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25 years in harmony for Hayfield Singers

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Hayfield Singers Simon Mercer Tricia Howitt St Matthews Church Hayfield

From left to right, some choir members who have been with Hayfield Singers since its launch 25 years ago: Peter Edgerton, Mary Edgerton, Jim Mason, Pennie Roberts (chair), Joan Bond, Sue Colston, Lesley Mason, Christine Moore, Roger Briscoe (associate musical director), Peter Bowes and Simon Mercer (musical director).

Hayfield Singers will celebrate their 25th anniversary with a performance of Handel's  ‘Messiah’, the greatest piece of choral music in the English language, according to the choir’s musical director Simon Mercer.

The performance will take place at St Matthews Church, Hayfield on Sunday 29th April at 7.30pm.

Soloists with national reputations will be joining the choir for the special event. Simon Mercer commented: “This is going to be a fantastic evening. You don’t have to be a choral music connoisseur to enjoy the occasion. The music is absolutely glorious and totally appropriate for a silver anniversary.  If you’ve never been to a choral performance before or, if you are a regular, this is a concert not to be missed.”

Hayfield Singers was established in 1992 by Tricia Howitt, with the support of Jonathan Holland who became the choir’s first conductor. Following Tricia’s untimely death in October 2015, Jonathan lead the choir for the following season. New Zealander Lindy Tennent-Brown then took up the baton for a year before moving to London. She was succeeded in 2017 by current director Simon Mercer, a highly accomplished professional musician with a wealth of experience as a performer, conductor, tutor and mentor to young performers.

 Ten of the original group are still singing with the choir. They are: Joan Bond, Peter Bowes, Sue Colston, Mary and Peter Edgerton, Christine Moore, Lesley Mason, Jim Mason, Sheila and Peter Senior.

Today choral singing is probably more popular than it has ever been and the choir has grown significantly in the last five years with over 60 members from Hayfield, New Mills, Glossop, Whaley Bridge, Disley and Chapel-en-le-frith, meeting each Tuesday to rehearse for concerts each Christmas and in the Spring.

“Being part of a choir is a wonderful experience. We all lead busy lives but singing in a group takes you away from the stresses and strains of the working day. People join choirs from all walks of life but we have one thing in common when we are together - performing wonderful music,” added Simon Mercer.

Tickets for the concert are available from choir members, Hayfield Pharmacy, Parmar’s Newsagent, Chinley, or from Christine Moore, who can be contacted on 01663 746413. Subject to availability, tickets are also be available on the night.