Our repertoire is mainly choral mainstream, with a strong emphasis on ecclesiastical works, but there is some variety, particularly for the summer concert, which may feature lighter music and folk songs, and the annual carol concert where the audience joins us in singing a number of well known carols.
Clicking on the dates at the head of the following sections will give further details of the concerts performed during those periods.
The Christmas Concert in our 50th Anniversary year, on 10 December 2016, included Britten’s St Nicolas Cantata, performed in St Nicholas Church, Harpenden. That concert also included the first performance of a new version of Ring Out, Wild Bells written for us by our Honorary President, Sasha Johnson Manning.
The concerts we have put on during Catherine Beddison’s Directorship, since January 2007 include an exciting performance of Karl Jenkins’ The Armed Man: that concert included Dufay’s Missa L'homme armé, which uses the same C14 popular tune. We have also sung Carter’s Benedicite and Chilcott’s Singing by Numbers, and the piano and harmonium version of Rossini’s Petite Messe Solennelle.
We sang The Manchester Carols composed by Sasha Johnson Manning, to poems by Carol Ann Duffy, for the 2010 Carol Concert, under our Interim Music Director, Mark Jordan. This was one of the first performances of this delightful work outside Manchester.
Roderick McPhee was Music Director from 1992 to 2006. Highlights of his direction of the choir include well known works such as J S Bach’s Christmas Oratorio, Mozart’s Requiem and Brahms’ Ein Deutsches Requiem, and less well known works such as Britten’s St Nicholas and Rossini’s little known but glorious Messa di Gloria.
Also of note was the St Cecilia Festival Society concert in St Albans Cathedral on 12 October 2002, in which Rod directed a very exciting performance of Walton’s Belshazzar’s Feast.
Our 40th Anniversary Year, the final year of Rod’s Directorship, was marked with two special concerts. Firstly we gave the premier performance of a specially commissioned work, Magnificat, by Philip Tebbs, and the year ended on a high with a glorious performance of Handel’s Messiah (complete) in St Albans Cathedral.
David Ireson founded The Hardynge Choir. His Directorship covered a very wide variety of interesting and popular works, such as Handel’s Messiah, and some which were quite challenging, such as Beethoven’s Mass in C major.