks facilities are in the Parish Hall. Leave the cathedral by the south transept, go down the path, down the steps through the arch and the hall is on the left.
  2. The coach will depart from Richmond School at 12.00. Cars may be left at the school until the coach returns.
  3. The rehearsal in the Cathedral will commence prompt at 2.00pm. Choir members need to be in place in the cathedral by 1.45pm. Although the rehearsal is booked until 5.30pm, it is unlikely that the choir will be nedded beyond 5.00pm.

Richmond MayFest

  1. Monday 2 May is a Bank holiday weekend and a new and varied festival of music is taking place throughout Richmond over the 3 days (Sat – Mon). Richmondshire Choral Society is giving the final concert from 5.00to 6.00pm in St Mary's Church, Richmond. See
  2. The programme for our choir will be a selection of choruses from Messiah plus Cantique 950. This piece was a commission for last year’s Richmond 950th anniversary of the castle The music was composed by Mark Harrison from our bass section and the words were by Mary Branigan, one of our contraltos. It has so far only received the one performance at our last concert when it was well received.
  3. The rehearsal on 25 April will be devoted to rehearsing this work to perform the following Monday.
  4. There will be an afternoon rehearsal on Monday 2 May in St Mary's Church, Richmond at 2.00pm.
  5. Music can be obtained from Mark Harrison at choir on Monday evenings.
  6. As this is a less formal concert than usual, concert dress will be a plain, bright coloured open-necked shirt for men and a bright coloured long or ¾ sleeved top and black trousers or skirt for ladies.


VOCES8 Singing Workshop at Swaledale Festival

  1. VOCES8 is one of the top a cappella singing groups in the world and is also very involved in vocal, choral and general musical education initiatives. They are holding a Singing Workshop on Friday, 3 June in St Andrew's Church, Grinton from 2.00pm to 3.30pm.
  2. Most Swaledale Festival events have either a sponsor (who puts in a significant sum in exchange for advertising etc) or an angel (who puts in either a large of a small amount simply to support that event) The VOCES8 workshop is ‘angeled’ jointly by RCS and Teesside based Cleveland Philharmonic Choir. It will be an opportunity to do some promotion of the choir and we should have some publicity flyers by then.
  3. It would be good to see this event supported by choir members by being there. VOCES8 did a workshop some years ago before the pandemic and would have been coming to the 2020 Festival had there been one. It was great fun and very useful at the same time. Tickets for this year’s are £12 from

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