Vacancy for a Music Director

Hertford Choral Society is a friendly and welcoming non-auditioned community choir of over 120 members, normally performing four concerts each season at All Saints’ Church in Hertford. Due to the retirement of the current post holder, we have a vacancy for a new Music Director starting in September 2021.
HCS regularly performs major works from across the choral repertoire, typically with professional soloists and orchestras, alongside lighter programmes for creative and varied summer concerts as well as annual Christmas concerts. Our members range from experienced to novice singers, all sharing the love of singing and aspiring to high standards.
We are seeking a Music Director to work at a professional level who is looking to make the choir their own and provide leadership to continue the development of the choir. Essential requirements of the role include:

– Experience of conducting amateur choirs for a number of years;
– Experience of conducting varied choral repertoire, including major works with orchestra and soloists;
– Excellent knowledge of singing;
– An appreciation of amateur music making and an understanding of how to enable a community choir such as HCS to perform at its best;
– The ability to set and achieve high standards of singing through encouragement and a positive approach;
– The ability to plan varied and interesting concert programmes.

We rehearse with a professional accompanist on Tuesday evenings at Sele School in Hertford (7.30 to 9.45pm), which is walking distance from Hertford North Station. Additional pre-concert and Saturday workshop rehearsals are also scheduled.

You can read more about the choir, see our repertoire and listen to some recordings through our website: www.hertfordchoral.org.uk

For a full candidate pack and to ask any questions, please contact Sabine Stanley on MDrecruitment@hertfordchoral.org.uk. Applications should be made by email to the same email address by 1st March 2021.

Leighton Buzzard Chorister in BBC Young Chorister 2020 Final

Alexander Olleson

Alexander Olleson

This will be broadcast on BBC 1 at 13:15 on Sunday December 6th.

Paul Dickens, Director of Music at All Saints Leighton Buzzard, said:
“Alexander became a member of the All Saints choir in 2014 when he was 7 years old. In 2016 he joined the choir at Christ Church Cathedral in Oxford, singing with us when he was back in Leighton Buzzard and joining us on our summer residentials to sing in several English cathedrals. Earlier this year, he was awarded a music scholarship at Bedford School. Alexander has been back singing with us regularly since March: firstly as part of our virtual choir during lockdown and then on Sundays when lockdown eased and we returned to sing in church. His sister, Olivia, joined us in 2016 and is a member of the National Youth Girls choir.

Alexander is an accomplished musician. Apart from his singing, he plays piano and violin and is entirely self-taught on the organ. “

Update: congratulations to Alexander, who was the winner!

Resounding Body: Building Christlike Church Communities through Music

A new book by Andy Thomas of St Andrew’s Church in Bedford, about to be published by Sacristy Press (paperback, special pre-order price £12.99).

Miles Quick, the RSCM’s Head of Congregational and Instrumental Music writes: “This book will be an inspiration to all who are called to serve a congregation as church music leaders in a local parish situation. Full of hope and thoughtful ideas, it deals sensitively with many of the practical issues involved in including a wide range of people in the musical ministry. Highly recommended!”

For more information visit the Sacristy Press website at https://www.sacristy.co.uk/books/ministry-resources/worship-music

Vacancy for Organist at St Saviour’s, St Albans

St Saviour’s Church, St Albans is looking for an organist to take over from John Winter, who retires on February 2nd.

St Saviour’s is a Church of England Parish Church in the Anglo-Catholic tradition. The duties involve working with the Choir Director, playing for the regular Sunday Sung Mass at 9.30 am on Sunday mornings, accompanying choir anthems plus the congregational setting of the Communion Service and various responses. There are also special evening services, Ash Wednesday, Maundy Thursday, Ascension Day, Corpus Christi, All Souls’ Day, Service of Lessons and Carols, Midnight Mass. You would not be required to attend Friday evening choir practices, except by occasional special arrangement. You will get to play on the International Organ Festival Society’s own organ, built in the Baroque style by Peter Collins. Salary by negotiation.

Please contact Nicholas Hare, choir director: (nicholas@haremusic.co.uk) or phone 01727 855626 or 07817 730296.

Award for Andy Benoy

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Andy_Benoy_at_Salisbury.jpg

We are delighted that Andy Benoy, our former Area Committee Member, was awarded a Certificate of Special Service at the RSCM’s Celebration Day Evensong at Salisbury Cathedral on October 5th.

Andy is pictured receiving his certificate from the Dean of Westminster Abbey, the Very Reverend Dr John Hall.

The announcement in the March issue of CMQ reads:  Andrew Benoy made a significant contribution to the work of the RSCM St Albans, Hertford & Bedford Area over more than 35 years. He fulfilled a number of key roles on the committee as well as leading musical events and serving as an Area examiner. He was also organist of St Michael’s Church,  Watford for 41 years. Now living in Sidmouth, Devon, he is organist and choirmaster at a local RSCM-affiliated church. 

Want to Sing Regularly at St Albans Cathedral?

abbeyHere’s an opportunity to sing regularly at St Albans Cathedral.

The Cathedral and Abbey Church of St Alban PARISH SINGERS is a voluntary, auditioned, adult choir who sing at most of the 9.30 Parish Eucharist Services throughout the year, as well as at Carols on the Hour at Christmas and occasional evensongs. We sing a variety of music, but mostly traditional motets. Prospective members who are competent singers and sight readers are very welcome to come along and try us out prior to audition.

Rehearsals are in the Cathedral Song School on Wednesday evenings 8-9.15pm every two to three weeks, followed by a quick drink in the White Hart opposite.

The choir is very friendly and auditions, with Andrew Lucas – Master of the Music – are not onerous. Please contact the Cathedral Music Secretary, Lizzie, on 01727 890245 or by email:

IMG_2127_400

Sponsor A Pipe in the Harrison & Harrison Organ at St Albans Cathedral

Christopher Muhley – St Albans Cathedral Music Trust

The great organ at St Albans Cathedral was restored and tonally enhanced in 2009 and now is once again fully operational. A major programme of restoration and development by the original builders – Harrison & Harrison of Durham – was initiated in August 2007 when it could be delayed no longer.

For over forty-five years the organ had been used every day for rehearsal, practice, services and performances. Such heavy usage had, however, paid its toll. The mechanism had become worn and unreliable and it became clear that a full refurbishment could be put off no longer.

The programme of work comprised the complete restoration, repair, cleaning and adjustment of the instrument. At the same time some sensitive tonal enhancements consistent with the organ’s essential character were made including the addition of a 32-foot reed.

Through donations to the organ restoration fund and other gifts, the St Albans Cathedral Music Trust has been able to allocate some £690,000 towards the scheme. This enabled the contract to be signed and the work carried out. However the need to close the gap on the total cost of £830,000 is urgent.

One way of helping is through the “Sponsor a Pipe” scheme, which has been launched by the Music Trust. You can sponsor a pipe in memory of a departed friend or relative, in thanksgiving for a special event, as an unusual gift, or simply for yourself. Families, schools and groups can help too by sponsoring a pipe jointly.

A separate brochure (see link to pdf below) explains how you can take part, and what you will receive in return.

Please be generous in your support so we can also celebrate the raising of the full cost.

Further details: Sponsor A Pipe Brochure (PDF file)

  • N.B., Acrobat Reader is needed to view PDF files. If you don’t have it installed, you can download the free software from the Adobe website. Also, if you find the PDF file doesn’t open automatically from within your browser when you click on the link, save the file to disk (usually by right-clicking the file and selecting ‘Save As’) and then open the file directly using Acrobat Reader.