THE summer is well and truly over for members of Huddersfield Choral Society who tonight will be back in rehearsal.

The Choral holds its first rehearsal of the new season at Greenhead College tonight with the prospect of seven concerts ahead of it before Christmas, all of them in Huddersfield Town Hall.

In a season with much to look forward to, the Choral need look no further than its opening concert for an event guaranteed to excite singers and suppporters alike.

For the first engagement in the Choral's diary is an invitation from the Orchestra of Opera North to share its platform in Huddersfield on September 29 for the opening concert of the Kirklees concert season.

The orchestra's principal conductor, Richard Farnes, will direct both musicians and singers in a performance of Beethoven's Choral Symphony.

It's an exciting start to the season since this is a rarely heard work and one certainly not performed by this combination of an orchestra which has won many friends in Kirklees and a choir which is synonymous the world over with Huddersfield.

With that stunning start to the season under its belt, the Choral moves on to its first concert of the season for its own subscribers, when former principal conductor Owain Arwel Hughes returns to conduct a performance of Verdi's Requiem.

The choir will again be joined by the Orchestra of Opera North and a quartet of international soloists in this much-loved work.

It is proving to be a busy season for invitations, with the society accepting Huddersfield Philharmonic Orchestra's suggestion that these two highly respected musical organisations join forces for a performance in late autumn.

The result will be a performance, again at the Town Hall of Sir Michael Tippett's powerful oratorio, A Child Of Our Time. Nicholas Cleobury will conduct the concert which is on November 12.

The choir returns to perhaps more familiar ground pre-Christmas with a pair of concerts scheduled for December 8 and 9.

Here, once again, the singers will welcome old and familiar faces, that of conductor Brian Kay, and of Sellers International Band. Simon Lindley will be at the organ.

No Choral season planning would be complete without its performances of Handel's Messiah.

Once again, Martyn Brabbins will take up the baton and the orchestra will be the Northern Sinfonia.

The public performance comes first on December 20 with a repeat for subscribers the next day.

For those who like to do more than listen, there is also a chance to join the ranks of this hugely respected choir.

The Choral is out to strengthen its ranks by raising the number of singers from 200 to 235. Potential new members are welcome to attend any of the choir's Friday evening rehearsals.

But there is an open rehearsal on Friday, September 16 which will be held in Huddersfield Town Hall.

Details from recruitment officer Gaynor Haliday on 07802 456 155.

For ticket details for the Choral's own concerts, call Peter Sunderland on 07792 591 119, for the Beethoven and Tippett concerts contact Huddersfield information centre.

The choir does have a website: www.huddersfieldchoral.co.uk