Our triple celebration year!
September 2016 sees the start of a very special year for Harrow Choral Society and we are extending a warm invitation to new singers to join in our celebrations. Not only is our 90-strong choir marking the eightieth anniversary of its foundation in 1937, but also twenty-five successful years under our Music Director, Simon Williams.
A highlight of the season will be a performance of Handel’s Messiah in the historic and highly atmospheric setting of Harrow School Speech Room on 1 April 2017. So often this great oratorio is given a cursory one-day rehearsal in a ‘Messiah from Scratch’ event but this will be an opportunity to explore the music in the depth it deserves. So for anyone who has never sung Messiah, here’s an opportunity to learn Handel’s masterpiece properly as part of a friendly and welcoming choir.
Harrow Choral Society aims to perform major choral works to the highest possible standard and each year our three concerts attract an enthusiastic and loyal audience, while regular ‘Away Days’ and tours allow the choir to perform to audiences elsewhere in the UK and abroad. Under Simon's leadership, the choir has also commissioned numerous new works and given them their first public performance. Since 1937 we have been fortunate in a succession of distinguished Presidents, among them Sir Charles Groves and Richard Hickox - followed in 2008 by our current President, the renowned English tenor Ian Caley who also lives in Harrow.
Completing a ‘hat-trick’ of anniversaries, 2017 also marks twenty years since the foundation of Harrow Choral Society’s award-winning training choir Singing for Starters. Established by Simon Williams, Singing for Starters offers a supportive introduction for new singers and a confidence-boosting refresher course for ‘returners’. Members follow a one-year course of tuition designed to develop their skills in music-reading, vocal technique and the other basics of singing with a classical choir. At the end of the course, members are invited to rehearse with the main choir for a few weeks before formally applying to join. So for anyone inspired by choirs on TV or at live concerts who hasn’t yet plucked up the courage to join one, Singing for Starters could provide that crucial stepping-stone into the magical world of choral singing!
The coming season promises to be a busy but rewarding one for us in Harrow’s longest-established choir and anyone who would like to be part of it would be very welcome to give us a try for a while – as our guest. Rehearsals for both the main choir and Singing for Starters are held on Monday evenings at St Alban’s Church, The Ridgeway, North Harrow from 7.45pm and the new term starts on 5 September.
Alternatively, join us on Saturday 1st October for a special Messiah workshop.
Rhona Taylor - Aug 2016