Registered Charity No. 1049352
Copyright 2018 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.
Nine Lessons and Carols
This year our Christmas concert was a traditional Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols held in St John’s Church Harpenden, on Monday 18 December 2017. We followed closely the format used in the Christmas Eve service held in King's College Chapel since 1918.
As always, the opening carol was Once in Royal David's City with the solo first verse sung by our soprano, Kay Vernon. The choir sang nine carols, some very well known and some less so, interspersed with nine lessons from Genesis to the Gospels telling the story of the fall of humanity, the promise of the Messiah, and the birth of Jesus. We were beautifully accompanied by Mathew Woodward, piano, in two Carols by John Rutter and by Richard Hills, organ, for most of the rest, apart from the beautiful The Lamb by John Tavener which was unaccompanied. The service ended with the Collect and Blesssing, followed by the choir and congregation singing Hark the Herald Angel Sing and finally a glorious performance by Richard Hills of Bach’s In Dulci Jubilo, the traditional first organ voluntary at the end of the Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols at King's College, Cambridge.
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 expressed universal praise, both for our performance and for the programming.