Haverhill and District Choral Society
A Concert of Easter Music

Haverhill Choral Society presented a Concert of Easter Music at The Methodist Church in Camps Road, Haverhill on Saturday 16th March. The well known Stainer's "Crucifixion" was the main work with a selection of Easter Music,
including Palestrina, Handel and Mozart.
The soloists were Ian Davison: Tenor and Michael Horne:  Bass
Ann Beddoes and Geoff Coleman also performed solos. The narrator was Audrey Smith.
Musical Director:Edward Dodge and Accompanist: Quintus Benziger.

Rehearsals begin immediately for the Summer concert on
22 June 2002. See below for details.
The main work will be Hiawatha's Wedding Feast with the words of H.W. Longfellow set to music by English composer Samuel Coleridge-Taylor.

A History of the Society

President: Richard Spring M.P.

The Society has been in existence since 1860.  For many years the Society was directed by Daniel Gurteen Jnr, the earliest record being of a performance, in 1871, of Barnett's The Ancient Mariner at the Old Independent Church's original building.  Similar cantatas by Victorian composers were performed in the next few years, and finally Handel's Messiah was attempted (1875) to be followed by the same composer's Samson and Judas Maccabeus.  By 1884 the Choral Union, as it was then known, had moved into the new Town Hall with its magnificent organ, and was organising special trains from Halstead, on the Colne Valley Line, for its concerts.

This success continued, with rather predictable annual performances of the same cantatas and oratorios, until 1897 when Handel's Acis and Galatea proved financially disappointing.  The group began to falter and was disbanded in 1905, after a half-hearted Messiah.

After a lapse of almost twenty years the Choral Union was revived in 1924 with a fine performance of Elijah one year later.  The Ancient Mariner was chosen for 1926 and there were intermittent performances for the next two decades, including a Samson in 1928 and Sterndale Bennett's The Woman of Samaria in June 1942 (this was conducted from the organ by Mr George Leake who had been with the Society since 1889!).

In 1950 two combined concerts were given with the Clare Choral Society: Hiawatha, Messiah and Acis and Galatea.  It appears that the Society then lapsed again until October 1964.  David Willcocks became President for several years and gave valuable support to the Society.  The society made a successful continental debut under the baton of Edward Dodge in 1990 during a visit to Pont St Esprit, Haverhill's twin town in France.

Haverhill & District Choral Society rehearses on Monday evenings from 7.25 to 9.30 pm in the Methodist Church Hall, Camps Road, Haverhill.
New members, adult and junior, are always welcome and auditions are not required. If you enjoy music and would like to sing with us please contact Michael Horne (01440 706 273) or Christine Young (01440 713507).

Musical Links
For further information please e-mail
Name: Peter Scott
Email: Peter.Scott.20@lineone.net