A New Beginning
From the start of its 2017–2018 season, The Huddersfield Singers will be entering an exciting new stage in its history with three significant developments planned:
- A new concert venue
- A new conductor
- An expanded choir
1. A new concert venue
The choir will be returning on a regular basis to its traditional primary concert venue of St Paul’s Hall on the Huddersfield University campus. This is a prestigious venue with an excellent acoustic, and is ideally situated for easy access in Huddersfield town centre.
Daniel GordonSusan Wilkinson
2. A new conductor
We are delighted to announce that our interim conductor for the coming season will be Daniel Gordon. Daniel is a very highly regarded local musician who has served for many years as the Huddersfield Choral Society’s accompanist. Recently he has been promoted within that organisation to become Accompanist and Assistant Chorusmaster. Daniel will bring an excellent level of professionalism to enhance the training of our choir.
Also assisting Daniel in rehearsing the choir will be our recently-appointed President, Susan M. Wilkinson. Susan is a well known and greatly respected music practitioner in the area, not least for her work with the Huddersfield Choral Society Youth Choirs over their first three decades. She also conducts Gledholt Male Voice Choir.
3. An expanded choir
Without altering the basic character or nature of the group and its repertoire, the choir hopes to attract a significant number of new singers in order to expand its musical range and flexibility, and generally reinforce its music-making.
Join Us! — What we’re looking for
The choir is hoping to expand itself in all voice parts. New members with singing experience and sight-reading competence would be greatly appreciated, but if in any doubt as to your suitability, please come along and give us a try! We welcome singers from other choirs and actively encourage membership of multiple groups.
Why Join Us? — Repertoire!
The choir prides itself on its interesting concert programmes, which present attractive lesser-known works to audiences and give the singers something worthwhile and a little out of the ordinary to perform. We try to put on works that are unlikely to be staged by other groups in the area. Here’s an outline of what’s planned for our 2017–2018 season:
|Concert|| ||Title|| ||Programme
|Winter 2017|| ||Christmas|
| ||Charpentier: Messe de Minuit sur des Airs de Noël|
John Gardner: Cantata for Christmas
Vaughan Williams: Fantasia on Christmas Carols
|Spring 2018|| ||Dvořák Stabat Mater|
and Mass in D
| ||Dvořák: Stabat Mater (original 1876 version)|
Dvořák: Mass in D
|Summer 2018|| ||Flights|
| ||John Rutter: Fancies|
Phyllis Tate: Witches and Spells
Flight-themed madrigals and part-songs
Looking a little further ahead, interesting works that we are considering performing in the 2018–2019 season onwards include:
- Ralph Vaughan Williams: A Vision of Aeroplanes
- Aaron Copland: Four Motets
- Constant Lambert: Summer’s Last Will and Testament
Please explore this website for lots more details of the excellent concerts we have put on. The Further details page has a representative list of the interesting music we have performed over the last 25 years or so, and the Concert history (since 1990) section gives a summary of all our concerts in recent times.
As The Examiner said of us recently:
“The Huddersfield Singers would appear to be the local choir for people who are ambitious to explore all sorts of repertoire…”
—William Marshall, The Huddersfield Daily Examiner, June 2015
— Further incentives
The Huddersfield Singers offers:
- Exciting repertoire, even for experienced singers
- Excellent musical standards
- Three concerts per season
- Solo opportunities for interested members
- Enjoyable rehearsals with a friendly atmosphere
- Helpful vocal training during rehearsals
- An excellent variety of interesting music
- A range of occasional social events
If you are interested in giving us a try, do please take advantage of our Open Rehearsal on Monday, 4th September. This is the first rehearsal of our new concert season, when we will start working on our December concert music. If you are unable to attend on 4th September, you will still be very welcome at any subsequent Monday rehearsal; we are treating the whole of September 2017 as being an ‘open month’ for new singers.
Get in touch!
If you intend to come to a rehearsal, it would be much appreciated if you would contact us in advance, so that we have an idea of who’s coming and how much music to have available. Please contact Richard Hallas, preferably by email, at:
or alternatively phone
01484 460280 (landline)
07428 757121 (mobile)
(If necessary, please leave an answerphone message and your call will be returned as soon as possible.)
It would be helpful for us to know:
- Your name;
- Your contact details;
- Your voice part (S/A/T/B; 1st or 2nd if you have a preference);
- Some basic information about your singing experience.
Huddersfield Methodist Mission
15 Lord Street, Huddersfield HD1 1QA
7:30–9:30 pm, Monday evenings (1st floor room)
The Methodist Mission, our regular rehearsal venue, is in the centre of Huddersfield, across the road from the Parish Church and within easy walking distance of both railway and bus stations.
There is limited on-street parking outside the building, but there is also a small car park behind the Methodist Mission and more car parking spaces further along Lord Street.
The concert venue, St Paul’s Hall, is just 500 yards due south of the rehearsal venue.
View the venue in a larger map
Questions & Answers
- Q: What level of experience do I need?
- A: Ideally you should have at least some prior choral-singing experience and be able to read music competently.
- Q: How big a commitment is it to be a member?
- A: There are three Saturday concerts each season, each of which has just over a dozen associated Monday rehearsals on average. In order to take part in a concert you’ll need to have attended a minimum of at least two-thirds of the Monday rehearsals.
- Q: I’m already in another choir; can I join yours too?
- A: Absolutely, as long as the dates don’t clash. We take the view that membership of multiple choirs is good for both the singers and their choirs, as everyone benefits from greater experience.
- Q: Is there an audition?
- A: Yes, there is, though it isn’t too scary. We assess your voice and singing ability, but we don’t treat you as a would-be soloist.
- Q: What makes The Huddersfield Singers special?
- A: Socially, we’re friendly and not cliquey. Musically, we like to sing interesting things that aren’t often performed elsewhere.
A little history
Long regarded as the leading chamber choir in the area, The Huddersfield Singers has a proud history. Originally formed as The Huddersfield Glee & Madrigal Society over 140 years ago, in 1875, as a loose spin-off from the Huddersfield Choral Society intended to enter competitions (and once described by The Examiner as “the cream of the Choral”!), the choirs shared a chorusmaster for a decade. Nevertheless, the two choirs are entirely independent and complementary, though they have always had a number of singers in common.
The Huddersfield Singers takes pride in putting on innovative concerts that include excellent but often little-known works that are likely to be different from what other choirs will be performing. Music has been written for the choir by Gustav Holst, Arthur Butterworth, John Gardner and others, and former regular conductors have included such illustrious names as Richard Steinitz (founder of the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival) Donald Hunt and Leslie Woodgate (BBC Chorusmaster).
This website contains lots more information about the history of the choir, including the contents of a booklet published to celebrate the choir’s centenary in 1975 and further information dating from the 125th anniversary.