The choir was founded in 1924, by the late Fred Tomlinson MBE. He took a group of local singers and moulded them into one of the country’s finest male voice choirs, winning many competitions and festivals, including the Intenational Eisteddfod in Llangollen.
The choir enjoyed long periods with their early conductors. Fred’s son, Ernest, took over from his father in 1976 and in 1981 he handed the baton on to Beatrice Wade. Beatrice led the choir for the next twenty four years until her retirement. Then Dorothy Stoddard, Dennis Kay and Kate Shipway directed the choir for short periods before Matthew Thomas took over in August 2015. Each has brought with them their own style and skills, and the choir has benefited from their expertise
Sharing a love of singing and music-making not only drives us to do our very best in the concert hall or in competition, but also generates strong personal friendships between members. Those friendships can extend far beyond the Valley. The choir is twinned with two German choirs; a ladies choir from Monchengladbach and a male voice choir from Bocholt, Rossendale’s twin town. There have been many visits in both directions, with a host of tremendous concerts and parties emphasising the social life of the choir, a social life that runs throughout the year in parallel with our musical life. Just another of the pleasures to be gained from belonging to this wonderful choir.
Rossendale Festival Choir
Rossendale Male Voice Choir has close musical and social links with the Rossendale Ladies’ Choir. The two choirs have often shared the same concert platform and sometimes perform as a mixed choir when they become known as The Rossendale Festival Choir.