Rochdale MUSIC Society

FEBRUARY 20th 2021
We are not going to be able to hold concerts for some months to come.

Please keep coming back to this website for the latest news!

#You will also find suggestions for music to listen to instead of coming to join us live.

During Eastertide 2021 I'd like recommend this performance of Belshazzar's Feast by William Walton, who - as I'm sure you know - was born and bred in Oldham on The Coppice (as they say), not far from St. Thomas's Church where his father was organist and choirmaster. The organ is still there, or, at least, was there when I last took a service there some years ago. If you approach the church by way of Werneth Hall road you pass the Walton's house with its blue plaque.

I've had a soft spot for Walton's music ever since I hear a performance of his first Symphony on the wireless back in the late 1940s. The impact of that music, so full of energy, bleak humour, deep passion and noble aspiration still survives as one of the lasting impressions that continue to enrich my musical world. I am the son of two millworker parents from Oldham, and I rejoice that what was at the beginning of the 20th century such a place of  'dark, satanic mills' produced a son with so personal  a musical vision backed up by tremendous talent and application. 

Oldham produced several leading lights in the musical world of that century, but none so universally acclaimed as WW.

BELSHAZZAR'S FEAST  is another one of those works which made a lasting impression on me when I first heard it.  The 'story' of this Cantata is simply told. The musical setting of the texts drawn from the Old and New Testament writings is filled with imaginative and vivid images from the wide-ranging technical possibilities of  the 1930s musical world. It's very British/English and even Lancastrian in its approach. Jazz rhythms, brass band flourishes and, perhaps above all, choral writing maintaining the traditions of Handel through to Elgar and beyond combine to set up a tremendous experience of overwhelming divine power making sense of the pride, arrogance and cruelty that so often makes rulers despicable. 

OUR INTENDED CONCERT SERIES 2021, which cannot take place, but which will be rescheduled for future dates.

BOOKING OFFICE  Here is a link to the Heywood Civic Centre Booking Office, which is a Rochdale Link4Life service:

If YOU WANT TO GET IN TOUCH WITH US directly you can use the email link form below.

COMMITTEE The Society is run by a committee made up of Trustees. The present trustees are:

CHAIRMAN Shirley Mitchell BA, MEd.    VICE-CHAIRMAN  Graham Marshall     HON SECRETARY   Gill Dyson                   HON TREASURER  David Woonton 

OTHER MEMBERS    Allan Franklin     Garth Redford        Aileen Mallinder                                              PHOTOGRAPHER      Allan Franklin

SPONSORSHIP & DONATIONS  The Society is always extremely grateful for donations which will help make it possible to maintain the consistently high standards for which it is known. As a registered charity, it can recover tax on donations of any amount - with no minimum - from both individuals and corporate donors who are UK tax-payers and who sign a simple Gift Aid Declaration.

For further information please contact the Treasurer, David Woonton, on  01706 845924 The Society gratefully acknowledges the financial support in the form of sponsorship, patronage and grants from the following:                Link4Life (Rochdale Boroughwide Cultural Trust,  Holroyds Precision Tools, Milnrow,   Making Music (The National Federation of Music Societies),        Concert Promoters Network, and Patrons of Rochdale Music Society


Sunset over Hollingworth Lake, one of the many beauty spots in Rochdale

Hopefully - AS THEY SAY -  we shall be publishing a Brochure something like this very soon......"!
2020 Rochdale Music Society