Rugby Philharmonic Choir since 1867

Rugby Philharmonic Choir

The History of the Rugby Philharmonic Choir.

Rugby Philharmonic Choir is a flourishing choir, of some 120 members and growing, set in the heart of the Rugby community. The choir has a strong affiliation to Rugby School where the choir holds concert performances in The Temple Speech Room.

The “Phil”, as it affectionately known, was founded one hundred and forty nine years ago in 1867, under the first President Reverand John Moultrie (Rector and Poet),where members paid a subscription of 1d a week!

The Rugby Philharmonic ChoirThere have been thirteen conductors over the choir’s life to date.
At the 25th anniversary in 1892, the choir performed Mendelssohn’s Elijah.
In 1909, the choir performed the first concert in the newly opened Temple Speech Room.
1917 and 1942 saw the choir’s 50th and 75th anniversaries, but sadly, no performances took place during war time.
In 1962, the choir was invited to sing at the newly opened Coventry Cathedral, in the world premiere of Britten’s War Requiem” and “The Beatitudes” by Sir Arthur Bliss – who was once a Rugby School Boy.
In 1967, the choir’s 100th anniversary, they performed Brahms “Requiem”, conducted by Marcus Beresford, featuring Angela Youngman as soprano soloist.  Rehearsals at the Phil
Over the past years, performers such as Janet Baker, Norma Procter, Isabel Baillie, John Shirley- Quirk, to name but a few, have performed with the choir.

The choir’s repertoire is drawn from a wide range of musical genre. We perform both Sacred and Secular choral works through to Opera, Musical Theatre to name but some. Rehearsals are joyous, hard working occasions where our increasing number of members continue to ensure that the “Phil” moves forward into the 21st century. Thus keeping its long traditions alive and intact for future generations of musicians.

The choir has also been lucky to have some much admired conductors at the helm:

Mervyn Bethel - Musical Director

Mr Mervyn Bethell

1867 - 1886:

Mr Edwin Edwards

1886 - 1889:

Herr Andreas Pettersson

1889 - 1914:

Mr Basil Johnson

March 1914- July 1914:      Mr George Dyson

1915 - 1915:

Mr F Yuille-Smith - Meetings suspended September 1915 - July 1919

1919 - 1924: 

The Reverend A H Peppin

1924 - 1939:

Mr Kenneth A Stubbs

1943 - 1946:

During the Second Word War the Rugby War-time choir was formed under Mr Cyril L Salmons

1946 - 1957: 

Mr Cyril Salmons

1957 - 1968:

Mr Marcus Beresford

1969 - 1979: 

Mr D A H  Youngman

1979 - 1984:

Mr Michael Tillett

1985 - 2007: 

Mr Peter Crook

2007 - 2009: 

Mr Karl Dorman

2009 - Present:

Mr Mervyn Bethell

Rugby Philharmonic Choir.  Contact Mervyn Bethell at musicaldirector@rugbyphilharmonic.org.uk

[Home] [Recent Events] [Contact Us] [Gallery] [About Us] [Member Pages] [Charities]

© Rugby Philharmonic Choir 1867 - 2019 
Updated March 2019