Registered Charity No. 1049352

Copyright 2017 Hardynge Choir

Honorary President: Sasha Johnson Manning

Hardynge is the ancient name for Harpenden, dating from when it was a farming hamlet growing wheat for the nearby manor of Wheathampstead. The choir's name and logo symbolise these enduring connections.

The Hardynge Choir started in 1966 and continues to provide a challenging outlet for singers wishing to perform mostly the mainstream Choral Society repertoire. The choir currently has 70 to 80 members.  

There are no formal individual auditions for entry or ongoing membership.  We believe that singing should be taken seriously and worked at hard, but above all it should be fun and open to as many people as possible.

Three or four concerts are given each year, usually with professional orchestras and soloists.

Enjoy our next concert!


Songs and Cries

On Saturday 10 June 2017 Hardynge Choir gave a lively concert to an appreciative audience in Fowden Hall, Rothamsted. Matthew Woodward and Alicia Chaffey opened the concert with Malcolm Arnold’s English Dance, Set 1, no.2, arranged as a piano duet by Franz Reizenstein.

The choir then sang Four Shakespeare Lyrics by Philip Lane, an English composer noted for his light music compositions and painstaking work reconstructing lost film scores.  St Helen's CE Primary School Choir who sang the middle section of Bob Chilcott’s Songs and Cries of London Town, also sang a selection of six popular songs, directed by Katherine Taylor, Assistant Headteacher.  Hardynge Choir returned to sing one of Elgar’s earliest part-songs, the beautiful but sad, My Love Dwelt in a Northern Land. This was followed by Three Folk Songs from Op. 36B (1916) by Gustav Holst.

Edward Scull who provided the percussion for several works during the evening, gave an amazing vibraphone solo performance of Tiento by the North German composer and drummer, Nils Rohwer. Then John Holland-Avery, Baritone, accompanied by Matthew Woodward, gave a fabulous and sensitive performance of George Butterworth’s Six Songs from a Shropshire Lad, a well known and beautiful setting of the poems by AE Houseman.

Finally the choir returned to perform Songs and Cries of London Town by Bob Chilcott. The first and last lively sections are poems of street cries (originally set by Orlando Gibbons) which draw on the bustling London streets with their crowds of jostling merchants trying to sell their wares.   The middle section, sung by St Helen's CE Primary School Choir, is a setting of the nursery rhyme, ‘Oranges and Lemons’.  Separating these sections were tranquil settings in praise of London, Dunbar’s ‘The Flow’r of Cities All’ and Wordsworth’s ‘Composed upon Westminster Bridge, September 3, 1802’.