Rossendale Ladies Choir

Renée attended her first rehearsal with the Rossendale Ladies Choir in February 1986.  At that time she had no intention of taking on the position of accompanist permanently, but after hearing from Beatrice Wade (the first conductor) that the choir was ‘absolutely stuck’, Renée agreed to attend rehearsals once a month and at other times when possible - just to help out!  In the meantime the choir would try to find someone else.


A year later (6th April 1987) in the 10th AGM Minutes of the choir, thanks were recorded to ‘another very important person, our pianist Renée, stating that we would be hopeless without her and we were lucky to have a pianist with such a lovely temperament and plenty of patience’.  The months had passed and all thoughts of a change of pianist had passed as well.


Since that time Renée accompanied the choir at hundreds of events both large and small, at home and abroad.  It is testament to her great musical ability and calm, determined manner that she could play any piano in any place with complete aplomb. She never once let the choir down in all that time, being an excellent attender of rehearsals and events. She was a steady and constant accompanist through five different choir conductors. The choir has enormous affection and respect for this quiet, unassuming lady and she will be greatly missed by us all.


Since childhood, making music, playing the piano and later the organ, involvement in choral matters and concerts, both sacred and secular, had been a big part of Renée’s life.  In addition to over 28 years with the Rossendale Ladies, she was the accompanist for the Burnley Gilbert & Sullivan Society for 28 years, and  the regular organist at the Baptist Church which she attended in Burnley.

It was with deep sadness that the choir were informed of the death of their longstanding and much loved pianist

Mrs. Renée Halstead on 10th May 2014.