Anyone in the large audience filling All Saints Church to capacity on Saturday must have felt that Christmas had really come as soon as they entered the beautifully decorated building, and that feeling only grew stronger as the choir and all their guests performed with heart and soul and voice music full of warmth and joy.

This programme banished all thoughts of shopping malls and internet glitches, and reminded us all of the glory and variety of Christmas music. The concert began without any introduction as the sweet and delicate sounds of the handbells filled the church and hushed us to silence.  The expertise of the Broxbourne Handbell Ringers is remarkable and the musicality of their performance was a revelation of the range of this instrument, so appropriate at this time of year.

The Choral Society was also joined for this evening by the Duncombe School Choir under their conductor, Vanessa Welch.  They gave an exciting performance of carols which were new to most of us, and which they obviously enjoyed.  It was encouraging to see enough boys to perform the story of “King Herod” without the girls and with great enthusiasm.  Keep singing, boys, don’t give up, we need you.  The whole choir’s contribution was as refreshing as a fizzy drink after a mince pie, and we loved them.       

Hertford Choral Society, the foundation of the evening, was on absolutely top form.  Their conductor, Derek Harrison, had only a short  rehearsal  time  and had chosen their items wisely, with some old favourites such as  ”Ding Dong! Merrily on high” and others unfamiliar like the very unexpected “Ragtime Carol”, delivered with much vigour.  But old or new each piece had been carefully prepared and was impeccably delivered, with pianissimos at times which were breathtaking.  The tenors and basses are particularly strong at the moment, and are going to sound wonderful singing  Brahms in the spring (adver!).

There were also invaluable contributions from the organist, Nick Robinson, the flautist, Sally Quantrill, and the indispensable compere, Roger Mullis.  Over £1,000 was collected for charity, and altogether we enjoyed an evening in the true spirit of Christmas.

Susan Hitch

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Come and sing with HCS in 2019!

Hertford Choral Society is having its Christmas break and we re-start rehearsals from Tuesday 8th January 2019 at Sele School, Hertford, SG14 2DG. If you are interested, or in coming along in January, please be 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.

Or maybe you can only spare a day, if so come to our Verdi Requiem Workshop on Saturday 2nd March at Richard Hale School, Hertford, SG13 8EN.

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

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