The Early Days
Harrogate Theatre Choir was established in 2010, after a few local singers had performed with a theatre company called LipService. After the performance, nine of the singers decided they would like to keep the choir going, and were helped by Harrogate Theatre to find a Musical Director and Accompanist.
The choir initially sang and practised in the Stage Bar at Harrogate Theatre before moving to the Grammar School and, subsequently, the Conservative Club on East Parade. This was a good move as HTC had started to attract more members and were able to use the club for concerts and social events. The choir now had a Chairman (Marcel Boughton), a Secretary (Chris Hines) and a Treasurer (Allison Richardson).
A turning point in HTC’s development came in 2015 when Catherine Field-Leather joined as the new Musical Director. Sadly, Marcel passed away fairly suddenly that same year. He loved the choir and his passing was a huge loss to HTC. It was a fitting tribute that the choir sang at the celebration of his life.
By this stage, the choir was rapidly outgrowing the Conservative Club, and The Wesley Centre in the centre of town became its new home, and it remains so today.
More Recent Years
HTC has gone from strength to strength under the guidance of Catherine and her unique talents. She encourages us to be the very best we can possibly be. Her enthusiasm and determination for us to improve has made us reach for the stars. We are so proud that we have flourished into a very good choir with a comprehensive repertoire of songs from stage and screen.
We have performed at Castle Howard, Fountains Abbey, Oakdale Golf Club, the 1940’s Day in the Valley Gardens, Ripon Bandstand, The Crown Hotel, Harrogate Theatre, Bistro Pierre, Masham Town Hall, Starbeck Methodist Church, The Wesley Centre, Christ Church, Bishop Monkton Hall, St Aidans Constance Green Hall, and Holy Trinity Church in York. We were also very proud to be part of the Opening Ceremony for the UCI World Road Cycling Championships, hosted by Harrogate, in 2019 and there’s still a lot more to come from us!
Everyone in the choir obviously has a passion for musical theatre, but we also relish a challenge and love to show our versatility, as was the case when we performed The Armed Man Mass for the First World War Centenary commemoration concert in November 2018.
Naturally people move on from time to time and new members join us, but we are very proud to still have two of the original Choir members, Meem Alderson and Allison, who is still our Treasurer.
We now have a new Chair, Chris Parkin, and Secretary, Fiona Dowson, who are supported by a dedicated and hard working committee.
Today, Harrogate Theatre Choir is a vibrant and strong 40+ choir, with a wide and wonderful repertoire of songs from both stage and screen. We all have something in common – we love to sing! We rehearse, perform and socialise together with the ultimate aim of sharing our enthusiasm for singing with our audiences.
Whilst the choir is continuing to build strong links with Harrogate Theatre, it is keen to find new audiences and collaboration partners. We are open to offers!
If you would like singing to become a more regular part of your life, please don’t be shy. Check out “Future Events” to see when we have our next Taster Session.