Choir set to sparkle with Stars and Space concert

Music lovers can look forward to a sparkling evening at Horsforth Choral Society’s Stars and Space concert this month.

The programme will include excerpts from Haydn’s Creation, Sure on This Shining Night by Samuel Barber and Randall Thompson’s moving adaptation of Robert Frost’s poem, Choose Something Like a Star.

The concert is at St Margaret’s Parish Church, Horsforth, on Friday November 16th at 7.30pm. The line-up also includes Kate Rusby’s beautiful Underneath the Stars, and astronomy-themed works by Esenvalds and Stroope.

Matthew Lazenby, the choir’s musical director, said: “The choir is set to shine this autumn, with a sparkling programme of astronomy-themed music which is sure to delight our audience. We are a friendly choir and welcome singers of all ages, so if you’ve ever thought about joining a choir, please do come along and give it a try.”The choir is also set for a joyful concert of festive music with the Yorkshire Evening Post Brass ensemble on Tuesday 11th December, and will be carol singing at Leeds Railway Station on Tuesday 18th December. Tickets are available on the door, from Yorkshire College of Music and Drama tel 0113 243 1605, or from MC Consumables (Town Street Horsforth); priced £8 adults, £5 students. Admission is FREE to under 18s.

New members are welcome to come along to a rehearsal at St Margaret’s Parish Centre in Horsforth (next to the church), on Monday evenings from 7.30-9.30pm. All ages are welcome, and no audition is necessary. For more information about joining, visit, email find us on Facebook and Twitter @HorsforthCS, or contact Matthew on 07854 079418.

Accompanist vacancy

HCS is sorry to announce that our accompanist, Greg Smith, will be leaving following the summer term, to take up a new post. Greg will be greatly missed by the choir, and we wish him well in his next venture.
We are now seeking a new accompanist - please see below for further details of the role, and how to apply.

Accompanist vacancy
Horsforth Choral Society, a registered charity, is a growing, 90-member, non-auditioned, enthusiastic and friendly mixed-age choir. We perform classical concerts twice a year, a Christmas concert and a summer concert of lighter music and at other occasional events. We rehearse on Monday evenings in Horsforth, Leeds.
We seek an accompanist to work with our Musical Director, Matthew Lazenby, and committee, to provide piano accompaniment for rehearsals and some concerts. Ability to also offer organ accompaniment and willingness to assist with sectional rehearsals would be advantageous and offer additional experience to the post holder.
Further particulars, including job description, person specification and details of how to apply are available from the secretary

Closing date for applications: Sunday, 24 June 2018.

HCS anniversary concert review

Thumbs up from Andrew Carter

Composer of Easter Alleluia

Photo by Chris Midgley

Spring arrived just in time for Horsforth Choral Society to mark their 90th anniversary with a varied and dynamic programme of music, showcasing the music and composers of Leeds past and present.

Beginning with contemporary Leeds composer Tim Knight, the choir performed his Benedicite - a chorus of praise to everything imaginable on the earth - with conviction and drama, effectively bringing out the contrasting moods of the text. 

HCS showed their versatility with Edward Bairstow’s Lamentations, a refrain based on Anglican chant. Moving nicely in unison through the chords, they painted an emotional picture of the sorrow and hope contained in this simple and moving work.

Solos from choir members proved the wealth of talent available within this group of amateur singers, with beautiful performances of Leeds city organist Simon Lindley’s Ave Maria, Armley-born Samuel Liddle’s Abide with Me and Philip Wilby’s Wondrous Cross. Guest soloist James Gaughan added depth and colour to the poetic Whither Must I Wander, conveying themes of travel and the passage of time with his rich yet whimsical baritone

After the quieter and more contemplative mood of the first half, the finale of Ralph Vaughan Williams’ Toward the Unknown Region was all the more effective. Written early on in Vaughan Williams’ career, the work established him as a new tour de force in English music, and is a rollercoaster ride around his musical genius which is not always easy to pull off. The choir showed their ability to effectively tackle the most technically difficult pieces even after nearly two hours’ singing, bringing out the darkness and light contained in Walt Whitman’s poetry with some skill and much courage.

The Lord Mayor of Leeds, who attended the concert, congratulated the musicians on their versatility. HCS certainly showed that nearly 100 people, giving 100 per cent of themselves, can together achieve mighty forces which are more than the sum of their parts.

Frances Warneford
March 2018

Photo by Chris Midgley

Photo by Chris Midgley

Lord Mayor at our 90th Birthday Concert

Fantastic to welcome the Lord Mayor of Leeds - Councillor Jane Dowson to our pre-Easter concert last week.

Photo by Chris Midgley:

Best wishes for a happy Easter to all!!

90th Birthday Concert

2018  will be our 90th birthday year, for which an exciting programme of events is in the pipeline. First of these will be the 90th birthday concert on March 20th, which will feature music either written for Leeds or by composers with Leeds connections. This will include Ralph Vaughan Williams' Towards the Unknown  Region in addition to pieces by Edward Bairstow, Andrew Carter, David Darling, Edward Elgar,  Tim Knight, S. Liddle Arr. Sumner Salter, Simon Lindley, and Philip Wilby.

Practice at home: