Music

 

Holy Saviour Church Choir

The Church Choir currently comprises some 20 members who sing a regular weekly Eucharist, with additional festival services and concerts throughout the year.  Concert trips have involved singing services and concerts in the New Forest, Warwickshire, Tring, Hunstanton, Alfreton, Nuits Saint Georges (Hitchin’s twin town), and Barbados, where the Choir not only gave four concerts, one of which was broadcast on Caribbean Radio, but also recorded a TV programme.  Together with The Radcliffe Singers, the Choir has recorded a CD, entitled “Bless, O Lord, Us Thy Servants”, and both choirs have sung in the annual celebration of Victorian Christmas traditions, “The Spirit of Christmas”, in both the Long Library and the Chapel at Blenheim Palace in Woodstock, Oxfordshire.

The Choir is very enthusiastic, friendly and welcoming, and enjoys singing a broad range of music to a high standard.  Rehearsals are held on Thursday evenings at 7.30 p.m. in church, and we are always pleased to welcome new singers to come and “try us out”!

The Radcliffe Singers

radcliffe-singers-150917-565_1

The Radcliffe Singers is a chamber female voice choir, formed in 2003, with the aim of building on the choral tradition of Holy Saviour Church.  Initially based on the nucleus of ladies in Holy Saviour Church Choir, the group currently numbers some 18 singers.  Repertoire is broad, ranging from 16th century polyphony to jazz-inspired close harmony arrangements.

In addition to concerts in Hitchin, the Choir also regularly gives concerts further afield, often involving very pleasurable weekend trips!  Together with Holy Saviour Church Choir, the group has recorded a CD, “Bless, O Lord, Us Thy Servants”, and both choirs have sung in the annual celebration of Victorian Christmas traditions, “The Spirit of Christmas”, in both the Long Library and the Chapel at Blenheim Palace in Woodstock, Oxfordshire.

One of the Choir’s soloists, Rachel Auld, has also recorded two delightful solo CDs, one of Christmas repertoire, entitled “The Little Road to Bethlehem”, and the other of classic and romantic songs, entitled “Time and Again”.

Rehearsals are held on Monday evenings at 7.30 p.m. in church, and, like the Church Choir, we are always delighted to welcome new singers to come and “try us out”!

For further information about either choir, please contact the Organist and Choirmaster, Trevor Hughes.

The Organ in Holy Saviour Church

HS Organ

The organ is a free-standing tracker-action organ located at the east end of the north aisle.  It was designed and built in 1987 by John Bailey of Grant, Degens & Bradbeer, Northampton, using as much of the existing materials and pipework of the original 1865 Walker organ as possible.

You can download a more-detailed account of the organ and its history here.

For a distant view of the original organ in the church in 1880, see the History page.

2017 Update!  After thirty years of constant use for services and concerts with only tuning and routine maintenance, the organ is becoming unreliable, and is demanding imaginative efforts by organists to counter its increasingly unexpected behaviour.

The organ is in need of comprehensive overhaul. This involves removal for cleaning and adjustment of all the 798 pipes, not to mention careful renovation of the complex mechanical linkages which open the valves in response to operation of the keys and pedals. The work, which is skilled and labour-intensive, is expected to take eight weeks.

The project will cost approximately £16,000 (+ VAT, which we hope to reclaim).

Each year the Church tries hard to meet its outgoings, and although we have some reserved savings, we cannot afford to borrow from this fund without repaying it. This is why we need the help of all who care for Britain’s glorious musical heritage.

pulling stops

If you would like to donate towards the cost of renovating the organ, please visit our Just Giving site, click on “Donate” and follow the directions. Alternatively, download and print our Organ Renovation Appeal leaflet.

All donations will be most gratefully appreciated!

 

Further Update!  We are now over halfway to our target, and we have authorised work to begin! Dismantling of the organ started on Monday 16 January, and the main components are being transported back to the workshop for detailed renovation. The organ builders will then return to clean the pipes and reassemble the organ, followed by final adjustments and tuning.