Museums at Night 2013: The Zusammen Choir Procession in Rochdale

By Rosie Clarke | 22 May 2013

Museums at Night Report: Zusammen Choir Procession, Rochdale, May 17 2013

A photo of a town procession
Rochdale Pioneers Museum and Touchstones Rochdale were delighted to win artist Susan Forsyth in Culture24’s Connect10 competition. But how could they make the most of her presence in Rochdale?

Forsyth’s creative idea was a drop-in Zusammen Choir Procession between heritage sites around Rochdale, involving local brass bands and musicians along with members of the public all singing popular songs together.

Arriving outside St Chad’s Church, local schoolchildren proudly held a banner aloft while Forsyth presented medals to everyone participating – even the police community support officers manning the rolling road closures.

Rochdale Sixth Form College music students performed their first professional musical engagement, singing folk songs accompanied by guitars, and local singer-songwriter Geoff Alexander led the crowd in a rendition of his affectionate song I’m Going Back to Rochdale.

The older singers in the procession sang along to Gracie Fields’ If I Knew You Were Coming I’d Have Baked a Cake, while the children had practiced Magic Penny and S Club 7’s Reach for the Stars, which saw a forest of hands flung cheerily into the air and the local rugby team mascot dancing along.

The procession moved through the beautifully well-kept Broadfield Park from the bandstand past the pond. “I’ve lived here all my life, but I’ve never come to this park before,” admitted one local.

Littleborough Brass Band and Rochdale Youth Brass Band kept spirits high as the 200-strong crowd continued past the war memorial and through the town centre, gathering footballers, dog-walkers and curious families en route.

As the singing came to a close outside the Pioneers Museum, the band cheekily launched into The Final Countdown and everyone was welcomed into nearby historic church St Mary in the Baum for tea and biscuits.

More pictures:

A photo of people walking through a town centre past a church
A photo of people walking through a park
A photo of two children carrying a banner in a park
A photo of a brass band playing on a lawn outside a church
A photo of a man playing a guitar and singing outside a church
Latest comment: >Make a comment
This was a fantastic event for Rochdale, Geoff Alexander and all the entertainers were fantastic. I really hope we can have a repeat event next year and every year. Thank you to everyone involved. More photos of the event can be found here:
>See all comments
More on the venues and organisations we've mentioned:
  • Back to top
  • | Print this article
  • | Email this article
  • | Bookmark and Share
    Back to article
    Your comment:
    DISCLAIMER: Reader comments posted at are the opinion of the comment writer, not Culture24. Culture24 reserves the right to withdraw or withhold from publication any comments that are deemed to be hearsay or potentially libellous, or make false or unsubstantiated allegations or are deemed to be spam or unrelated to the article at which they are posted.
    Museum Crush digest sign up ad
    We are culture24