IT HAS been a big season for Huddersfield Choral Society – and it is not over yet.
The Choral has packed its 175th anniversary season with top notch concerts plus a series of fundraising and social events.
In doing so, its has reinforced its reputation as a choir of national standing and forged new, stronger links within its local community.
But choir members are not about to take a well-earned long summer break.
In fact many are stepping up the rehearsal schedules heading for a sell-out concert at the BBC Proms in London’s Royal Albert Hall.
About 120 members of the Choral are putting in the homework with extra rehearsals for the massive work that they will sing in London.
The Choral will be one of 10 choirs which will sing, accompanied by two orchestras, in a rare performance of the Gothic Symphony by British composer Havergal Brian.
The concert on July 17 will be conducted by Martyn Brabbins, the Choral’s conductor laureate who led a fine performance of Elgar’s The Dream of Gerontius in Huddersfield Town Hall just two weeks ago.
Those singers involved in the Proms concert have been turning out for extra rehearsals and will be in Birmingham this weekend as part of that intense schedule.
Next Friday, the Choral’s singers have their first mass rehearsal in London’s Alexandra Palace alongside all the other choirs.
On Saturday they get a free day while the orchestras rehearse but it is back to it on Sunday morning for a rehearsal in the Royal Albert Hall in preparation for that night’s performance which will be broadcast live on Radio 3.
Alongside them at the Royal Albert Hall will be singers from the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra’s Youth Chorus, Eltham College Boys’ Choir, Southend Boys’ and Girls’ Choirs, the Bach Choir, the BBC National Chorus of Wales, the Brighton Festival Chorus, Côr Caerdydd and the London Symphony Chorus.
The two orchestras taking part are the BBC Concert Orchestra and the BBC National Orchestra of Wales.
The soloists are soprano Susan Gritton, the mezzo Christine Rice, who sang in The Dream of Gerontius in Huddersfield in June, plus tenor Peter Auty and bass Alastair Miles.
Tickets for the concert sold out within hours of them hitting the box office.
Once back from their Proms adventure, there will be little time off for the singers this summer.
Unusually, rehearsals will continue each Friday in Huddersfield during July and early August.
It is only then that they will take a short break before heading back on September 2 to those regular Friday night rehearsals ready for a major concert in Liverpool.
On October 1, the Choral sings in Liverpool Anglican Cathedral with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Vasily Petrenko.