The Harsnett Choir
About the Harsnett Choir
The Harsnett Choir sings the choral services at cathedrals and churches when their own choirs are on holiday.
We are always interested to hear from new prospective members. See the contact us page for more details.
The Harsnett Choir is named after Samuel Harsnett, the son of a Colchester baker. He was born in 1561, and between 1597 and 1605 was Vicar of Chigwell Parish Church in Essex.
The inscription of the brass to his memory in Chigwell Parish Church, where he was buried, reads:
"Here lies Samuel Harsnett, formerly Vicar of this church, first the unworthy Bishop of Chichester, next the more unworthy Bishop of Norwich, and finally the most unworthy Archbishop of York."
The choir was formed in 1984 from a nucleus of members of Chigwell Parish Church Choir, plus friends, when the choir there was disbanded. Since then, of course, the membership has changed, and now our members are drawn from all over the country.
The choir committee, in choosing a name for the choir when it was formed, chose the present name as a happy reminder of its origins.
Registered charity no: 1136648
What do we do?
We provide the music for the choral services in the cathedrals and greater churches of Britain while their own choirs are on holiday, allowing the musical tradition of these places to continue during the holiday season.
When do we sing?
We meet between 5-7 times each year. We have a residential week in the summer, a number of weekends and one
or two single day visits, usually Saturdays.
How does it work?
The members of the choir meet on the day of each visit only and rehearse at the venue. Because of this our members must be able to sight-read to a high level and cope with the limited rehearsal time, but it does mean that our members can come from all over the country.
There are no regular commitments. Each member signs up to as many or as few visits as they wish.
Interested in what we do?
We are always keen to welcome prospective new members. If you are interested in joining us, please contact us. We recommend that you try singing with us first and if you enjoy it apply for membership after that. Membership is subject to a short informal audition which can be undertaken at your subsequent visit.
© The Harsnett Choir, 2017
The Harsnett Choir music library
Looking for music for your choir? The Harsnett Choir has an extensive sheet music library. We would be happy to hire out any of our sheet music to you. Please visit our music library page to see our collection.