We've given some answers to Frequently Asked Questions, but don't hesitate to contact us if you want to know more.
Where and when do you rehearse
We rehearse on Tuesday evenings during term time at Sele School in Hertford.
Where do you perform and how often?
Our concerts normally take place in All Saints’ Church in Hertford four times per year. Very occasionally we perform in other venues, for example we have had concerts in St Albans Abbey in the past.
What's special about HCS?
We pride ourselves on bringing top quality music to Hertford, with professional orchestras and soloists of the highest calibre joining us for our concerts. Whilst we are a non-auditioning choir, we aim for a high standard, one which brings us on as singers. At the same time, we are a sociable and friendly bunch of people. New singers comment on the warm welcome they receive when they join us.
Is there an audition?
No, we don’t require people to audition when they want to join us. We are a community choir and everyone is welcome, whatever your experience of singing.
What happens in a typical rehearsal?
We start each rehearsal at 7.30pm with a few stretches and singing exercises, leaving the stresses of the day behind and warming up the vocal chords. Under Derek’s expert leadership, we then rehearse music in preparation for our next concert, accompanied on the piano to a high standard by Charlie, our accompanist. Derek’s energy is contagious and this makes rehearsals engaging and good fun. It’s always a great feeling when a piece really comes together as we approach concert week.
Half way through the evening we take a break – listening to the latest announcements from Trish (our Chair), having a cold drink and a biscuit, chatting with friends and seeing who has won this week’s raffle prizes. Some more singing before we head home at 9.45pm. We take it in turns to tidy up the hall at the end of the rehearsal.
Can I try it out before deciding to join?
If you then want to join us for one term as a way of trying us out, we offer a reduced membership of £20 per term.
Do I need to be able to read music?
No, you don’t need to be able to read music. However, unlike some other community choirs, we do use music and as you sing with us, you will become more familiar with musical notation. We also provide resources to help you learn to negotiate the music copy and to learn your part.
Do I need to buy my own music?
No, music will be provided to you. The cost of this is covered through your membership fees.
Do you have social events?
Members say that our choir is of great value socially to them… lifelong friends are made and the atmosphere is relaxed and fun. We occasionally organise social events such as quiz nights or parties and many of our members keep in touch outside of rehearsals and concerts.
What kind of people will I meet?
We are a large choir with over 120 singers from all over Hertfordshire. Whilst some of our members have been singing in HCS for many years, we have also attracted a good number of newer members over the past few years. People from all walks of life join us and we share a passion for performing great choral music.
Are there opportunities to sing in smaller groups?
From time to time, we have opportunities to sing in smaller groups at events such as weddings, charity events or funerals, under the umbrella of HCS Singers. Coordinated through HCS, HCS Singers is a separate group of people who occasionally come together for such events. Anyone is welcome to join HCS Singers, even if they are not members of HCS.
Are there opportunities to travel and sing in other places?
Under the umbrella of HCS Singers, groups of singers participate in exchange visits with Hertford’s twin towns in Germany (Wildeshausen) and France (Evron). These projects are organised in addition to our other HCS concerts and funded by the singers who wish to take part.
Do you have a choir uniform?
We don’t have a uniform as such, although you will need to have a black music folder and you will need to buy a red carnation (women) and a red bow tie (men). For our concerts, the following dress code applies
Women: A full-length black skirt or long trousers and a smart, plain black top of any style with sleeves of any length OR a long black dress. Red carnations worn on the left. Black shoes & hosiery.
Men: Black jacket and trousers, white shirt, black bow tie (a red HCS bow tie at Christmas), black shoes and socks.