50 not out as Harpenden choir prepares to celebrate golden anniversary

Hardynge Choir

Hardynge Choir - Credit: Archant

A full programme of music to mark its 50th anniversary in 2016 is being prepared by a Harpenden choir.

The Hardygne Choir - named after a medieval name for Harpenden - started from an evening class in choral singing with about 20 members and is now a thriving choir with some 80 singers.

It was under St Albans-based David Ireson when it was formed and its current music director is Rufus Frowde.

The anniversary year gets underway on March 19 with a performance of Haydn’s oratorio The Creation in which the composer celebrates the creation of the world as described in the Book of Genesis and Milton’s Paradise Lost.

The tempo changes on July 2 when the choir will be accompanied by a 17-piece big band to sign Sacred Jazz. The concert will feature pieces by Bill Holman, Johnny Mercer, George Gershwin and Duke Ellington’s Sacred Concert.

The anniversary year ends with a performance of Britten’s St Nicholas Cantata in St Nicholas Church in Harpenden on December 10. The concert will be accompanied by a new work commissioned from Sasha Johnson Manning, the choir’s honorary president who is best known for her Manchester Carols.

New singers, particularly tenors and basses, are always welcome and no audition is required - the Hardynge Choir just requires commitment and effort in return for fun, enjoyment and a sense of achievement.

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Anyone who is interested should contact membership secretary Primrose Watts on 01582 460092 or online at membership@hardyngechoir.org.

Further information about the choir can be found at www.hardyngechoir.org