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Latest news from Harpenden's leading chamber choir...

James Gilchrist is coming to Harpenden!

Stop press: our line-up is pretty much complete for next season, but we’re looking for one more low bass. Please contact if this is you … 

The Lea Singers are now all safely through our bi-annual auditions, and back in rehearsal for the summer term.

On the weekend of 27 May, we return to St Albans Abbey to sing a weekend of services. Click here to see the music list.

On Saturday 25 June, we are holding our annual Summer Singing Festival at St Nicholas Church, Harpenden. This year’s theme is Shakespeare, to mark the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death. We are absolutely delighted that outstanding tenor James Gilchrist is going to join us to sing a Shakespeare-themed recital, accompanied by Anna Tilbrook, who grew up in Harpenden. Beginning with the 18th century British composer Thomas Arne, the recital will move through to the middle of the twentieth century, taking in works by Haydn, Schubert, Vaughan Williams and Tippett, to demonstrate the many ways composers have approached Shakespeare’s timeless texts in solo songs.

After their recital, James and Anna will conduct a masterclass with three young local singers. The Lea Singers are particularly pleased that, in mezzo-sopranos Izzi Blain and Nina Vinther, the masterclass attendees will include a current and former Lea Singers intern, highlighting the success of our interns scheme at helping talented young local singers to broaden their musical experience. Izzi and Nina will be joined by Oliver Martin-Smith, a tenor lay clerk at St Albans Abbey. All three will perform a solo song, then will be helped to perfect their performances by James and Anna. We hope that local singers, young and old, will come along to this free event and pick up some tips to improve their own singing techniques. The young singers’ masterclass is kindly sponsored by Harpenden Music Foundation.

The festival will end with our Shakespeare-themed a capella concert, for which we will be joined by the St Nicholas Church children’s choir. We are looking forward to singing Shakespeare song cycles by Vaughan Williams and Mantyjarvi, as well as some intriguing settings by Huw Watkins and Frank Martin, with some West Side Story thrown in for good measure.

Recital and masterclass attendees are cordially invited to join the choir for tea and cake between the recital and the masterclass. Never let it be forgotten that The Lea Singers are known for being as accomplished bakers as we are singers!

More details of our Summer Singing Festival here.

Miriam McKay
Lea Singers Chair. May 2016.

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Forthcoming events


Summer Singing Festival

Saturday 25 June
St Nicholas Church, Harpenden

More information