Hertford Choral Society (HSC) recently celebrated their 80th anniversary. To mark this significant milestone, they have been working in partnership with the University of Hertfordshire Heritage Hub, on two very special projects to record and document HCS’s long history and contributions to the cultural life of the county…
New book: Hertford Choral Society – a history: 1938-2018
This publication, researched and written by two choir members, documents the music, fun and friendship that has been the hallmark of the choir for 80 years. For the first time, information about its conductors, musical achievements and many aspects of life inside a choir are brought together in a fascinating read.
The book is beautifully produced, with a comprehensive, easy-to-follow format, detailing the society’s progression through the years. Covering struggles, triumphs and everything in between, it it takes an insider’s look at the fascinating development of the choir from 1938 to the present day.
Photographs dotted throughout, give a wonderful insight into the more personal, social side of the society and a series of images toward the back of the book even detail the names of those in three group images, dating back to 1979.
The publication is a great read for anyone with existing interest in the choir or those who have just discovered it and want to learn how it came to be.
It was part-funded by a generous grant from the University Heritage Hub and is available to purchase at £12 (including p&p) from firstname.lastname@example.org
An oral history of Hertford Choral Society
The choir has been working in partnership with the University of Hertfordshire’s Oral History team* to record some of its 140 members and musical director, talking about their experiences of the choir.
The University kindly trained nine choir members to interview fellow singers and the result (a first for a UK choir!) is a thoroughly engaging oral history, contained in 30 separate interviews, of life inside a choral society.
Or, listen to a couple of them below:
I’ve never quite understood how it is our conductor gets us to oven-ready… and not overcooked. It’s quite a skill and he’s got it.
Jill Coggins interviewed by Geoff Rice, HCS Memories Project, June 2018
With a group like HCS, you go along, you forget all your troubles and your worries. We’re all like-minded, we all like singing.
Jenny Harrison interviewed by June Crew, HCS Memories Project, June 2018
HCS is an all-embracing choir; it’s a choir which accepts everybody.
Don Tozer interviewed by Linda Gilley, HCS Memories Project, June 2018
I think often that Derek is a bit like a life-jacket. When in doubt just watch him and he will save you and he will get you through to the end. There is so much responsibility on his shoulders. How he does it I just don’t know. There’s that feeling that, OK you’ve done your work, but he’s the one that will get you through it.
Jane Turner interviewed by Trish Goldsmith, HCS Memories Project, June 2018
Music has completely transformed my life. I waited too long for this. If someone was considering joining HCS I would say… DO IT!
Lynn Willcock interviewed by Jane Turner, HCS Memories Project, June 2018
Want to learn more?
HCS rehearsals take place every Tuesday evening during term time at The Sele School, Hertford.
For details about the choir, membership and how to buy concert tickets, please visit www.hertfordchoral.org.uk
Have you been to an HCS concert recently? Leave a comment below or join the conversation @hertfordarts.
*Led by Andrew Green, Senior Research Fellow at the University of Hertfordshire, the team works in conjunction with the University’s Heritage Hub, which fosters partnerships between university staff from all disciplines with heritage expertise, and voluntary groups, public institutions and commercial organisations with interests in heritage.
The Oral History team has been professionally trained to collect large number of interviews in a single day. They work with individuals, community groups, institutions and businesses to create and capture historical evidence and memories.