The group was formed originally in 1971 with friends getting together to sing Christmas carols to the accompaniment of an antique portable harmonium. The instrument itself has long been left behind but the group has gone from strength to strength and established itself as a successful local chamber choir.
Often singing without accompaniment, the Harmonium Singers specialise in smaller-scale choral repertoire from the 16th century to the present day, both sacred and secular. Thoughtful sequences of words and music with a particular theme, narrative or spiritual dimension have become a feature of programmes in recent years. The group often performs for local community or charity events.
Accompanied by orchestra, instrumental group or organ, the Singers have also given successful chamber performances of more substantial choral works. These have included the Handel Coronation Anthems, the Requiems of Fauré, Rutter and Walford Davies, Stainer’s Crucifixion, Vivaldi’s Gloria and Credo, the Haydn ‘Little Organ Mass’, Schubert’s Mass in G and the Pergolesi/Durante Magnificat. The group has twice collaborated with the London period-orchestra Linden Baroque.
Co-ordinator - Penny Wood
Secretary - Ed Elgar
Treasurer - Penny Randall
Publicity - Veronica Bacon
Readings - Geraldine McCaulder
Librarian - Rachel Leslie
The conductors (see boxes below)
Emily Barber, Sally Biles, Jenny Boileau, Liz Brown, Tamara Hudleston, Eleanor Jakeman, Nicola Judd, Rachel Leslie, Penny Randall, Laura Sinclair-Smith, Victoria Warburton
Veronica Bacon, Wendy Barnaby, Kathy Percival, Amanda Poulton, Penny Wood
Ed Elgar, Paul Glynn, Clive Judd, Dave Morris, Chris Way
David Haydon, Tim James, David Klee, Ray Lucas, Nigel Sacree, Andrew Wyndham (see below)