Hertford Choral Society's Christmas concert It's Christmas was held on 16th December 2017. HCS was joined by soloist Dagmara Jones on the French horn, and the Abel Smith School Choir, all ably accompanied by Christopher Muhley on the organ and piano. The Musical Director and Conductor was Derek Harrison and the concert was compered by Roger Mullis.

Last weekend, I was lucky enough to attend the Hertford Choral Society’s (HCS) It’s Christmas concert. The event had been a festive highlight in my calendar for a while so when the night finally arrived, I was keen to see what it was all about…

As I walked into All Saint’s Church in Hertford, I was greeted with a warm welcome, a glass of wine and a mince pie – we were already off to a good start!

The church was decorated with twinkling lights, garlands and three beautifully decorated Christmas trees. I spent some time chatting with members of the society, who were all extremely friendly and obviously very excited about the evening they had been working so hard to prepare.

The concert began with a rousing Fanfare for Christmas, sung by the full choir, who looked equally festive in smart dress with red bow-ties for the men and corsages for the ladies. Then followed a selection of traditional Christmas carols, as well as lesser-known seasonal pieces. This was interspersed with opportunities for the audience to sing along, French horn solos from Dagmara Jones and a performance from Abel Smith School Choir.

The HCS choir sang beautifully and moved smoothly between gentler pieces like Away in a Manger and more energetic numbers like The Twelve Days of Christmas. The latter of these, I’ve heard performed many times over the years but the choice to use Austin / Humphris’ creative arrangement breathed new life into the song. Featuring different sections of the choir layered over one another, intricate timing and even the odd animal sound (six geese a-laying!), the piece was impressively complex whilst still remaining light-hearted and fun.

Likewise, the Abel Smith School Choir received heartfelt (and well deserved!) applause for their rendition of Silent Night. The children, aged between five and eleven years, not only sang beautifully and from memory but also in German! Their performance was full of energy and confidence and brought a smile to everyone’s faces.

Another youngster who made a big impression was Esme Sabin, a year six pupil from Duncombe School, who delivered a stunning solo at the start of Once in Royal David’s City. The church was silent as Esme delivered the first verse with clarity, confidence and precision. Each note was perfectly pitched and unhurried, providing an enchanting introduction to the classic carol.

Christopher Muhley provided skilful organ and piano accompaniment throughout the evening, whilst compère Roger Mullis kept things moving at an upbeat pace, with amusing and informative commentary around the evening’s repertoire.

All-in-all, It’s Christmas was beautifully presented, skilfully delivered and full of energy. There was variety, fun, a few surprises and plenty of festive merriment. It’s easy to see why so many return each year, to hear HCS perform.

Hanna Kemsley-Gilbert
hertfordarts.com/concert-review-its-christmas-hertford-choral-society

2017-18 Concert Season

 

This summer HCS are singing at St Albans Cathedral.  Please click through to find out more details and how to buy tickets:

Saturday 9th June 2018: Vaughan Williams A Sea Symphony with the Chameleon Orchestra, at 7.30pm, at St Albans Cathedral, St Albans

See the review of our first concert of this season: Saturday 11th November 2017: Mozart Requiem, McDowall Magnificat

Read about our It's Christmas concert with Abel Smith School Choir, Hertford  which we held on Saturday 16th December 2017

We had a magnificant spring concert on Saturday 24th March 2018: Rutter Requiem, Bernstein Chichester Psalms and Janacek Otcenas, with organ and harp

Latest News

Sing with Hertford Choral - Summer 2018

Rehearsals start in Hertford in April 2018 for our Summer Concert which will be on Saturday 9th June 2018 at St Albans Cathedral when we will be singing Vaughan Williams A Sea Symphony.

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 or 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.

Vacancy for Accompanist

Hertford Choral Society needs to recruit an accompanist from the start of the 2018/19 season as the current post-holder is relocating away from Hertfordshire.

You can find details and how to apply here. The deadline for applications is Saturday 12th May 2018.

HCS celebrates its 80th birthday next season; what better time could there be to join us!

Watch HCS Sing

Reviews of Past Concerts