The Huddersfield Singers

(formerly Huddersfield Glee and Madrigal Society)

The Huddersfield Glee and Madrigal Society was formed in 1875 by Ben Stocks. Stocks was a stonemason, and later Alderman of Huddersfield, who had such faith in the musicianship of people in the town that he entered the choir for a competition in Manchester before even establishing it.9

Location:

The Huddersfield Singers

Huddersfield, UK

Choirs & Choral Societies

Description:

The initial choir consisted of seven sopranos, one contralto, four male altos, six tenors and seven basses, and did indeed win the £70 first prize in the Manchester competition.

On the strength of this success they decided to continue singing together under the name of the Huddersfield Glee and Madrigal Society, and invited Joshua Marshall, conductor of the Huddersfield Choral Society, to be the regular conductor. Their early rehearsals were held in the music rooms of Wood and Marshall, but later in the Zetland Hotel.

By 1876 the Huddersfield Chronicle and West Yorkshire Advertiser was giving the society favourable reviews, writing ‘The [society’s] production of glees and madrigals…perpetuate a love of the masters in this particular class of music’.10

Notable subsequent conductors included Leslie Woodgate, who was also the BBC Chorus Master, Donald Hunt, organist of Leeds Parish Church, and Richard Steinitz, who went on to form the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival in 1978.

To reflect its ever-widening chamber choir repertoire, the society changed its name to The Huddersfield Singers in 1988. Notable commissions by the choir include Waltzsongs (John Gardner, 1996) and Haworth Moor (Arthur Butterworth, 2000), the latter marking the choir’s 125th anniversary.

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