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 70 to 80 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.
This year our Christmas concert, Wassail, was held in St John’s Church Harpenden, on Monday 17 December 2018. The Church was full. It was a mixed secular and sacred programme with a focus on the traditional elements of Christmas, including versions of Wassail from around the country.
The concert opened with Ubi Sunt Gaudia, first sang in unison, then as a round in two parts, and finally in four parts. That was followed by We’ve Been Awhile A-
The choir was beautifully accompanied by Matthew Woodward, piano, in many of the carols, including arrangements by John Rutter: Past Three a Clock, the less known Down in Yon Forest, and the ever popular The Twelve Days of Christmas.
Richard Hills played the organ for the carols sung by the congregation. Once again he gave an outstanding improvised organ solo on Christmas tunes, and he even managed to weave in Widor's Toccata: this caused much amusement for the audience and performers.
The final carol sung by the congregation was the rousing O Come, All Ye Faithful, and the concert ended with the choir singing We Wish You a Merry Christmas.
Afterwards the Choir and audience retired to St John’s Church Hall to enjoy seasonal refreshments. The audience had clearly enjoyed the evening as number of them were very complimentary both about our singing and for the programming.
Registered Charity No. 1049352
Copyright 2019 Hardynge Choir
Honorary President: Sasha Johnson Manning