New songs, new chorus director – Kings of Herts reset the tone for the new year

The Kings of Herts singing.

The Kings of Herts singing. - Credit: Tracy Shankland. Supplied by Kings of Herts

One of the county’s best-known male choruses – the Kings of Herts – is launching into 2022 on a positive note.

“To borrow a slogan, we are aiming to build back better – after a year in which the coronavirus took quite a toll,” said Mike Rose, acting chairman of the four-part harmony club.

First off, the barbershop chorus has begun revamping its repertoire to enhance its appeal in performances throughout north and mid-Herts, which are often staged in support of local charities.

“It’s a thorough overhaul, a modernisation if you like, at the same time as we start the hunt for a new chorus director,” said Mike.

A number of old songs are being jettisoned and new songs introduced that will be popular with both chorus and audience alike.

“More sing-along moments at the sing-outs perhaps,” said Mike.

The Kings look ahead with a confidence born of their determined re-emergence after last year’s lengthy restrictions on gatherings.

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They restarted rehearsals undercover outdoors in the summer and were back indoors in the autumn at their meeting place at Wood End Junior School in Harpenden.

“We are restructuring the meetings as well. They are always great fun but we aim to make them more varied and interesting,” said Mike.

The Kings have been entertaining for over 30 years.

They welcome new recruits at their Thursday gatherings, which start at 7.30pm, with initial attention focused on new songs but a more relaxed mood later in the evening.

Social distancing and ventilation are still the order of the day at Kings rehearsals.

“New voices are always welcome,” said Mike. “Barbershop is a great place to make friends and to release latent vocal talent – and you don’t have to read music.”

The Kings started a wide-ranging hunt for a new chorus director after member David Wren stood down on completing an invaluable holding operation.

Suitable candidates can get in touch with Mike via the website.

“Barbershop experience is preferred but we will be pleased to hear from people from other genres,” he said.

More information can be found online at www.kingsofherts.co.uk

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