The major strands of Derek's career have been choral conducting and singing. He conducts choirs both large and small and has been Musical Director of the Hertford Choral Society for many years. He has been founder and director of chamber choirs in Harlow, Hertford and St Albans. He has directed four performances at the Royal Albert Hall, London with well over 850 performers in Britten's War Requiem, Mahler's Eighth Symphony, Verdi's Requiem and Berlioz's Grande Messe des Morts. These three concerts have raised around £120,000 for a charity working for the blind.

Derek has also directed a number of 'Bring It and Sing It' performances, many of which have been in support of charities. He was invited to direct a Royal Gala concert for Princess Alexandra as part of a fund-raising programme for the local Princess Alexandra hospital in Harlow.

With the Hertford Choral Society, Derek has worked with a number of distinguished British orchestras and soloists. He has also been responsible for several initiatives with the Hertford Choral Society with a particular focus on developing young musicians (a student conductor scheme in association with several London conservatoires), improving the training of singers (an award-winning coaching scheme) and encouraging young people to gain the 'large choir' experience (Bursaries at local schools).

Derek's musical career began as a chorister at Salisbury Cathedral. He won a scholarship to Bradfield College and then an Organ Scholarship to St Edmund Hall, Oxford University. From there he gained a music degree and his FRCO (Fellowship of the Royal College of Organists). For many years after that, Derek was the main singer (and bass rebec player) with the St George's Canozona - a small group that specialised in Medieval and early Renaissance music.  With that group, Derek recorded for many of the major companies in the UK as well as giving recitals in and around London including at the Wigmore Hall and the Purcell Room on the South Bank.

Derek can be contacted at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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Come and sing with HCS from September

We will start rehearsing on Tuesday 3rd September, and then every Tuesday at Sele School, Hertford, SG14 2DG for the first concert of our 2019-20 season. It is on Saturday 2nd November 2019 when we will be performing Schubert's Mass in A Flat together with Chilcott's Dances of Time.

New members are very welcome to join, whatever your level of experience. You have the opportunity to join Taster Rehearsals free and, if you decide you would like to sing with us, you can do so for a term for a Taster Fee of £20, including music. HCS is a non-auditioned choir, you can find out more about a typical rehearsal here. If you are interested in coming along and singing with HCS, please contact our Membership Secretary, Trish Goldsmith, on 01992 589730 or at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.   Don’t hesitate to ask any question at all.

We look forward to welcoming you to HCS! Click here for more news from Hertford Choral Society.

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HertfordChoral Really enjoying rehearsals of #Schubert and @bobchilcott ... it will be a wonderful evening of #music #Hertfordshire https://t.co/Ucy1BWAUJi
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HertfordChoral Really big thanks to #ElizabethWeisberg (here with Derek Harrison) for providing great voice coaching at tonight's… https://t.co/qcqVxLCvsF
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