"Raise the Bar"The Choir meets weekly throughout the season (September to May) in Holy Trinity Church, Church Street, Haddington every Wednesday from 7:30pm to 9:30pm.
If you enjoy singing, why not come along and sing with us at a few rehearsals so that you get an opportunity to find out more, but click on the link below to contact the Secretary first?
The Choir has a Library of Music which is available for hire. Click on "Library" on the Menu Bar
Contact the Secretary
A Brief History
Conductor David Crisp
November 1978A group of 8 volunteers associated with the East Lothian Music Workshop were brought together by music teacher David Crisp to sing carols in December.
1979Still together as the "Music Workshop Choir" the choir performed "Captain Noah and his floating zoo" in Haddington and Musselburgh
1979-83The Choir performed madrigals, carols, Byrd, Monteverdi, and "Israel in Egypt"
1981The Choir changed name to "Hadley Court Singers" (rehearsals were held in "Hadley Court", the home of one of the sopranos)
Conductor James Robertson
1984 - 1986Choir now has 20 singers. Performed carols, Bach, and our most ambitious piece yet, "Saint Nicholas" by Benjamin Britten
Conductor Joan Bassett
1986 - 1993Over 7 years we performed many choral classics, including "St Nicholas Mass" (Haydn), "Mass in G minor" (Vaughan Williams), "Gloria" (Vivaldi) "Missa Choralis" (Liszt), "Mass in C minor" (Mozart); also fine arrangements of Scots songs by Joan herself.
Trips abroad to Aubigny 1990 and Stuttgart 1992.
The photo below was taken at Birmingham Airport on the way to Stuttgart in 1992
Front Row (L-R): Ruth Hall, Joan Bassett, Jean Whyte and Margaret Jones.
Second Row: Diana Murray, Joy Gray, Kit MacLeod, Davina Briggs, Shona Angus, Anne Elworthy and Marg Hall.
Others (L-R) George Angus, Leslie Skeets, Tom Whyte, Alny Graham, David Evans, Helen Heatly, John Busby, Robin Murray, Stephen Doughty (Pianist), Linda Hall, Alan Bassett, Graham Chapman, Alistair Munro, Adrianne Shepherd and Sandy MacLeod.
The Choir won the Scottish Regional Final of the Sainsbury Choir of the Year in 1990, and went on to the Televised quarter finals in Manchester.
In October 1992 there were 46 singers - an all - time record.
Sadly, Joan died in Sept 2006
Conductor Isobel Stretton
1993 - 1996Under Isobel the choir performed carols and readings; "The Auld Alliance" (French and Scots music); Mozart "Missa Brevis", Parry, Purcell, Tallis, and (with Philomusica) a concert of Italian-inspired music. We also sang a "St Giles at Six" concert.
Conductor Jenny Sumerling
1996 - 2000With Jenny the choir performed Leighton, Mendelssohn, Haydn, Stamford, Durufle. Two notable concerts were: in 1998 to celebrate the 450th anniversary of the siege of Haddington, and in 2000 (with The Garleton Singers) a Millenium concert "Carmina Burana" and "Zadok the Priest".
Trip abroad: Aubigny 1997.
Conductor George Wilson
2000 - 2002Christmas concert with Holy Trinity Handbells; Haydn and Mozart; "Christmas in Venice" (Gabrieli, Vivaldi, and Monteverdi); for our 25th anniversary concert Rossini "Petite Messe Solennelle", and a weekend singing visit to Glamis.
Conductor Jason Orringe
2002 - 2003The Choir under Jason sang Britten: "A Ceremony of Carols"; Vaughan Williams, Byrd, Faure, Mendelssohn, Monteverdi and Mozart.
Conductor Scott Harrison
2003 - 2004Choir now has 36 members.The Choir performed Pergolesi, Randall Thompson, Viadana, Beethoven "Mass in C" and Brahms "New Love Song Waltzes".
Conductor Simon Nieminski
2004 - 2012.
With Simon, the choir have sung Charpentier "Messe de minuit pour Noel" (December 2004).
In April 2005 we gave a concert of Scots and French music to celebrate 40 years "twinning" relationship with Aubigny and at Christmas a joint performance with St Marys Choristers.
In March 2006 we sang "Hiawathas Wedding Feast" (Coleridge-Taylor). Our Christmas concert included "Vesperae Solennes de Confessore" by Mozart.
In 2007 we sang Elgar's "From the Bavarian Highlands"; our Christmas concert that year included music by Bach, Buxtehude and Pergolesi.
2008 saw us singing Parry's "Prometheus unbound" in April , and at Christmas we celebrated the music of Vaughan Williams, plus carols.
In 2009 we sang Mendelssohn's "Lobgesang" in March, Faure's Requiem in the Haddington Festival in May, and Haydn's "St Nicholas Mass" in December.
Handel's "Coronation Anthems" featured in our March 2010 concert; Vivaldi's "Gloria" in June, and Britten's "A Ceremony of Carols" in December.
2011 saw us singing Brahms "Requiem" in March, and carols and motets by Holst, Mathias, Finzi and Poulenc at Christmas.
This year (2012) we sang Britten's "Rejoice in the Lamb" and Finzi's "Lo the Full Final Sacrifice" in March, and our annual lighter-music concert in the Haddington festival in May. Our Christmas concert this year featured Vivaldi's "Magnificat", Mozart's "Te Deum" and seasonal carols.
"It has been a great pleasure to work with the Hadley Court Singers and I am proud to be its longest serving musical director so far" said Simon Nieminski. He continues to be a musical presence in Edinburgh and the Lothians as Director of Music and Organist at the Robin Chapel in Edinburgh and Organist of St Mary's Metroplitan Cathedral, Edinburgh. "We will miss him very much," Dominic Campanile, the Chairman of Hadley Court told the choir when they learned of the resignation. "Not only for his excellent work encouraging the singers and helping the whole choir evolve and progress, but for his appreciation and advice to those providing the home baking in our rehearsal breaks!"
Choir members about 34.
Conductor James Slimings
2013 - Present
As a Répétiteur, James has been engaged by Cambridge University Gilbert and Sullivan Society, Barnard Castle School, Westfield School for Girls and Hartlepool Sixth Form College. He is also a pianist for the Royal Conservatoire Junior Department, accompanying their choirs. As well as playing, James leads improvisation and 'mash-up' sessions with the Junior Conservatoire, and has also directed them in concert.
As a conductor, James is Musical Director of The Kilbarchan Singers, a post he started at just 19. He was also the Alexander Gibson Fellow with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, involved in chorus preparation for the likes of Donald Runnicles, Peter Oundjian, Sir Andrew Davis, Paul Agnew and Christopher Bell.
In 2010, James was awarded the Making Music Young Conductors Scholarship, working with Bearsden Choir and Glasgow Chamber Choir, following on from this, was appointed Assistant Conductor of Bearsden Choir. He is also the recipient of the Preston Simpson Scholarship for Music.
Many thanks to Marg Hall for providing this short history of the choir.