The evening began in fine style with the Trio ‘jamming’ on Charlie Parker’s Billie’s Bounce.  Clean, clear and cool playing made it clear this was going to be some evening!

HCS joined the Trio in three of Chilcott’s Jazz Folk Songs. The House of the Rising Sun, a lazy cool with a well blended sound from the Gentlemen; Tell my Ma, a more lively style, bouncing along; Cherry Tree with nicely caught delicate Japanese derived textures and shapes.

Sarah Dacey sang Britten’s arrangement of The Last Rose of Summer with a beautiful legato over the turbulent accompaniment.

The Trio then performed an impressive treatment of When I fall in love.

A second group of three Jazz Folk Songs (arr. Chilcott) followed. Hush little baby, neat navigation of some captivating if unexpected modulations; There is my loved one, skilled sustained quiet singing; Waltzing Matilda, tidy singing of ingenious cross-rhythms.

The second half was devoted to Will Todd’s Mass in BlueKyrie had a dark almost smoky opening with clean tight vocal lines. The central jaunty Christe contrasted well.

Throughout the Gloria the crisp rhythms of trio swept the choir along.

Credo opened with crisp and clear words. Et incarnatus provided a moment of gentle repose. Et resurrexit had pulsing rhythm and a fast moving bass leading into an ecstatic Et expecto and Amen.
Sanctus was the least successful movement.  Its gentle style slipped into a level of timidity with some moments of slack rhythm and tuning.

By contrast the ensuing Benedictus was sung with great conviction and fire. The Double Bass and Chorus basses kicked it off with a real crisp foot-tapping ostinato.

Agnus was a sultry blues with Sarah Dacey delivering a well supported sound.  The contrasting Dona Nobis Pacem was pure magic.  The work and concert concluded in brilliant fashion with a ‘scat’ Credo.

What can Mr Harrison come up with next year? – I’ll certainly be there to find out!

Martin G Penny

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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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