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 December at 6:30pm at The Victoria Theatre, Wards End, HALIFAX HX1 1BP

Our annual jamboree of Christmas music new and old.  Carols and Brass marks the true beginning of the Festive Season – great music and great fun with our audience, and with our old friends Black Dyke Band.  Joining us will be our guest children’s choir from Bradshaw Primary School. 

Special Guest Conductor –  Darius Battiwalla
and with – Black Dyke Band

Tickets from Victoria Theatre: from the Box Office, or by phone 01422 351158, or via Victoria Theatre Carols and Brass tickets , or on the door.   Prices range from £2.00 for under-18s in certain areas to £25.00 – please consult Victoria Theatre website ‘Book tickets’ pages or ask staff when booking. 

 Winter Landscape with Skaters   by Hendrick Avercamp in the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam

John Pryce-Jones – a tribute  

Our Verdi concert on13th October (scroll down) will be John’s final appearance conducting the Society – after more than thirty years as our inspirational Music Director.

John has brought a unique flair and drive to the Choir, being a highly-experienced professional conductor with, at the same time, an unwavering commitment to aspirational amateur performance.  He has always made sure the Choir strives for excellence and professionalism, knowing that’s how singers find fulfilment – and have some good fun along the way (helped no end by John’s lively sense of humour)!  This makes for rich, three-dimensional, performances that have, over and over again, come vividly to life.  Our audiences have remained loyal, coming back for many, many great concerts down the years.  John has encouraged the choir to perform a diverse feast of great choral music – all the way from Bach (like our St John Passion earlier this year) to Verdi and modern composers too numerous to mention here.  There have been ‘fun’ concerts at Christmas and summertime, collaborations with brass bands (notably Black Dyke) and with other choirs and choral societies. He has been with us every step of the way! 

Besides his work with the Society, John in partnership with his wife Alison has been tireless in his efforts with youth music-making locally and across Yorkshire.  Most notably this has included such projects as Future Heroes (in collaboration with Calderdale Community Foundation), Yorkshire Youth Choir, the Calderdale Primary Schools choir competition, Singing for Fun (mostly for children but also at one time for adults, too).  John’s unstinting efforts have immeasuably enrichened the musical life of this corner of Yorkshire!

Read his recent interview in the Yorkshire Post here

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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