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Hertfordshire County Youth Choir


Director: Victoria Longdon

Required standard: Grade 5+
Age range: 13 - 18 years

The County Youth Choir meets most Wednesdays during the Autumn, Spring and Summer terms from 5.30pm – 7.30pm in Hatfield.

Recognised as one of Britain's leading youth choirs, Hertfordshire's County Youth Choir specialises in singing good, challenging and varied choral repertoire. Singers who join the choir come from a variety of musical backgrounds. Weekly rehearsals incorporate specialised tuition in voice production and ear training. The ability to sight-read is not a prerequisite for joining the choir. All singers, regardless of previous choral experience, improve their sight-reading skills rapidly. The boys in the choir meet regularly with the choir's male voice tutor who addresses the needs of changing voices. There are numerous opportunities for solo and small ensemble singing as well as opportunities to conduct.

The choir participates in frequent collaborations with guest conductors, composers and instrumental ensembles, as well as with other choirs. In the past these have included concerts with The BBC Concert Orchestra, the Gabrieli Consort and Players and the Hertfordshire County Youth Orchestra. Joint concerts have taken place most years with Berkshire's Taplow Youth Choirs, Cantate & Surrey Youth Choir.  Guest conductors and workshop leaders have included Ben Parry, Ralph Allwood, Ken Burton, Terry Edwards and Gillian Dibden.

Recently, members of County Youth Choir have been invited to an exclusive open rehearsal with the Monteverdi Choir under Sir John Eliot Gardiner, and will continue to work with members of the choir on their concerts in the 2018-19 season.

The choir has been selected to take part in the Gabrieli ROAR project this summer, singing in the Gabrieli Consort and Player's concert An English Coronation, alongside youth choirs from around the United Kingdom. The County Youth Choir will share the stage with a massed choir and a 70-piece orchestra of the Gabrieli Players.

The County Youth Choir's reputation leads to unexpected prestigious invitations, sometimes at short notice, so they may not always appear in our yearly plans.

Many of the singers in the choir attend the Eton Choral courses during the summer and belong to the National Youth Choir and National Youth Music Theatre. Many go on to a variety of institutions for further vocal and drama training including the Guildhall School of Music & Drama, Oxbridge as choral and organ scholars, LIPA, as well as drama and music departments in the country's leading universities and colleges.


Contact Information

Hertfordshire Music Service Central Office, Mid-Herts Centre for Music & Arts, Birchwood Avenue, Hatfield, Herts, AL10 0PS.


Forthcoming Events

  • Residential trip to Wymondham College, Suffolk, as part of Gabrieli ROAR! 21st-24th July. Concert on 23rd July. The choir will also be recording the programme.


Applications are accepted all year round. 


Recent Events

Hertfordshire Schools' Gala 2018 in Royal Albert Hall, Sunday 11th March 1.45pm and 7.45pm
David Wilcocks Sing (after Widor's Toccata)
Will Todd If I Had Wings - Commissioned for this world premiere performance
David Bowie (arr. Basford) Starman
Joey Tempest (arr. Basford) The Final Countdown


CONCERT in St George's Chapel, St George's School, Saturday 25th November 7pm
Conductor Victoria Longdon
Accompanist Martin Sander-Hewett
Soloists Tom Isherwood & Benjamin Carnell
Repertoire included:

Ralph Vaughan Williams' Fantastia on Christmas Carols & Wassail Song, John Tavener's A Christmas Choral Collection and Will Todd's My Lord Has Come

CONCERT in St Peter's Church, St Albans, Saturday 11th March 7pm, with the Gabrieli Consort, Cantate and the Taplow Youth Choir.


Haydn Harmoniemesse


CONCERT Saturday 3rd December, St John's Church Boxmoor, 7.30pm 
Conductor Victoria Longdon
Piano Alex Montaque & Martin Sanders-Hewett
Kit Jeremiah Joshua Wallace 
Electric Bass
Shannon St. Luce
Burton Rivers of Babylon & Feel the Spirit
Harvey Battle of Jericho
Jackson/Milner and Smith Higher and Higher 
Simone I Wish I Knew How it Would Feel to be Free 
Hawkins/Read Going up a Yonder
Campbell/Burrell Can't Give up Now
Houston I Wanna Dance with Somebody 
Smallwood arr. Doreen Rao Total Praise 
Franklin arr. Dan Galbraith Hosanna 
Ashford and Simpson Ain't No Mountain High Enough  

CONCERT Monday 4th July 2016, 7pm in Ely Cathedral 
Conductor Paul McCreesh 
Mendelssohn Hear My Prayer  
Wesley Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace 
Wesley Blessed be the God and Father  
Elgar Give unto the Lord 
Howells Gloucester Service Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis 

Summer Residential 2nd - 4th July 2016 in Cambridge as part of the Gabrieli Roar Project.  

Hertfordshire Schools' GALA 2016 13th March at 1.45pm & 7.45pm in the Royal Albert Hall
Alan Parsons (arr. Jimi Day) Sirius
Andrew Lloyd Webber (arr. Rufus Frowde) Phantom of the Opera Overture
Edvard Grieg In the Hall of the Mountain King
Lin Marsh (arr. Daniel Basford) John Barleycorn & The Red-Cloaked Knight
Sergei Prokofiev Montagues & Capulets
Richard Sisson The Wicked Lady (World Premiere) 
Andrew Lloyd Webber Magical Mr. Mistoffelees
Sheppard (arr. Jimi Day) Geronimo 
Rick Wakeman (arr. Daniel Basford) King Arthur
John Farnham (arr. Jimi Day) You're the Voice

CONCERT Tuesday 16th February, in Southwark Cathedral as part of the Gabrieli Roar Project.
Conductor Paul McCreesh
Plainchant English version of Christe Qui Lux 
Wesley Blessed be the God and Father
Howells Hymn to St Cecilia
Plainchant Ave Maris Stella
Elgar Give unto the Lord  

Wednesday 10th February 2016 Workshop with Sons of Pitches, winners of BBC's 2016 'The Naked Choir' 

Thursday 21st January 2016 Workshop with the BBC singers