The Church Choir currently comprises some 16 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
The Radcliffe Singers was 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 numbered some 18 singers. Repertoire was broad, ranging from 16th century polyphony to jazz-inspired close harmony arrangements.
In addition to concerts in Hitchin, the Choir also gave concerts further afield.
One of the Choir’s soloists, Rachel Auld, 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”.
The choir was disbanded on the retirement of the Organist and Choirmaster, Trevor Hughes, in 2022.
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.
By 2017, and after thirty years of constant use for services and concerts with only tuning and routine maintenance, the organ was becoming unreliable, and was demanding imaginative efforts by organists to counter its increasingly unexpected behaviour.
The organ was in need of comprehensive overhaul. This involved 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 skilled and labour-intensive work necessary to renovate the organ started in January 2017 and took around eight weeks. The work was carried out by Bishop & Son of Ipswich.
The money for the project was raised by appeal, and grateful thanks go to all those who contributed so generously. Their donations enabled us to meet the full cost of the renovation!
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.