The Earthly Rose

Dukas’ FanfareOn Saturday 25 September we gave our first concert since the start of Covid-19; we performed the concert that had been scheduled for last Spring. The concert opened with a fanfare, pour précéder La Péri, played on the organ by Richard Hills. The choir then sang Fauré’s popular Cantique de Jean Racine, followed by tuneful and moving Ave Maria by a little known French composer, Jean Boumard.  The Gildas Quartet then played Three Idylls by Frank Bridge. This was followed by The Earthly Rose a delightful but whimsical choral work by Eriks Ešenvalds, with piano accompaniment by Matthew Woodward.  The first part of the concert ended with the rousing Sing!, a choral setting by David Willcocks of his own words to Widor's Toccata, the final movement of his Symphony for Organ No. 5.

The second part of the concert was a performance of the ever popular Requiem by Gabriel Fauré. We were joined in the Offertoire and Libera me by baritone, John Holland-Avery, who was magnificent. The Pie Jesu was sung beautifully by treble, Ivo McGrandle.  The work was brought to a serene end with In Paradisum.

Hardynge Choir members were delighted to be singing again, and were very pleased that the audience also greatly enjoyed the concert.

Hardynge is the ancient name for Harpenden, dating from when it was a farming hamlet growing wheat for the nearby manor of Wheathampstead. The choir's name and logo symbolise these enduring connections.

The Hardynge Choir started in 1966 and continues to provide a challenging outlet for singers wishing to perform mainstream choral works alongside inventive programming and the commissioning of new repertoire. The choir currently has 55 members.  

There are no formal individual auditions for entry or ongoing membership.  We believe that singing should be taken seriously and worked at hard, but above all it should be fun and open to as many people as possible.

Three or four concerts are given each year, usually with professional orchestras and soloists.


Recent Activity

The choir held an excellent open workshop at the end of August which was well attended by members and non members eager to sing together after the pandemic.  We are very pleased that this was well received and resulted in a significant number of new members.  Very welcome indeed!

Next Concert

Following the extra concert in St Mary’s Redbourn we will commence rehearsals for our Christmas Concert, which will include carols and feature beautiful Christmas music - Pettman, Love Came Down at Christmas; Holst, Four Old English Carols; Victoria, O magnum mysterium.

Next Concert



We gave an extra performance of Fauré’s Requiem and Cantique de Jean Racine, and the Ave Maria by Boumard in St Mary’s Church, Redbourn, on Sunday 17 October 2021.  We were superbly accompanied throughout by Matthew Woodward. The cello theme in the introduction to the little known Ave Maria, was played on the violin in this concert by Rufus Frowde.  In the Requiem were joined again by the superb baritone, John Holland-Avery, and the Pie Jesu was sung beautifully by treble, Kaspar van Rooijen-Din.


Registered Charity No. 1049352

Honorary President: Sasha Johnson Manning