Mansfield Choral Society was formed in 1973 by local conductor, David Chamberlain, from a previous choir founded by Ethel Houseley (a renowned singer in her own right who was often heard on BBC National Radio).

David wanted to maintain the excellent standard s achieved under Ethel by leading a choir which would tackle bigger works whilst still undertaking lighter, more operatic concerts. Our reputation continued to grow as we mixed traditional choral works with light opera and more modern pieces; ranging from Haydn’s The Season and Mozart’s Requiem to Gilbert and Sullivan’s HMS Pinafore and Offenbach’s Orpheus in the Underworld.

Our long association with locally born and internationally renowned concert pianist, John Ogdon started with a rare performance of Liszt’s Christus oratorio on April 16 1983. Our soloists were coached by Pamela Cook, late Director of Cantamus Girls Choir. John later became our patron and after his sad death in 1989, we re-performed Christus at a memorial concert in his honour.

We are proud to continue our association with John by featuring winners of the annual John Ogdon Awards in our concerts, therefore remembering the contribution made by John both to the musical world and to Mansfield.


In 1991 David Chamberlain handed over the baton to Martin Pickering who continued to educate the choir using his years of professional experience to increase the standard of singing. Involvement in Hallelujah for Hospices – the worlds’ largest simultaneous performance of Handel’s Messiah, with over 150 UK choirs and 50 others across the globe, was particularly memorable.


In early 2002, David Wilson became our MD and as well as actively expanding our repertoire by often featuring English and Romantic music, including Elgar, Vaughan-Williams, Britten and Rutter; he also improved our sight reading, tonal accuracy and performance skills.

2012- May 2017

March 2012 saw the baton pass once more, this time to our current Artistic Director, Peter Siepmann.

Peter has continued to train and educate the society whilst bringing a renewed energy and sense of fun to rehearsals.  Performances have included the jazz inspired Songs & Sonnets by George Shearing as well as Rutter's Gloria, Handel’s Dixit Dominus and Duruflé’s Requiem.

2014 saw us celebrating our 40th year of singing and we performed three concerts – Mozart’s Requiem where we were joined by our friends from Newark Choral Society, Bingham and District Choral Society and St Peter’s Choir, Nottingham, making over 200 voices singing with the Darwin Ensemble Chamber Orchestra, in Nottingham’s Albert Hall. November found us in The Palace Theatre in Mansfield where we were joined by many new voices from the community to perform Handel’s Messiah and we rounded off our celebrations off with a concert of Christmas music and readings in St Marks’ Church, Mansfield featuring Finzi’s In Terra Pax.

In 2016 we joined with Bingham and District Choral Society for a concert of English Anthems at Southwell Minster where we performed Parry’s Blest pair of sirens and Finzi’s Lo, the Full, Final Sacrifice. This was even more poignant as it was Neville Ward’s last concert with Bingham after 43 years as their Musical Director.

Summer 2016 saw us back at Queen Elizabeth Academy for Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas; with soloists from Cantamus Girls Choir. We were also joined by John Ogdon Award winners, before we finished the year with Britten’s St Nicolas Cantata at St Mark’s Church, Mansfield on November 28th and carol singing at Thoresby Hall on the afternoon of Saturday 5th December.

Fuller coverage of our first 40 years can be found in our commemorative brochure; available for £3.

Jan 2017 - Dec 2021

Ellie Martin joined us in January 2017 as our next  Musical Director.

A professional singer, as well as very talented conductor, Ellie is continuing to develop and train our members and makes every rehearsal stretching and challenging but so much fun that we don't really notice!

2017 : Faure's Requiem at St Mark's Church, Mansfield was Peter Siepmann's last concert as he returned to conduct us for one last time; having rehearsed us for the Faure on Peter's behalf; Ellie also conducted us in public for the first time in Mozart's Misericordias Domini. Songs for a summer evening was a wonderful programme of songs about friendship and love; with our audience picnicing in our relaxed cafe style seating. Our Autumn concert was again in Southwell Minster with our good friends, Bingham and District Choral Society performing Haydn's Creation with the Lincolnshire Chamber Orchestra. We finished the year off with a relaxed cafe style Christmas concert back in Queen Elizabeth's Academy.

This year, we started by joing Bingham and District Choral Society and the Nottingham Philharmonic Orchestra at Southwell Minster for Verdi's Requiem in all its' operatic glory; and celebrated Folk Songs of Britain and Ireland in July at QEA again, with John Ogdon Award winners Emma Rae Ward amd Scarlett Clemmow.


2018's Christmas Concert will be Handels' Messiah Part I and Carols at QEA with saraBande and we're delighted that Dr Peter Siepmann will be playing continuo for this concert.


Diane Haslam

Mezzo-soprano, Choral Director, Vocal Coach

Joined us in March 2022

Diane Haslam, was born in Mansfield, England. After graduating with honours from the Royal Northern College of Music, Manchester, Diane sang with the BBC Northern Singers and as soloist in concerts and recitals around Britain. With the London-based touring opera company Opera Round-about she sang principal mezzo roles in opera and operetta, performing in small venues all around the London area. She subsequently joined the chorus of the Netherlands Opera Company where she sang as a full-time member for 7 years, during which time she also performed as soloist on Dutch television and radio, and with the Netherlands Opera Studio.She moved to Cincinnati, USA, in 1990 where she developed a private voice studio, sang as soloist in recitals and opera, and was a founder member of the a capella septet, VoiceBox, with whom she toured the Midwest and made a commercial recording. She was creator and director of a Words and Music recital series at the historic Mercantile Library in downtown Cincinnati. On moving to South Carolina in 2004, Diane taught as Professor of Voice at Newberry College and at the University of South Carolina, teaching applied voice lessons, and creating and leading courses in Vocal Literature, Vocal Diction, Vocal Performance and Vocal Pedagogy. She was also conductor of the University Women’s Choir and director of Opera Workshop.

A passionate advocate of choral singing, Diane was founder (in 2005) and musical director of Aiken Singers, a community choir in South Carolina, Belles Canto teen girls choir, and Bellini girls (ages 7-12) choral group. She was also Music Director of South Boundary Singers men!s vocal ensemble from 2016-20. Each of her choirs performed 8-10 public concerts a year, as well as regularly singing for Nursing Homes and in Retirement Communities. In collaboration with the Aiken Civic Orchestra, Diane directed the orchestra along with her choirs in several combined choral/orchestral concerts. Diane’s personal philosophy of singing led her to write a book on singing, The Heart of Singing: Steps on the Path to Becoming the Singer You Want to Be, which was published in 2011 and is available on Amazon in print or on Kindle. Her book has been used as the basis course text for singing performance courses in higher education, most recently at the Long Island School for the Arts in New York. In her private voice studio, Vocal Dimensions, Diane has taught hundreds of students ages 8 - 85, both professional and amateur. As well as private tuition, she offers classes, workshops, and seminars in vocal technique and performance for both beginners and advanced students. She has led vocal Master Classes and Choral Workshops in both the USA and England and has developed a Singing for Well Being class for adults, and a Vocal Initiative Workshop for young singers, using exercises specifically developed by Diane.

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Next Concerts

A Summer Playlist

2024 Summer Choral Concert with favourites and fun songs.

05 July 2024 16:34
Samworth Academy, Sherwood Hall Road, Mansfield NG18 2DY
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