Hertford Choral Society teamed up with the National Saxophone Choir of Great Britain to deliver an enterprising, entertaining and hugely enjoyable concert in All Saints Church on Saturday 25th.

This latest exploration in a succession of imaginative pairings showed its great strengths in the opening number. Handel's Zadok the Priest was lively, crisp and bounced along with a tremendous sense of life and joy. The following transcription of Bach's Fugue in G Minor was a foot-tapping/head-nodding dance.

The Saxophone Choir brought some of their "party pieces" including exhilarating renditions of Dick Barton - Special Agent and Mozart's Magic Flute Overture, an impressively choreographed treatment of Bohemian Rhapsody and a luscious treatment of Ketelbey's Sanctuary of the Heart.

We were also reminded of a local connection in Simon's Mangrove Groove a piece commissioned for Simon Balle School by the Choir's composer in residence Roger May.

HCS treated us to a very well prepared and clear rendition of two movements of Elgar's Bavarian Highlands and a well controlled rendition of Morten Lauridsen's Dirait-on. For me the upper voices rather outshone the gentlemen in terms of expressive lyricism and delivered pin point accuracy of tuning. The same could be said of the spirited rendition of Chilcott's Singing by Numbers though the gents redeemed themselves in the well executed slides during Cruet MacNightshade (words by Spike Milligan!).

The one piece that did not come off for me was Elgar's Spirit of the Lord. The rich sound of the Saxophone Choir meant the ethereal opening and closing were far too solid and earth-bound with the Saxophone Choir never really managing to achieve a true pianissimo and drowning the singers on occasion.

Nevertheless this was a very worthwhile exploration of the scope of an unusual collaboration and well worth hearing - as evidenced by the vivacity of Bernstein's West Side Story and the final Over the Rainbow with a (conscious?) tribute to the late and great George Shearing in the final harmonisation.

The concert deserved and received a standing ovation.

More please!

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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