RSNO Chorus

In 2018, the RSNO Chorus celebrates its 175th anniversary with performances of music by Handel, Bernstein and Holst. The RSNO Chorus evolved from a choir formed in 1843 to sing the first full performance of Handel's Messiah in Scotland. Today, it is one of the most successful choruses in the UK. In recent years, the Chorus has performed practically every work in the standard choral repertoire along with contemporary works by renowned composers, including John Adams, Magnus Lindberg, Howard Shore and James MacMillan.
The RSNO Chorus has c120 members and performs in around six different programmes in up to twenty concerts across Scotland with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra each year. The RSNO Chorus has also had great success in recording with the Orchestra. Its recordings, amongst others, of Prokofiev's Alexander Nevsky, conducted by Neeme Jӓrvi, and Holst's The Planets, conducted by David Lloyd-Jones, have both been subject to high critical acclaim.
In addition to its commitment to the Orchestra, the RSNO Chorus performs independently and has been invited to perform with orchestras in many different parts of the world, establishing an international status for the choir. The RSNO Chorus has toured in Copenhagen, Hong Kong, Israel, Germany, Belfast, Australia, Trondheim, Amsterdam and most recently, Prague.
The RSNO Chorus is directed by Gregory Batsleer, one of the UK's most dynamic and in demand choral conductors and chorus masters. Gregory recently received The Arts Foundation Award 2015 for Choral Conducting.

Join the RSNO Chorus

Are you a passionate and committed singer? Do you enjoy a wide range of music? Would you like to sing with others who share this passion?

Celebrating 175 years of the RSNO Chorus

The RSNO Chorus is one of Scotland’s most cherished musical treasures. But is also holds a highly unusual, almost certainly unique, position.

Gregory Batsleer

Gregory Batsleer

Chorus Director

Gregory Batsleer is widely regarded as one of the most charismatic and innovative choral conductors of his generation.
He has held the position of Chorus Director with the RSNO since 2015, and has in that time overseen an improvement in the overall standard of the RSNO Chorus as well as a rise in the RSNO’s choral activity. This has included the inauguration of the RSNO Chorus Academy, Singing Days, and the establishment of regular Come and Sing events with the Orchestra.
Since 2009, Gregory has also held the position of Chorus Director with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, and last season started the newly created post of Choral Director of the Huddersfield Choral Society, where he is responsible for overseeing the Society’s artistic development. In summer 2017, Gregory co-founded Festival Voices, a professional vocal ensemble specialising in cross-discipline collaboration and performance.
As a guest conductor, highlights include performances with the RSNO, Hallé, Academy of Ancient Music, Royal Northern Sinfonia, Aurora Orchestra, Orchestra of Opera North, Royal Northern College of Music Symphony Orchestra, Black Dyke Band, Toronto Mendelssohn Choir and the National Youth Choir of Great Britain. This spring, Gregory conducts a UK-wide, fully staged production of Bernstein’s West Side Story.
Read Gregory’s full biography here.

Abigail Kitching

Abigail Kitching

Sir Alexander Gibson Memorial Fellow

Abigail Kitching is a graduate of Music from the University of Manchester where she gained a first in performance. In her final year, she was Musical Director of the chamber choir, Ad Solem, and a student conductor for the larger university choirs. During this time she instigated and directed Musica festival to celebrate female music-making which led to participating in a conducting masterclass given by Odaline de la Martinez.
Abigail is a co-founder of the Manchester-based opera collective, The Opera Shack, and was Musical Director of their debut performance. In September 2017, she took up the role of Musical Director of Darwen Ladies Choir. Aside from conducting, Abigail sings both as a soloist and in choirs such as Kantos chamber choir, with whom she recorded with the BBC Philharmonic.
After succeeding in solo competitions in her youth, she took part in a masterclass given by Mark Widman, the head of Vocal Studies at the Royal Academy of Music, and in January 2017 found success at the David Clover Festival of Singing where she won the recital category.
She works for Streetwise Opera – a charity which teaches opera to adults who have experienced homelessness – and performed in their adaptation of the St Matthew Passion alongside The Sixteen Singers, which aired on BBC Four.

Polly Beck

Polly Beck

Vocal Coach

Liverpool-born, Polly lives in Greenock. She studied at the RSAMD, and later won the entrance scholarship to the Postgraduate Opera Course at the RNCM where she achieved her MMus and won many prizes and awards including the Peter Moores Foundation Award, the Countess of Munster Prize and the D’Oyle Carte Scholarship.
Polly later returned to Scotland to work with Scottish Opera. As a soloist Polly has sung with several UK orchestras, and appeared in many festivals throughout the country, including the 40th anniversary Aldeburgh Festival.
Her operatic roles include many of the great Wagnerian heroines such as Sieglinde and Brangäne. More recently she has sung with Lyric Opera Dublin and for the Royal Opening of the Beacon Arts Centre, Greenock.
Polly has many years teaching experience. She taught Singing, as well as Performance classes, at the Junior RNCM and at Scottish Opera Education Department. Currently she enjoys her role as a Vocal Instructor for Inverclyde Music Service, teaching Voice and Performance Skills. She is also Vocal Coach for Inverclyde Senior Choir, and contributes on the committee of the Inverclyde Festival.
In addition, Polly teaches at the University of Glasgow, the Junior Conservatoire of the RCS and the National Youth Choir of Scotland.

Ed Cohen

Ed Cohen

Accompanist

Ed trained at the Royal Academy of Music, Indiana University, and the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, where he currently holds a position as part-time lecturer and staff accompanist. He regularly works with numerous choirs in Glasgow and Edinburgh, and enjoys a busy freelance career, frequently performing across the UK and further afield.

Forthcoming Concerts with the RSNO Chorus


BBC Proms: Britten – War Requiem (Prom 72)

We bid a fond farewell to Peter Oundjian as he marks his final performance as Music Director of the Royal Scottish National Orchestra with a performance of Britten's War Requiem at the BBC Proms in London.

A powerful statement of the composer’s pacifist beliefs – composed in the shadow of the…

Thu 6 Sep 2018, 7.00PM
Royal Albert Hall, London
Box Office: 0845 401 5034

BBC Proms: Britten – War Requiem (Prom 72)

Come and Sing Carmina Burana: Audience tickets

One of the most uproarious pieces ever written for chorus, Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana, is outrageously tuneful. Join RSNO Chorus Director Gregory Batsleer, the Royal Scottish National Orchestra and a special come-and-sing choir, for an informal performance of this spine-tingling work.

Please note that this is a performance "in the round".…

Sat 29 Sep 2018, 7.00PM
Glasgow Royal Concert Hall
Box Office: 0141 353 8000

Come and Sing Carmina Burana: Audience tickets

Søndergård Conducts Poulenc's Gloria

Music is life – and life always finds a way. Poulenc’s Gloria is a celebration – an exuberant shout of joy from a composer who’d seen the best and worst of the 20th century. It’s the inspiring finish to a concert that features two irresistible Russian masterpieces by Prokofiev and…

Fri 9 Nov 2018, 7.30PM
Usher Hall, Edinburgh
Box Office: 0131 228 1155

Søndergård Conducts Poulenc's Gloria

Søndergård Conducts Poulenc's Gloria

Music is life – and life always finds a way. Poulenc’s Gloria is a celebration – an exuberant shout of joy from a composer who’d seen the best and worst of the 20th century. It’s the inspiring finish to a concert that features two irresistible Russian masterpieces by Prokofiev and…

Sat 10 Nov 2018, 7.30PM
Glasgow Royal Concert Hall
Box Office: 0141 353 8000

Søndergård Conducts Poulenc's Gloria

Varèse Sarabande 40th Anniversary Concert

Hollywood is coming to Edinburgh! Join the RSNO as we reunite with legendary film label Varèse Sarabande to celebrate its 40th anniversary in style. Varèse producer Robert Townson is joined by conductor Diego Navarro and an exciting group of superstar composers – including the legendary Patrick Doyle, Rachel Portman and…

Fri 16 Nov 2018, 7.30PM
Usher Hall, Edinburgh
Box Office: 0131 228 1155

Varèse Sarabande 40th Anniversary Concert

Varèse Sarabande 40th Anniversary Concert

Hollywood is coming to Glasgow! Join the RSNO as we reunite with legendary film label Varèse Sarabande to celebrate its 40th anniversary in style. Varèse producer Robert Townson is joined by conductor Diego Navarro and an exciting group of superstar composers – including the legendary Patrick Doyle, Rachel Portman and…

Sat 17 Nov 2018, 7.30PM
Glasgow Royal Concert Hall
Box Office: 0141 353 8000

Varèse Sarabande 40th Anniversary Concert

RSNO Christmas Concert

We’re walking in the air…It isn’t Christmas until The Snowman has taken you on his magical journey through the winter sky. Enjoy this special showing of the festive classic on the large screen, accompanied live by the RSNO and narrated by our guest presenter Jamie MacDougall. Perfect for the whole…

Thu 20 Dec 2018, 7.30PM
Caird Hall, Dundee
Box Office: 01382 434 940

RSNO Christmas Concert

RSNO Christmas Concert

We’re walking in the air…It isn’t Christmas until The Snowman has taken you on his magical journey through the winter sky. Enjoy this special showing of the festive classic on the large screen, accompanied live by the RSNO and narrated by our guest presenter Jamie MacDougall. Perfect for the whole…

Fri 21 Dec 2018, 7.30PM
Usher Hall, Edinburgh
Box Office: 0131 228 1155

RSNO Christmas Concert

RSNO Christmas Concert

We’re walking in the air…It isn’t Christmas until The Snowman has taken you on his magical journey through the winter sky. Enjoy this special showing of the festive classic on the large screen, accompanied live by the RSNO and narrated by our guest presenter Jamie MacDougall. Perfect for the whole…

Sat 22 Dec 2018, 6.00PM
Glasgow Royal Concert Hall
Box Office: 0141 353 8000

RSNO Christmas Concert

Carmina Burana

Sex, drink and roasted swans – choral music isn’t meant to be this much fun! But the medieval monks who wrote the words to Carmina Burana didn’t seem to have been that bothered. There’s nothing pious about Orff’s outrageous cantata; just great tunes, unstoppable rhythms and some thoroughly bad behaviour.…

Fri 8 Mar 2019, 7.30PM
Usher Hall, Edinburgh
Box Office: 0131 228 1155

Carmina Burana

Carmina Burana

Sex, drink and roasted swans – choral music isn’t meant to be this much fun! But the medieval monks who wrote the words to Carmina Burana didn’t seem to have been that bothered. There’s nothing pious about Orff’s outrageous cantata; just great tunes, unstoppable rhythms and some thoroughly bad behaviour.…

Sat 9 Mar 2019, 7.30PM
Glasgow Royal Concert Hall
Box Office: 0141 353 8000

Carmina Burana

Handel's Messiah

When King George II first heard Handel’s Messiah, he leapt to his feet in excitement. We don’t expect you to do that – but we’re sure you’ll recognise the tunes anyway. From Ev’ry Valley to the Hallelujah chorus itself, this is quite simply some of the most uplifting music ever…

Sat 20 Apr 2019, 7.30PM
Glasgow Royal Concert Hall
Box Office: 0141 353 8000

Handel's Messiah

Søndergård Conducts Belshazzar's Feast

In 1931 William Walton blew British choral music sky-high. Big, brassy and shamelessly savage, Belshazzar’s Feast shocked audiences back then, and it still knocks you backwards today. It’s an electrifying way to end Thomas Søndergård’s first Season as Music Director, but he’s got a couple more surprises up his sleeve:…

Fri 31 May 2019, 7.30PM
Usher Hall, Edinburgh
Box Office: 0131 228 1155

Søndergård Conducts Belshazzar's Feast

Søndergård Conducts Belshazzar's Feast

In 1931 William Walton blew British choral music sky-high. Big, brassy and shamelessly savage, Belshazzar’s Feast shocked audiences back then, and it still knocks you backwards today. It’s an electrifying way to end Thomas Søndergård’s first Season as Music Director, but he’s got a couple more surprises up his sleeve:…

Sat 1 Jun 2019, 7.30PM
Glasgow Royal Concert Hall
Box Office: 0141 353 8000

Søndergård Conducts Belshazzar's Feast

© Royal Scottish National Orchestra 2018