Highly praised choir repeat performance

Hertfordshire Chorus in concert at The Barbican
Hertfordshire Chorus in concert at The Barbican

The majestic beauty of St Albans Cathedral will be the setting for a spectacular concert of Elgar’s The Kingdom by Hertfordshire Chorus this weekend.

The choir, conducted by David Temple, has sung this dramatic and inspiring piece in the cathedral previously and on that occasion Martin Bird of The Elgar Society wrote: “Put simply, it was the finest performance of The Kingdom that I have ever heard, or can ever hope to hear. In David Temple there was, for once, a conductor who actually took notice of the directions Elgar has given in his score, and the result was a revelation.”

On Saturday (February 4) the choir and Mr Temple will seek to surpass their critically acclaimed performance.

Full of drama and uplifting tunes, The Kingdom is considered by many to be the finest of Elgar’s three oratorios.

The choir will be joined by top class soloists Eleanor Dennis, Diana Moore, Ben Johnson, James Platt and the London Orchestra da Camera.

Saturday’s concert begins at 7.30pm, doors open at 7pm. Tickets cost £12 - £25 and can be booked online at www.stalbanscathedral.org or phone 01727 890210.

The 130 members of the choir are drawn from across the county including Hemel Hempstead, Berkhamsted and Watford. There is a wide age range, from university students to retired people. As with most choirs there are more women than men, with about two thirds of the choir female and one third male.

Members rehearse from 7.30 - 10pm every Wednesday at Bishops Hatfield School in Hatfield.

The choir put on five concerts a year, two at St Albans Cathedral and at least one in London at The Barbican or St John’s Smith Square. In addition, the choir is invited to sing at concerts and recordings. The choir commissions new large scale choral music and last summer’s exciting event was recording two of these with the BBC Concert Orchestra at Watford Colosseum. The result will be launched on Signum records in October at St Albans Cathedral.

Good singers are always welcome to audition to join the choir.

The next open rehearsal is on Wednesday (February 8) when members will begin rehearsals for the next concert, Rachmaninov’s Vespers. Anyone is welcome to try the choir out. For more details email membership@hertfordshirechorus.org.uk.