About us

Rotherhithe & Bermondsey Choral Society was launched in November 1998 by distinguished local musician Sue Heath-Downey with the support of Time & Talents. Nearly two decades later, we are still going from strength to strength, and pushing the boundaries of what a community choir can do.

We are a friendly, supportive group of singers of all abilities and experience, from many different backgrounds in the Rotherhithe and Bermondsey community.  The choir currently has around 40 active members. There are no auditions. You don’t have to be able to sight-read to join. All that matters is that you enjoy singing, can commit to the rehearsal schedule, and can hold a tune.

Our repertoire includes well-loved choral classics both sacred and secular, as well as more modern and rarely performed works, madrigals and partsongs, songs from the shows, rounds and folk song arrangements. We even perform music specially written for us by Sue and friends!

We generally work towards three main public performances each year, often with orchestral accompaniment. We also sing at local festivals and community events. Please see our Next performance page for details of our upcoming events.



Over the past few years, we have performed Vivaldi’s Gloria, Robert Chilcott’s Making of the Drum, excerpts from the Brecht/Weill Threepenny Opera, sequences of Christmas music by Schütz, Charpentier and Britten, Karl Jenkins’ moving and accessible Armed Man mass, Carl Orff’s lively, energetic Carmina Burana, and the UK première of the Percussion Mass by contemporary Australian composer Paul Sarcich, to mention just a few. We have also enjoyed discovering the music of our local area. Our Summer concert 2011 focused on the music of local South London composer Samuel Coleridge-Taylor (1875–1912), and the Summer concert 2013 included items from our ongoing project, ‘A History of Bermondsey and Rotherhithe in Song’. For further information on our repertoire, please visit the Past performances page.

We rehearse every Tuesday in term-time from 8.00 to 9.45 pm at St Mary’s Church, Rotherhithe, St Mary’s Church, Rotherhithe,
,London SE16 4HZ (see map). Spring term runs from Tuesday 9 January to Tuesday 19 March 2024. We’re ll be rehearsing Mozart’s iconic Requiem, for our Spring Concert on 23 March.

If you are interested in joining us or would like to find out more, please contact us – or come along to a rehearsal and see for yourself.

RBCS is keen to accommodate all singers, musicians and audience members comfortably wherever possible. Our main rehearsal and performance venues are accessible. Concessionary rates are available for member subscriptions and concert tickets. Choir information can be made available in large print on request. Practice CDs can be made available on request for those who cannot read music. If you have special requirements please contact our Diversity Lead, Dave Morrison.