Who are the White Rosettes?
The White Rosettes are a Leeds-based female barbershop chorus. In October 2017 they won the LABBS National Ladies Chorus Championship for an unprecedented 16th time! They were also delighted to successfully retain their title as European Champions for the third time in a row – also a result without precedent.
Under the direction of Sally McLean, the White Rosettes aim to push the boundaries of technical excellence, musicality and performance, and do this by entering prestigious national and international competitions and performing both locally and further afield. The chorus sings a range of styles, from strict barbershop, to jazz, gospel and show classics.
Formed in 1977 under the direction of Clive Landey, the chorus still rehearses weekly and welcomes visitors and prospective new members. The 67-strong chorus is supported by a hard-working and inspirational Music and Presentation Team and an organisational Committee. The chorus’ success is particularly remarkable as the majority of the singers have no musical training.
- LABBS Chorus Champions: 2015, 2013, 2011, 2009, 2007, 2005, 2003, 2000, 1996, 1993, 1990, 1987, 1986, 1984, 1983
- European Chorus Champions: 2013, 2009
- Llangollen International Eisteddfod Choir of the World Finalists: 2012, 2010, 2008
- Winners of Coleraine International Choral Festival 2007
- Radio 3 Choir of the Year Category Finalists 2006
- Radio 3 Choir of the Year Finalists 2005
- Sainsbury’s Single Voice Choir of the Year 2000
Sally McLean: Musical Director
Sally McLean became Musical Director of the White Rosettes in January 1998. Since taking over the role, she has led the chorus to new heights, winning eight national championships, and the hugely important European championship in 2009 and 2013. With Sally at the helm, the chorus has also had the honour of competing three times for the title of Llangollen Eisteddfod Choir of the World.
It is Sally’s incredible musical ability, combined with her determination, ambition, leadership and motivational skills, that drives the chorus to ever greater achievements.
Sally is a committed educator both within and outside of the chorus. Sally acts as vocal coach to a significant number of both men and women’s choruses and quartets across the country. Sally is an inspiration to other directors; her masterclasses with the White Rosettes have proved highly successful and she presented to the Association of British Choral Directors at their Annual Conference in August 2012. Sally was part of an expert jury in the BBC’s Gareth Malone ‘The Naked Choir’ programme, looking for the country’s best a cappella group, which airs on BBC2 in autumn 2015.
Joining the White Rosettes as a singer in 1982, Sally went on to win three national championships as a quartet singer: in 1987 with 42nd Street; in 1992 with Downtown Express; and in 2003 with The Jazz Firm.
Sally says that every win is unexpected and every Championship a thrill but that none of it would be possible without her soul-mates David, Sadie and Molly.