A Choir Unwrapped – From the Bass Section
To sing bass with a top ranking choir requires a good voice, a loyal heart and a sense of humour.
The Hertfordshire Chorus bass section has a deep, rich sound and an enthusiasm for the wide-ranging and challenging repertoire the choir is called on to perform. Team work is paramount and this section sticks together even when the going is tough.
Basses In the Royal Albert Hall
David Temple MBE, the Chorus’s musical director, has a keen ear and a passion for excellence. This inspires all voice sections to ensure they are constantly improving. There are no passengers here.
Rehearsals are fun but no easy ride. David is meticulous and demands the best from all. At the beginning of the evening, after a full day’s work, most singers feel a little sluggish. They are fired up and exhilarated, however, by the end of the rehearsal – the perfect state of mind for a debrief in the pub.
Entry to the Chorus is by individual audition, and everyone is re-auditioned every three years. It may feel intimidating but auditions are handled supportively and sensitively and all Chorus members are agreed that maintaining quality is vital.
That quality has enabled the Chorus to perform at the best venues, such as The Barbican, The Royal Festival Hall, St Albans Abbey and St John’s Smith Square. We continue to work with world-class orchestras and soloists and commission new music from talented modern composers such as Will Todd, James McCarthy and Roland Perrin.
Colin Blankfield, a bass who has sung with the choir for over 30 years, is very clear on the benefits.
‘I also sing with a chamber choir which is great but love singing the really big works too. Hertfordshire Chorus gives me the chance to perform these to a very high standard.’
Singing with the Chorus is a great way to support your community. We often work with local schools, from primary age to teenagers. This gives the students an opportunity to participate in a large-scale concert and get a taste for performing to a high standard.
The Chorus supports many charitable events – putting on concerts and raising funds. We sing for The Willow Foundation every Christmas which is very popular.
Singers running for Willow
Fitting Singing In
Singing with the Chorus is a commitment but there are so many benefits for health and well-being. Bass Julian Edwards, says ‘My wife tells me I’m a lot happier since I joined Hertfordshire Chorus’
Dr Paul Baker, juggles work, family and playing cello with a local orchestra but knows the Chorus is worth the effort. ‘We are a very good section and fortunate to have the opportunity to sing with such a wonderful choir without having to travel into London. Hertfordshire Chorus is really on a par with the best in the country.’
In addition the social life is great. Chorus members are welcoming and supportive and lifetime friendships are common.
Steve Williams joined in 2003 to sing Mahler 8. ‘I enjoyed it so much I’m still here. After 45 years of choral singing I can honestly say that Hertfordshire Chorus is the best’
The Chorus is always looking for talent and encourages singers to try us out. If you sing with a chamber choir, another large chorus or have not sung for a while please get in touch. Main rehearsals are on Wednesday evenings between 7:30pm and 10:00pm. There are additional all day workshops and rehearsals depending on the current programme. Follow the link to find out how easy it is to try us out.