The world's oldest choral society. Making music continuously since 1817

Welcome to Halifax Choral Society

News — 2019-2020  –  the 202nd season

Our third century of unbroken performance.  This makes the Society unique, no other choral society in the world has been in regular performance as long.  When the Society was founded Napoleon Bonaparte was living in exile on St Helena! 

The autumn of 2019 also sees our long-standing conductor John Pryce-Jones step down – read on.  

Sunday 1st March 2020 at 6:30pm at The Victoria Theatre, Wards End, HALIFAX

MESSIAH  by George Frideric Handel

Halifax Choral Society gave its first performance of Handel’s incomparable masterpiece The Messiah in 1818 – and have performed it about annually ever since. 

Tickets, priced as above, from Victoria Theatre Box Office in person or by phone 01422 351158, or here: Messiah tickets or on the door    

Darius Battiwalla – Guest Conductor

Followers of Halifax Choral Society will know that our Music Director of over thirty years, John Pryce-Jones, retired in October 2019.  In the interim period, before the forthcoming appointment of a new Director, Darius Battiwalla is assisting the society and was guest conductor for our 1st December Carols and Brass concert.  He has had a long association with Halifax Choral Society, often performing with the choir as organist or harpsichord continuo player.  He is a major figure across the North of England music scene, combining his roles as Music Director of  Sheffield Philharmonic Chorus and Leeds City Organist with a host of other professional engagements.  These include organ recitals across (and outside) the region, accompanying silent films, working with BBC Young Choristers of the Year and many other conducting engagements. Darius is also known as a keyboard improviser and for his many fine arrangements of well-loved music, especially Christmas carols.  More details here: Darius Battiwalla    

Yorkshire Post interview with historian Dr John Hargreaves – author of Every Valley Shall Be Exalted, the comprehensive official history of The Society.  In this interview John Hargreaves discusses some interesting facets of the Society’s story, including the links between our founder, William Priestley and Anne Lister, ‘Gentleman Jack’ of Shibden Hall, Halifax.  Read it here: the story of Every Valley Shall Be Exalted 
A few copies of the book are still available – to enquire please visit our online shop by clicking here: shop

Localgiving   Our Localgiving page is here (link opens a new page/tab)Please donate to help us to keep singing for another 200 years

Its members come from many walks of life but share a true passion for bringing music to life.

Throughout its long history, the Choir has performed almost every major choral work in the repertoire.  Halifax Choral Society has always aimed high and performed with first-rate orchestras, soloists and conductors.  Looking through the annals of the Society is to turn back the pages of musical history of the past two centuries.  If you are interested in singing with us, complete the form on this page to receive more information, or contact the Administrator

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