2016 Singing Day
The choir held a Singing Day on 2-Apr-2016 led by Faith Watson of Singing for Larks for choir members and guests
Bel Canto Choir

Bel Canto, which is Italian for 'beautiful singing', is a local choir for anyone who wants to sing just for the joy of it, a choir for anyone whether you can read music or not, a choir that is friendly and informal but takes singing seriously. We sing an eclectic mix of music from simple rounds, folk songs from around the world and madrigals.  Some is sung in unison, some in parts.  There is something for everyone.

The choir was formed in 2003 by Ruth Anderson and Christina Webb after they attended an event which promoted singing for pleasure and that is what Bel Canto does - sing for pleasure..

Bel Canto is a little different from the average choir, since the focus is very much on the “feel good” factor and each singer can have an input into the choice of music to be sung. We are not in the business of preparing for concerts and so our sessions are relaxed and not without humour. This also means that missing a session owing to work or family commitments is not frowned upon!!  About twenty-five singers come on a regular basis, and those unable to attend as frequently are always made welcome when they are there. A small percentage of our singers are sight readers whilst others pick up a new piece by ear.  Our repertoire is very varied, from unison to four part harmony, from simple rounds and traditional songs through to operatic chorus, a cappella or accompanied as required. Dot Phillips, our Musical Coordinator, produces a programme for each session, where the first half, after a short warm up, will include pieces that we are in the process of learning, whilst the second half will include favourites chosen by individuals at the previous meeting.  She tries to produce a selection of music which is very varied in content. Her aim is to ensure that everyone leaves smiling, pleased they have come and with a spring in their step, having spent at least half of their evening singing songs they really enjoy.

The choir meets on the second and fourth Thursday of each month from 7:30pm to 9:30pm at All Saints Church Hall in Brough Street West, Macclesfield. Parking available.

Sessions cost £2, but the first is offered free to newcomers (no audtitions).  Normally, we prefer, but do not insist, that sessions are paid for in groups of 6 for £10 on specific pay days (see session details).

  • Co-Founders

    Christina Webb & Ruth Anderson  SOPRANOS
    Christina (Secretary) & Ruth (Chair) founded Bel Canto Macclesfield in 2003.  They were keen to join with others purely for the pleasure of singing but knew they would not be able to cope with auditions and neither could read music, two things that many local choirs require. They were also not interested in learning grand pieces of music which would take a long time to learn or in performing in front of paying audiences.   It was then just a matter of finding like-minded people, which they did, some of whom are still members to this day...and as they say, the rest is history!

  • Treasurer & Web Master

    Rosemary Kavanagh  ALTO
    Now retired. Plays mandolin, English concertina and guitar. Enjoys cooking and gardening.

  • Musical Coordinator

    Dot Phillips Having gained a degree in music at Bristol University, she went on to study singing at The Royal College of Music in London for a further three years.  She did some professional singing, which included recitals as a soloist and some choral engagements.  From time to time Nick would accompany her on the piano. Later, in 1973, they moved up to the Manchester area with their first child and she began to sing part time with the BBC Northern Singers. More recently she has enjoyed conducting various small ensembles: hence was invited to lead the Bel Canto singers one evening and since then we have been together in harness and harmony!! 

  • Piano Accompanist

    Nick Phillips  TENOR  Nick, married to Dot, has a dual role of accompanying when necessary and singing in unaccompanied items.

  • Resident Composer

    Gail Brentnall  ALTO  Graduated from Southampton University with a B.A. Music degree and Grade 8 piano. She felt privileged to have studied there under British composer, Jonathan Harvey. She has broad musical tastes, from classical through to folk/rockand sang in her University choir; accompanied theatre group, and played in folk band with husband-to-be, Roger. Despite having had M.E. for many years, she has managed to stay involved in music by helping to teach her 2 daughters, and concentrating more on composition. She joined Bel Canto in 2012 (Roger a member from the outset). She says that composing songs for the choir and hearing the music brought to life brings her great joy.

  • The Choir

    Sopranos, Altos, Tenors, Basses

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