Highgate Choral Society is a community choir which has been bringing music to the people of North London for more than 130 years. Formed in 1878 by a group of like-minded amateur musicians who wanted to come together regularly to sing, it has grown into an organisation with more than 200 members of all ages, from all walks of life.
Highgate Choral Society is one of Britain’s longest established amateur choirs and performs up to six concerts a year. It enjoys an enviable reputation for the high standard of its concerts – ‘Strong impactful singing across the board’ was how one delighted music critic described its July 2011 performance at the Royal Festival Hall. It is also renowned for its unusual repertoire which encompasses new commissions and rarely performed works from the English choral cannon, as well as the more popular choral pieces.
Recent commissions include works by Brian Chapple, Julian Philips, Ronald Corp and Julian Knight and the choir’s latest commission – This Sceptr'd Isle by Ronald Corp – was premiered at the Barbican on 9 June 2012.
HCS regularly works with professional musicians, including the New London Orchestra which recently gave its inaugural concert as the first ever orchestra-in-residence at Stratford Circus in the London Borough of Newham. The choir is also proud to work alongside a variety of established and up and coming young soloists: Anna Devin, Sam Evans, Magid el-Bushra and Grace Davidson are just a few of the talented performers who have shared a stage with HCS.
The choir's last tour was to Munich and Salzburg in May 2013. Overseas tours are a regular feature and the choir has been privileged to sing in some of the great cathedrals of Europe.
HCS remains true to its founding principles, giving local people the opportunity to take part in first-rate, high quality performances in a sociable context where they are able to learn and enjoy choral music for its artistic quality and splendour. As London’s Evening Standard wrote, ‘HCS is a standard bearer of London’s great amateur choral tradition’.