Rossendale Ladies Choir


Musical Director

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In Memory of

Beatrice M. Wade


In Memory of

Renée Halstead

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Matthew has always had an interest in music and began having piano lessons almost 20 years ago. He began playing the cornet at the age of 10 and joined the Blackburn & Darwen Junior Band soon after, successfully progressing into the Senior Band, where he has been an active member for 10 years.


He studied Computer Science at the University of York and whilst there became heavily involved in a plethora of musical activities, joining the Chamber Choir, University Choir, Opera Society, Concert Band and Concert Orchestra. He also conducted the University Brass Band for a year.  His personal highlight from this time was singing in a performance of Beethoven's Symphony No. 9 to a packed out nave in York Minster!


After leaving York, Matthew chose to pursue a career in music and became a freelance musician in his home town of Blackburn.  He joined the  Blackburn Cathedral Music Outreach team in 2013 and also took up a conducting scholarship at Blackburn Music Society for a year.  He has taught  piano and keyboard in schools, received an ABRSM Diploma in Musical Performance on the piano and became the chorus pianist for Victoria Wood's musical 'That Day We Sang' at the Royal Exchange Theatre in Manchester.


On top of conducting Rossendale Ladies Choir from January 2015, after a short stint as their new accompanist, he also conducts a community choir in Manchester, accompanies the ABCD Cambiata NW Boys Choir, sings bass in Blackburn Cathedral Choir and Blackburn Music Society and leads singing workshops in local primary schools.


The Rossendale Ladies Choir are delighted to welcome Matthew as their new Musical Director  and  we hope to work together to add new success stories to the 30-year history of our choir in years to come.

Matthew crop x 2015 Back to home page

Farewell to George

It is with great sadness that the RLC has recently said goodbye to our much loved accompanist George Strickland who has left us for pastures new.  George is studying at the Royal Northern College of Music and came to accompany us as pianist in October 2015.  Although only having him support us for just under two years, the ladies grew to respect his musical ability and winning personality.  A talented and charismatic young man, he will be missed but we all wish him the best for a bright and successful musical future going forward.

George has been succeeded by our new accompanist David Carlston Williams.

David attended Oldham Hulme Grammar School and Oldham Sixth Form College. He went on to Study at The Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester to gain his BA/GradRNCM. David has studied with Darius Battiwalla, Ronald Frost, Jeffery Makinson and Jeremy Young, and participated in masterclasses with various musicians of note. The course  included the teaching of the organ and specialist training from Judith Burton on  piano.

David has been employed as Director of Music of Holy Innocents Church, Fallowfield and as School Organist at Bury Church of England High School. he has also been Director of Music at St. Paul’s Parish Church, Royton, running a small choir which sang at Morning Service with Choral Evensong once a month. David  has also run a very successful Music Club where all pupils played individually on the stage of the Bridgewater Hall.

When David was at RNCM, he was invited to play as a Guest Organ Virtuoso in a concert for the Mayor of Rochdale which featured organ, brass band and vocal performances.


Other highlights in David’s career include a Dedication Service at Chester Cathedral, the Requiem by Duruflé with the King Edward Choral Society in Macclesfield and a Benediction Service at Manchester Cathedral. He plays at many churches in the area for weddings, funerals and other events. David is a regular visitor to The Island of St. Vincent in the Caribbean where his grandmother lives. He has, from a very early age, given organ recitals at St. Vincent’s Cathedral and the Methodist Church and these have been broadcast on local radio. He made an organ CD at the Royal Northern College of Music with music  composed by  David Solomons. David has also performed  at a lunch time organ recital at Leeds Minster and at Halifax Parish Church.


David currently teaches in primary schools, is the organist for St Saviour's church Great Moor, offers private teaching for the organ /piano and is the Director of Music for Starlight and Brightsparks company. He has  accompanied for Oldham Choir, and also accompanies the Smithy Belles Choir.


He joined the Rossendale Ladies Choir as accompanist in September 2017.




Who's Who

David Carlston Williams cropped Alwyn Mellor Beatrice Renee Halstead George Nov 2015 up to 2 and a half inch wide