Registered Charity No. 1049352
Copyright 2017 Hardynge Choir
Honorary President: Sasha Johnson Manning
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.
St Albans St Cecilia Festival Society concert
On Saturday 14 October 2017 Hardynge Choir took part in the biannual St Albans St Cecilia Festival Society concert in St Albans Cathedral. The evening had a Russian theme. The concert opened with Shostakovich’s stormy symphonic poem, October, written for the 50th anniversary of the Russian October Revolution.
The main work of the evening was Rachmaninoff’s The Bells, based on the poem by Edgar Allen Poe. The work was composed to a Russian translation, and as John Manning pointed out in his review in the Herts Advertiser, The Bells is rarely heard, probably because it is Rachmaninoff’s most difficult work. To get over some of the difficulties John Gibbons prepared a completely new English edition of the work for the performance, with words as close as possible to the original poem. He added that the result was an excellent musical sound from the three choirs, the St Albans Chamber Choir, the Hardynge Choir and the Radlett Choral Society, together with the St Albans Symphony Orchestra. We were joined by Eldrydd Cynan Jones, Soprano, replacing Anna Gorbachyova who had been denied entry by UK Visa department, Geraint Dodd, Tenor, and Jeremy White, Bass.
The second half of the programme started with Borodin’s Polovtsian Dances from his Opera Prince Igor. Most of the themes were incorporated into the 1953 musical Kismet, best known of which is the women's dance (Gliding Dance of the Maidens), adapted for the song Stranger in Paradise. The evening ended with a bang with the choral version of Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture.