Huddersfield Choral Society Newsletter

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to uphold and continually renew our proud tradition of choral singing

Newsletter Issue 30 Welcome to this autumn 2019 edition of the HCS Newsletter. Photo: Charles Brook

The scene in St. Paul’s Hall in June at the afternoon rehearsal of our Come and Sing Day. Following our spring concert at the beginning of April, our summer schedule was lighter than that of the past few years. We had no outside invitations and so the Society decided to schedule a singing day in June, where we held workshop sessions, open to all, in St. Paul’s Hall. The work chosen for the workshop was the ever popular Faure Requiem. Over 80 guest singers joined HCS members in the workshop and, following a tea break, a public concert was given. In addition to all participants singing the Faure, the HCS members also performed works by Vaughan Williams and Eric Whitacre. Our Choral Director, Gregory Batsleer, led the workshop and conducted the concert, which was accompanied at the organ by Alan Horsey.

Events such as this are part of the Society’s outreach programme, which now includes our new NON AUDITION choir, HCS Voices. The first rehearsal for the ‘Voices’ was on 11 September, again using St. Paul’s Hall, for which we extend our grateful thanks to the Music Department of the University. Over 50 people have signed up for the new choir and are enjoying rehearsals under the dynamic guidance of Abi Kitching, with HCS member, Tim Wilkes as accompanist. The organiser of HCS Voices is Angus Pogson and he has written an article about the new venture for this edition.


At our Annual General Meeting in July, we bade a fond and grateful farewell to our long serving Treasurer, Adrian Lee. Adrian has also held the positions of Vice President and President of the Society, in addition to being a Subscribers’ representative. He has served for an uninterrupted twenty four years on the HCS Committee. Adrian was accorded the honour of Life Membership of the Society, one of a very select band of non-singers to receive this accolade. He has kindly offered financial support to the Society by becoming a patron, jointly with his wife, Elaine, who still sings in the choir. We thank them both for this generous gesture. We are delighted to welcome Charles Brook, a member of our Tenor section, as our new Treasurer. We thank him for undertaking this vitally important and time consuming role. In addition to the usual features, we also celebrate with our Chairman, Margaret Atkinson, on her award of an MBE; we have an article from our Artistic Director, Martyn Brabbins, fresh from his superb 60th birthday concert at the BBC Proms; Megan Nelson, a valued member of our Soprano section, is our guest in ‘Meet a Choir Member’ and I am, as usual, indebted to our archivist, Malcolm Hinchliffe, for his insightful preview to our very interesting concert in spring 2020. STEPHEN BROOK Editor


Well folks, I bet you all thought that it would never happen! After many years of talking and thinking about it, on 11 September 2019 the academy choir of the Huddersfield Choral Society, known as HCS Voices, had its first triumphant rehearsal at the historic St. Paul’s Hall on the Huddersfield University campus. With almost fifty people attending, there was some great singing, yes! Even on the first night. The choir is led by its incredibly wonderful Choral Director, Abi Kitching, who brings lots of fun and enthusiasm to her rehearsals, ably assisted by accompanist, Tim Wilkes. Abi graduated from the University of Manchester with a first class honours degree, where she was musical director of the chamber choir.

Huddersfield Choral Society’s Business Network

In this latest article from our BUSINESS VOICE members, we are pleased to welcome KIRKLEES STADIUM DEVELOPMENT LTD. As most of you will know KSDL are the landlords of our two major sporting teams, Huddersfield Town AFC and Huddersfield Giants.


Kirklees Stadium Development Ltd. (KSDL), celebrated its 25th birthday in August. The stadium, which has been named ‘The John Smith’s Stadium’ since 2012, is the centrepiece of a mixed sport and leisure venue and, of course, we are home to Huddersfield Town and Huddersfield Giants.

Abi is already planning the first concert, which will be held on 13 December at Moldgreen United Reformed Church, Huddersfield at 7.30pm.

Today, it is a well-documented fact that singing is good for you. As this is a non-auditioned choir for anyone aged 18 or over, why not improve your wellbeing, make new friends and reap the many benefits of singing by joining this fantastic new choir, which is part of the family of choirs run and supported by the Huddersfield Choral Society.

Huddersfield Choral Society is very grateful to Hoyer UK for their sponsorship and support. ANGUS POGSON, Organiser. Photos: Charles Brook

The Academy Choir Of The Huddersfield Choral Society

Since graduating, Abi is in big demand as a choral director. She is passionate about increasing accessibility to music and is cofounder of the Opera Shack.

Just take a look at some of the feedback that we have had so far: Having been a member of other choirs, I thought I knew what to expect… was I wrong! The songs, the friendliness of the team, the absolutely wonderful director, Abi, and the ‘cool vibe’ of the choir have made this a fantastic singing experience. I’m really excited about what is to come. Abi’s infectious enthusiasm makes each rehearsal a joy to take part in. Absolutely brilliant, one of the best de-stress activities I have ever taken part in. Very welcoming and a great way to spend a Wednesday evening, I can highly recommend it. Why not be part of this fantastic new venture! We rehearse from 7 to 9pm on Wednesday evenings at St. Paul’s Hall.

Plans are now well under way to develop a hotel on site and our mixed leisure development, the HD One. In the last couple of years we have been very excited to get back into the concert market, with Little Mix in 2018 and Take That in 2019. Next summer, Green Day will play here as one of only two dates in England on their global tour; the other date being at the London Stadium, which hosted the Olympics. The Green Day concert sold out in 20 minutes! Events like this, alongside professional sport, really help to keep Huddersfield in the spotlight nationally and internationally. What all of this talks to and what is at the heart of our DNA, is that KSDL is a community company and we are very proud to associate with other local organisations that achieve excellence in their fields and which also seek to promote Huddersfield. There is no better example of this than the Choral Society and I am, therefore, particularly pleased to have partnered with it over the last couple of years as part of its Business Voice group. The idea is simple: to bring local organisations together, not just to celebrate the excellence of the Choral

The photos show members at the second rehearsal evening and also Abi in full flow on the rostrum.

Society, that has brought kudos to the town for decades, but to create a platform for like-minded local organisations to grow together and always to take Huddersfield forward in doing so. Gareth Davies. Managing Director. The photo shows the Stadium, full to the rafters, at the Take That concert earlier this year.

MBE for our Chairman


Our Chairman, Margaret Atkinson, was awarded an MBE for Services to the Church and Community in Huddersfield and was invested by Her Majesty the Queen in February this year. She was in the New Year’s Honours list for her involvement both in the Justice System and for her work with the United Reformed Church. During her time with the Magistracy, she served as a Chairman in both the Criminal and Family Courts and as Chairman of the Advisory Committee for six years. In the Church, she served as Treasurer for the Yorkshire Synod and for the Ministers’ Training College in Manchester. She also served as a Trustee and later Chairman of the Congregational and General Charitable Trust.

HONORARY PATRONS Ed Anderson, Lord Lieutenant of West Yorkshire Dame Felicity Lott Joanne Harris MBE Sir John Tomlinson Alan Titchmarsh MBE Brian Kay

The Society is deeply grateful to all our Partners, Sponsors and Patrons for the help that they give us to support our work in bringing high quality music making to our town, our country and occasionally, the world. This season we are being supported by :

PATRONS Elizabeth Crowther OBE Diana Franklin Donald (DL) and Cynthia Haywood Jane and Alan Pridmore Richard Adkinson Brenda Mosley Neil & Judith Charlesworth John and Ann Denham Julie Kenny CBE Martin and Dorothy Littler Adrian and Elaine Lee Wilkinson Building Co. (Leeds) Ltd SS Components Ltd and anonymous patrons

Margaret was President of the Choral Society 2002/2004 and 2016/2018 before becoming Chairman in 2018. When she retired from Lloyds Bank in 2000, she decided it was time to put something back into society and to do something people based and has never regretted this decision.


By the time that you read this we shall have had our October event at Fixby with an opportunity to hear Sir John Harman speak about current projects in the Choral calendar. Thursday March 19th 2020 will see us at a new venue, Briar Court, Halifax Road, Huddersfield. We would welcome any Subscribers or Friends to join us at what is always a very enjoyable social event.

The Society wishes to thank, for their continuing support Fantastic Media Helen Marshall Jean Parker Williams and Co. Photo: Ruth Bostock

The supper club continues to meet three times each year. We do have to choose venues that will take up to fifty guests, which does rather limit our choices. Nevertheless, we have enjoyed excellent company, food and entertainment at a number of venues including Guest Dining, Woodsome Hall Golf Club, Domenico’s, Huddersfield Golf Club (Fixby) and at 315 at Lepton.

CONCERT SPONSORS R Gledhill Ltd Investec Wealth & Investment Brewin Dolphin Wealth Management The Greenbank Group and an anonymous sponsor

If you are interested in joining, or want further information about future events, please contact Helen Marshall on 07718746085 or email to The photo shows the two soloists at a recent Supper Club meet, Eleanor Culley (Soprano) and Graham Smelt (Cello).

BUSINESS VOICE MEMBERS The University of Huddersfield Syngenta Hoyer UK Kirklees Stadium Development Ltd Ramsdens LLP Revell Ward LLP Thornhill Estates Harron Homes Ltd Chadwick Lawrence LLP John L Brierley Ltd Huddersfield Giants RLFC Fantastic Media Walker Singleton / Hanson Chartered Surveyors Poppleton & Appleby


DO YOU REMEMBER...-25 ? Saturday 5 November 1994


In this section we will aim to keep everyone up to date with the many facets of the Society’s work.

Te Deum – Walton Te Deum – Verdi The Music Makers – Elgar Te Deum - Dvorak

CHRISTMAS SEASON This year’s HCS Christmas Concert on 6 December will be conducted and presented by Ben Parry. Ben has been the conductor of the National Youth Choir and also of the celebrated Swingle Singers. He is also a talented composer and arranger and the concert will feature one of the pieces that he has written for the Christmas season. Tickets are available for this concert from Kirklees Box Office.

BBC Philharmonic Jane Glover – Conductor Judith Howarth - Soprano Jean Rigby – Mezzo David Wilson Johnson – Baritone Malcolm Cruise reporting for the Huddersfield Examiner stated...At the opening, Walton’s Te Deum, with its splashy fanfares and lovely organ part, superbly played by Darius Battiwalla, its vivid choral writing and rhythmic contrasts hid, to a large extent the few hesitancies which existed, but nevertheless it was not until the second verse of The Music Makers that the Huddersfield sound emerged. And from here on things were different. Here, at the very stroke of conductor, Jane Glover’s baton, was vibrant singing, luscious soft tones and massive tuttis. Mezzo Soprano Jean Rigby’s rich toned and intelligent contribution heightened the effect dramatically and with fine work from the orchestra emotions and tensions were dynamically wrought. Robert Cockroft in the Yorkshire Post commented… This, however was his (Sargent) choice for his 70th birthday concert in 1965, when the Society joined his two famous other choirs, the Leeds Philharmonic and the Royal Choral Society in London. It is hard to imagine that the tuttis sounded any fuller with three choirs than just the one on Saturday. When Huddersfield sets out to praise the Lord, it makes sure that he is awake to receive the message. Unfortunately zeal was not matched bar for bar by accuracy and the Te Deum of Walton and that also by Verdi were blemished by occasional, uncharacteristic lapses in choral and orchestral ensemble. The concert’s second half brought generally greater rewards. First a shapely, touching performance of The Music Makers; Elgar’s wistful idealism about the role of the artist, beautifully captured by conductor, Jane Glover and the Mezzo, Jean Rigby. Then the evening’s high point, a bright, uninhibited, freshly coloured performance of Dvorak’s Te Deum.

We are all looking forward to meeting up again with our former Principal Conductor, Jane Glover, who is conducting this year’s Messiah performances on 17 and 18 December. Jane always leads a deeply felt performance of the work and those who remember her very special interpretations in the 1990s, both performers and listeners, will be eager to reacquaint themselves with a vintage Glover performance. SPRING CONCERT Our concert on Friday 3 April 2020 will feature some traditional and some very different music. The second half of the concert will see us perform Will Todd’s Mass in Blue for the first time. This is accompanied by a big band and conducted from the piano by the composer. Before the interval, works by Vaughan Williams and Leonard Bernstein (Chichester Psalms) will feature organ accompaniment, plus a variety of other instruments, and we are thrilled to have Thomas Trotter, one of the country’s leading organists, as the master of our Father Willis organ. RECORDING IN PARIS On Sunday 24 May 2020 members of the Society will make their way to Paris; not for a holiday, or even a concert, but to make a recording. We have been asked by Linn Records to record Masses by French composers Vierne and Widor. Linn like to record in venues authentic to the music and in this case also to use the unique sound of French organs. We shall record (evenings only) in the church of St. Antoine des Quinze Vingts, which is close to the Bastille Opera House and Gare de Lyon. We return on Thursday 28 May. JOIN IN WITH THE SOCIETY If you are reading this and have no current connection with the Society, why not get to know us better! There are many ways in which you could become a member of the Choral ‘family’. If you are a singer, then take the plunge and apply for an audition to sing with the main choir and perform some of the greatest choral pieces ever written. Or, if you would like to sing, but have no experience, then try our new non audition choir, HCS Voices first. If you are lover but definitely not a performer of choral music, then the Society has seats available on a season ticket basis in all parts of the hall for our concerts. There are three concerts each season, autumn, Messiah at Christmas time and in the spring. Tickets for individual concerts are available nearer to the event date. There is also a second performance of Messiah and a Christmas concert booked on a single concert basis. You can also join the Friends of HCS. For a small subscription you get access to some priority booking arrangements and there are prize draws for concert tickets.

Photo: Selwyn Green


Some of the Soprano section rehearsing the Verdi Te Deum

The HCS Supper Club gives those with a love a choral music the opportunity to meet around three times a year for a meal, a chat and to be entertained by some of the Society members, many of whom have instrumental as well as singing talent. For those of a younger age, the Choral Society’s Youth Choirs are also on the lookout for additional members. If you wish to enquire about any of the above you can find contact details on the HCS website, or just send an email to


We have been delighted to welcome new singers to the choirs this September and we hope more will join to share the joy of singing together. A very busy season is in prospect with an eclectic selection of new songs. Last season the choirs performed more than forty new songs - Alison North MBE, our musical director, likes to challenge the singers and keep performances ‘fresh’ for singers and audiences. The final concert of 2018-2019 was ‘Sounds of Mid-Summer’ held at Lindley Methodist Church in late June to an appreciative audience. Our dedicated Choir Secretary, Carole Kain, stood down from the Choirs at the end of last season. Carole had been deeply involved with the choirs for almost 22 years; she was the beating heart of the Choirs providing organisation, a sympathetic ear and encouragement for all involved. She has willingly given hours of time to all the work that enable rehearsals and concerts to take place. She will be greatly missed! We are pleased that Nicola Tanner, herself a founder member of the Youth Choir and a longstanding committee member, has kindly agreed to take on the role of Choir Secretary. Our thanks to Elizabeth Mortimer who stepped down as Treasurer earlier in the year; we are delighted that Treena Boothby has kindly taken on this role. Singers enjoy rehearsals, as the photographs demonstrate, and are inspired to reach high performance standards. All the choirs will take part in ‘Brass & Voices’ for Thongsbridge Cricket and Bowling Club with Hade Edge Band at Holmfirth Parish Church in October. Highlights for the younger singers will include taking part in the Holmfirth Music Festival in October. This autumn, the Youth Choir will join the Choral Society for a performance of Britten’s St Nicholas Cantata. All choirs will sing in Christmas concerts; our own Youth Choirs’ Concert on 1 December at Holy Trinity Church, the Choral Society’s Christmas Concert on 6 December, and, a Gala concert with Lindley Band on 20 December in St Paul’s Hall. In February 2020, the Youth Choirs will compete in the Mrs Sunderland Festival. Click on the You Tube icon on our website: to see some recent choir performances.


Preview notes for Spring concert on 3rd April 2020 Works by Vaughan Williams, Liszt, Bernstein & Will Todd Next Spring, we look forward to a Multifarious Mixture of Musical Modes: the first half, firmly rooted in the Western Classical Tradition, featuring two shorter choral items accompanied by organ (plus trumpet in RVW, plus percussion and harp in Bernstein), either side of Liszt’s celebrated showpiece for organ alone, all of which will certainly keep International Concert Organist Thomas Trotter’s hands and feet fully occupied for the duration. In complete contrast we then welcome Will Todd & friends, who will lead us in a second half ‘jam session’, bringing a rare flavor (sic) of New Orleans to our Victorian Town Hall. The concert opens with Lord, Thou hast been our Refuge - a ‘Motet for Chorus, Semi-Chorus and Organ’ by Vaughan Williams written in 1921, which ingeniously combines the words of Psalm 90 with Isaac Watts’s metrical version of the same Psalm - O God, our help in ages past - along with its associated hymn tune ‘St Anne’. The work concludes with a fugal section based on elements of the hymn tune, over which a solo trumpet plays the ‘St Anne’ tune in augmentation - an effective device probably suggested by JS Bach’s well-known organ Fugue in E flat which uses the same subject, and thus provides a link, albeit tenuous, to the second item in the concert: Liszt’s Fantasia and Fugue on B.A.C.H. This stunning example of chromatic virtuosic writing, dating from 1855, is Liszt’s homage to the great organ preludes and fugues of JS Bach, whose surname, using German nomenclature, can be spelled out in the four notes B flat, A, C, and B natural - the thematic building block for the entire piece


After the interval we will revisit Will Todd’s Choral Suite When Music Sounds, which was first launched, to an enthusiastic reception, at last February’s Mrs Sunderland Festival finale and, at the express behest of our esteemed Choral Director, we will follow this up with the same composer’s 2003 work Mass in Blue. This six-movement setting of the traditional Latin Mass was commissioned by the Hertfordshire Chorus which premièred it under the title Jazz Mass.

For our performance the quartet accompaniment of the Choral Suite is here expanded to a twelve-member band including piano, double bass, saxophones/woodwind, brass and percussion. Having listened to the Mass (without the benefit of a score to hand) I’m sure the work will prove a great hit with choir and audience alike, with a well-balanced variety of joyous and more poignant movements for both performers and listeners to appreciate the composer’s skilful and entertaining writing…and also plenty of scope for improvisation, should Mr Todd’s pianistic exploits take precedence over keeping a tight rein on a certain section of the Choir! Some of our more senior members and supporters may recall an identical format concert from 1980 when, after an hors d’oeuvre of Mozart and Bach, the Choir reappeared after the interval dressed in jazzy dresses & open neck shirts for a performance of African Sanctus - David Fanshawe’s exhilarating and stimulating fusion of traditional African music with the text of the Latin Mass. Malcolm Cruise, writing in the Examiner, thought it the ‘chorus’s finest hour for many a year’ and there is every reason to expect that next Spring’s concert will be a similar triumph. Malcolm Hinchliffe

Photo: Selwyn Green

To conclude the first half we return to the Book of Psalms for our belated centenary tribute to Leonard Bernstein (1918-1990). His Chichester Psalms were commissioned for the Choral Festival held in Chichester Cathedral, West Sussex, in July 1965. Originally scored for strings, brass, two harps and percussion, the composer also produced a version with accompaniment for just organ, harp and percussion, which is the

arrangement we will be using. Although the jazz idiom we will encounter in the second half of the concert poses novel challenges for ‘The Choral’, I suspect our greater headaches will arise in mastering Bernstein’s rhythmic complexities coupled with texts from six Psalms to be sung in Hebrew. The setting of Psalm 23 ‘Adonai ro-i, le ehsar’ (The Lord is my shepherd) is one of the composer’s most memorable melodic inspirations, calling for a boy treble soloist, whose name will be announced nearer the date, dependent on unpredictable hormonal developments. This is the only work in the programme which has previously featured in our main concert series - in 1987 and 2009: on both these occasions the orchestral version was performed (RLPO in ‘87, OON in ‘09), so even this ‘organ plus…’ version will be new to most of our audience.

The photo shows some of the members relaxing after the Fanshawe performance in their multifarious forms of dress.


Megan was brought up in the Carlisle area and was a member of the Cathedral Youth Choir. She had always loved singing and when she had completed A levels at Queen Elizabeth Grammar School, Penrith, she was looking for a University with a top rated music department but also a place with excellent opportunities to enjoy singing for pleasure outside her study of the subject. She had heard of the Choral Society, made enquiries about us, liked what she saw and heard, and therefore decided that Huddersfield was the place for her. The Choral was a significant part of her choice. She auditioned for the choir soon after coming to the town and was accepted into the Soprano section of the choir in October 2006. At University, singing was Megan’s first study, alongside the piano. She served a year as president of the University Music Society (we are also pleased to have the current president, Adam Robinson, as a member of our Bass section). At the end of her course, she wanted to stay within the music field and applied to Opera North where she was granted a one year internship. Upon completion, Megan was delighted to be offered full time employment with the company and is now the Casting and Scheduling Administrator, which includes membership of the audition panel choosing soloists for the forthcoming operas. Megan now lives in Farsley and retains her enthusiasm for the Choral, still loving every minute of our rehearsals and concerts. It is the only choir that she regularly sings with and she continues to be impressed by the high level of our performance standard. Although more than happy before Greg Batsleer’s arrival, she thinks that he has added much to the choir. His knowledge of the voice, rehearsal technique, sense of humour and even his ability to read the mood of the members in rehearsal have all added to her enjoyment and love for the choir. She told me that there is no other large choir in the area to match. Megan made the local headlines at the Mrs. Sunderland Music Festival in February when she won three trophies, including the prestigious Rose Bowl. She told me that she entered because she had not done any solo singing for some years and was becoming nervous at the Society’s vocal reassessments. So that is how to get over your nerves! We discussed the types of choral music that Megan likes the most and she mentioned two in particular, firstly early music such as Byrd or Tallis which she sang quite a lot in her cathedral days, but not the type that comes around much with HCS. More within the Choral’s main repertoire, however, is British 20th century music, with Britten, Elgar and Vaughan Williams at the top of the list. She particularly appreciated the opportunity to sing Vaughan Williams’ unaccompanied Mass in G Minor at our singing day in June. Although not a member of our Committee, Megan does a very useful job on our behalf as she acts as our Twitterer (is that the correct title?). She posts snippets of information onto our Twitter feed as well as retweeting posts from other sources that are of interest. We thank her for her work on our behalf and are thrilled to have such a talented and enthusiastic choir member. The photograph shows Megan singing on the Town Hall platform at the gala concert to close this year’s Mrs. Sunderland Festival. A section of HCS Tenors are also shown as the Society gave the premier of Will Todd’s When Music Sounds at that concert (a work that will be repeated at the Society’s spring 2020 concert).

– 40?

Wednesday 24 October 1979 St. George’s Hall, Bradford Huddersfield Town Hall being closed due to dry rot in the roof timbers.

Requiem - Dvorak BBC Northern Symphony Orchestra Brian Wright – Conductor Teresa Cahill – Soprano Alfreda Hodgson - Mezzo Anthony Rolfe Johnson - Tenor Michael Rippon – Bass ‘MS’ writing for the Huddersfield Examiner, stated ... Here Dvorak is at his best in writing for chorus and the Huddersfield choir did full justice to the colourful music written for them, the high spot being the great and jubilant fugue Quam Olim Abrahae – the effect here was electrifying, yet the conductor, Brian Wright, also drew from the choir some beautiful, poignant pianissimos. ‘RC’ writing for the Yorkshire Post reported ... Not surprisingly, the chorus, which knows a fugue when it sees one, fared best when the composer was painting in bold, straightforward colours, like the Quam Olim Abrahae of the Offertorium, which was splendidly done. Elsewhere there were some considerable weaknesses, like the sopranos savaging the occasional top note and the tenors being left exposed after a violent leap. Even with conductor, Brian Wright’s attentive direction the voices were not always unanimous approaching and quitting a note.

If YOU love singing and would be like to part of our wonderful choir, please fill in the application form in the ‘Join Us’ section of the HCS website or email an enquiry to


Diary Friday 1 November 2019 – Huddersfield Town Hall – 7.30pm HCS Autumn Concert – Britten - St. Nicholas; Mozart – Mass in C Minor Halle Orchestra, Conductor Sofi Jeannin, also featuring HCS Youth Choir Sunday 1 December 2019 - Holy Trinity Parish Church – 3pm HCS Youth Choirs – Christmas Concert Friday 6 December 2019 – Huddersfield Town Hall – 7.30pm HCS Christmas Concert, Conductor and Presenter – Ben Parry Featuring HCS Youth Choirs and Black Dyke Band Friday 13 December 2019 – Moldgreen United Reformed Church – 7.30pm HCS Voices – Inaugural Concert Tuesday 17 December 2019 – Huddersfield Town Hall – 7.15pm Handel – Messiah. Orchestra of Opera North, Conductor Jane Glover Season Ticket performance Wednesday 18 December 2019 – Huddersfield Town Hall – 7.15pm Handel – Messiah. Orchestra of Opera North, Conductor Jane Glover Friday 20 December 2019 – St Paul’s Hall – time tbc HCS Youth Choirs as Guests of Lindley Band at their Christmas Concert Thursday 19 March 2020 – Briar Court Hotel – time tbc HCS Supper Club Sunday 29 March 2020 – Venue tbc – 3pm HCS Youth Choirs – Spring Concert Friday 3 April 2020 – Huddersfield Town Hall - 7.30pm HCS Spring Concert – Vaughan Williams Lord; Thou Hast been our Refuge, Bernstein – Chichester Psalms; Will Todd – Mass in Blue. Thomas Trotter – Organ, Will Todd Big Band Sunday 17 May 2020 – Huddersfield Town Hall – time tbc Rotary Community Concert – featuring HCS Youth Choirs Sunday 24 May – Thursday 28 May 2020 – St Antoine de Quinze Vingt, Paris HCS – CD recording. Works by Widor and Vierne

Sunday 28 June 2020 – Lindley Methodist Church – 3pm HCS Youth Choirs – Summer Concert

Friday 30 October 2020 – Huddersfield Town Hall – 7.30pm HCS autumn concert – details to follow

For confirmation and full details of all Youth Choirs concerts, please check the HCS Youth Choirs website.


Membership News New Members

Recruitment has continued at a healthy rate in the past six months and we have admitted sixteen new members into the Society: Elizabeth Fraser, Suzanne Longley and Charlotte Town - 1st Sopranos; Georgia Collier, Kathryn Gouda, Daisy Gregory, Elizabeth Jenkins, Mary Moran, Sally Robertshaw, Ellen Stokes, Sophie Stones and Fiona Timms - 2nd Sopranos; Jennifer Butler - 1st Alto; Simon Denson - 1st Tenor; Colin Shires and Andrew Whitton 1st Basses. We wish them great success and enjoyment with the Society and hope that their stay with us will be a happy and fruitful one.

Sad Farewells

We pass on our condolences to the family and friends of two associate members who passed away since the last edition of this newsletter. Dennis Holmes in June and Betty Hollings in August. Their devoted service to the Society will be remembered by all who knew and worked with them.

Long Service

The Society is deeply grateful to all those members who give of their talents over such long periods of time. They provide a firm foundation onto which those that are able to join us for only a few years can add their valuable contributions. In the past six months, Andrea Hindson and Richard Thompson have both received twenty five year service badges from our Chairman, Margaret Atkinson. We thank them for their loyalty and their valuable contribution the Society.

We thank our Artistic Advisor, Martyn Brabbins, for his continued interest in the Society and for this latest in his series of occasional articles. ‘Certainty’ – a reflection As the years pass by, I become more and more convinced that there is no such thing as ‘certainty’. Just when life seems to have settled into some kind of pattern – a very irregular pattern in my case – up pops our mutual friend, ‘uncertainty’ and life takes a sharp turn in another direction. In music this can actually prove to be liberating. Revisiting familiar scores and seeing and understanding the music in a new light as a result of new experiences, is one of the delights of the conductor’s life. The ‘certainty’ of ‘uncertainty’ is a joyful concept to embrace. Elgar was a composer who suffered from a ‘certain’ amount of self-doubt. Nonetheless he was gifted to create incredible ‘certain’ and organic structures, despite this seeming lack of selfconfidence. To my mind this is one of the reasons that his music is so wonderful – there is humanity in the body of work,

represented and intensified by the very ‘uncertainty’ that accompanied his life journey. Having had an unexpected and very special encounter with The Kingdom at the Edinburgh Festival this August, I am about to reacquaint myself with the equally magnificent score of The Apostles. Both of these performances came my way as Sir Mark Elder has had to undergo some corrective surgery to his back – let’s wish him a speedy recovery. Perhaps a ‘certainty’ of entering my seventh decade is the very real prospect of a ‘certain’ amount of physical ‘uncertainty’! In turn leading me to withdraw from projects – and by so doing, ‘certainly’ giving opportunities to the next generation of conducting talent. One thing though is ‘certain’: music is both the greatest gift that we can give, and the greatest gift that we can receive. The experiencing of music, as a performer or as a listener, can raise one’s spirit and touch one’s innermost being in a way that little else can. For me, coping with ‘uncertainty’ is not merely helped by the power of music, music actually gives me the life force, the strength to continue to give the gift of music to all those with a will to share it with me. Best wishes to all. Martyn.

Cutting down on paper and postage The Society is trying to reduce its costs, both monetarily and environmentally, by sending out fewer paper copies of the newsletter. If you would be willing to receive the newsletter by e-mail from now on, please send your name, address and category (ie Associate Member, Subscriber, Sponsor or Friend) to our editor, Stephen Brook @ NB. If you have already informed us due to reading this in a previous edition, there is no need to get in touch again.