Spring Concert 2024

The Hayfield Singers joined forces with Hathersage Choir to perform Carl Orff's Carmina Burana at Hope Valley College on 28th April 2024. The 75-minute concert was conducted by Simon Mercer, with a choir of children from Hathersage St. Michael's C of E Primary School, three soloists, two grand pianos, and six percussionists.

After the performaces, Simon wrote:
Well, well! We did it! What a fantastic day of music making we had. Thank you all for your openness, co-operation, collaborative spirit and brilliant singing.

It has not been an easy ride, complex text and fiddly pronunciation has made rehearsals challenging to say the least. However, our two joint rehearsals brought it all into focus. Yesterday, with pianos, percussion and gloriously brilliant soloists, was magn ficent in every way. It was obvious that both audiences were thrilled by what they saw and heard. Many thanks to all members of the committee who worked so tirelessly to make this work. The raffle and the hampers is a big winner and very popular, thanks again for contributing.

Finally a huge cheer for Roger for helping in getting you all ready, it's not an easy job!

I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did and are having some well deserved rest.

Christmas Concert 2023

Simon Mercer writes:

Many congratulations to you all for last night's splendid concert. Singing of great quality, beauty and intensity throughout and obviously much enjoyed by our audience. My grateful thanks to you all for your dedication, diligence, concentration and joy of performing. It is a pleasure and a privilege to be your MD.

Great thanks also to all committee members for their hard work and support. Special thanks to Mary for sorting out the music, Wendy, Allan and the set up team for their stirling work, to our 3 soloists, the brass and percussion and to Roger for being our strength and stay.

The recording should appear later this week and I'll run off a few CDs as well.

Have a lovely Christmas and New Year. See you on January 9th for Carmina Burana.

With all good wishes,

Spring Concert 2023

Simon Mercer writes:

Many congratulations on a splendid and very moving performance last evening.

I was absolutely delighted - huge thanks to you all.

The warm applause, oversized smiles and very positive comments from many audience members spoke volumes.

Huge compliments and thanks to Debs, Pete and Colin for their wonderful solo singing, not to forget Ella for stepping in at short notice. A very professional quartet indeed.

Roger's talents, dedication and humour, must never be underestimated, a consummate musician, it is an enormous privilege to work with him. We are immensely fortunate.

Thanks to Pennie, Janet and all committee members, the set-up team, for their remarkable work which ensures that we give very high quality concerts every time.

Hayfield Singers is, without doubt, the highlight of my week. What a choir!

Christmas Concert 2022

Our Musical Director Simon Mercer writes:

What a glorious evening of high quality music-making we all enjoyed yesterday evening. The warm and generous response from our large and enthusiastic audience made that very obvious. Tremendous congratulations to you all for singing with such commitment, passion and involvement, the sound was wonderful, even overwhelming, as more than a few folk commented. The Hindmarsh Carols were very successful indeed, the Olsson was truly magnificent – what a piece – and the Vivaldi was as fresh as the day it was written.

The congregational carols were powerful and ultimately very moving – as they should be. You have set a very high bar and we must all strive to better it in all of our future concerts. Well done indeed!

Great thanks to Roger for his masterful accompanying, we are privileged to have him; Liv and Ella were superb, poised and stylish demonstrating great musicality and incredible potential as they prepare for Higher Education. Many thanks to David Wilkinson from Viscount Organs for the hire and supply of the organ – what an amazing sound.

Many thanks to all members of the committee for their unstinting hard work and support, to the May Queen Committee for the excellent refreshments, to Mary for chivvying us all about copies and lastly to Dave for rehearsal tracks and fabulous posters, flyers and programmes.

All in all, a night to remember. See you on January 10th for Parry and Dvořák.

All the very best for Christmas and the New Year.

Spring 2022: Rehearsals (and concerts!) resume

After a two-year Covid-imposed hiatus, the choir was once more rehearsing for a concert, to be held on Sunday 15 May 2022. We performed Brahms' Ein Deutsche Requiem, the work that was programmed for the cancelled concert in spring 2020.

Spring 2020: Rehearsal schedule

Rehearsals began on 7 January for our Spring Concert, originally scheduled for Sunday 5 April 2020.

Autumn 2019: Rehearsal schedule

Rehearsals began on 3 September 2019 for our Spring Concert, to be held on Sunday 12 December 2019.

Spring 2019: Rehearsal schedule

Rehearsals began on 8 January 2019 for our Spring Concert, to be held on Sunday 7 April and to feature Mozart's Ave Verum and 'Great' C Minor Mass.

Hayfield Parish Magazine

The following review of our last concert appeared in a recent issue of the parish magazine:

What a wonderful concert this was, under the very capable hands of the conductor and director, Simon Mercer. Although I have sung the Messiah over forty times, this is only the second time I have heard it as a member of the audience. I was enthralled by this performance as the choir, soloists and orchestra worked so well together with the conductor, to produce a great sound.

The choir and orchestra were well balanced, and the audience heard the choir perfectly throughout the work. The soloists were well chosen and gave very creditable performances. I was also very impressed at the discipline of the Hayfield Singers as they stood and sat throughout the concert – it is rare to see a choir synchronise their movements as well as that. It was also good to see a well turned out choir, looking smart in their choir uniform. Congratulations to everybody involved.

Malcolm Blackburn

Social programme summer 2018

The following events were organised for the summer of 2018:

  • Tuesday 29th May: Hayfield Singers Quiz, Royal Hotel, 8pm.
  • Friday 22nd June: Evening Walk. Meet Royal Hotel, 7.30pm. A two-hour walk, undulating but not unduly taxing. Dogs welcome.
  • Saturday 7th July: 25th Anniversary Summer Party, Royal Hotel, 8pm.

Autumn season 2018

Dates for your diary this autumn:

  • Tuesday 4th September: First rehearsal for the autumn term.
  • Sunday 14th October: Evening Concert at Spring Bank Arts Centre, New Mills.
  • Saturday 1st December: Concert for High Peak Community Arts with Duodecimo at Providence URC Church in New Mills.
  • Thursday 6th December: Extra rehearsal.
  • Sunday 9th December: Christmas Concert at St Matthew's, Hayfield, at 7pm.

Autumn season 2017

Poster, Christmas 2017
We've been delighted by the reaction to our Christmas concert, our first under Simon Mercer, featuring the Bach Magnificat in D and Morten Lauridsen's O Magnum Mysterium. Thanks to our fabulous young soloists and orchestra, and our audience who braved the snow and contributed to some of the heartiest congregational carol-singing this side of the Albert Hall.

We took part in St Matthew's Carol Service on Sunday 17th December, and carol-singing around the Hayfield village pubs on Tuesday 19th December.

Change at the top

We'd like to thank our departing Musical Director, Lindy Tennent-Brown, and wish her all the very best in the future. At the same time, we're delighted to welcome her successor, Simon Mercer, who took over in October. Here they are pictured together after Lindy's final concert, with our Associate Musical Director Roger Briscoe (right).

Social events, summer 2017

Our Social Secretary Pete Webb () has organised the following events for this summer's "close season" (dates provisional, times to be confirmed):

  • Thursday 25th May: the ever-popular Hayfield Singers Quiz
  • Friday 23rd June: local walk from a Hayfield hostelry
  • Friday 28th July: our annual summer party at chez Webb

Spring season 2017

Rehearsals began on Tuesday January 10th for our Spring Concert, held at St Matthews, Hayfield, on Sunday 9th April. Sadly this was Lindy Tennent-Brown's last term in charge as she was returning to London for personal and professional reasons. However, we were delighted to announce that Simon Mercer had agreed to take over as Musical Director of Hayfield Singers from Autumn 2017.

Autumn season 2016

Rehearsals began on Tuesday September 13th for our Christmas Concert, held at St Matthews, Hayfield, on Sunday 11th December, under the baton of our new Musical Director, Lindy Tennent-Brown. We were delighted to announce that our outgoing MD, Jonathan Holland, had been made an Honorary Life Member of the Hayfield Singers.

Spring season 2016

Rehearsals began on Tuesday January 5th for our Spring Concert, held at St Matthews, Hayfield, on Sunday 24th April, featuring Mozart's Requiem.

Autumn season 2015

Rehearsals began on Tuesday September 8th for our Christmas Concert, held at St Matthews, Hayfield, on Sunday 13th December.

Hayfield Singers Quiz 2015

Tuesday 12th May 2015, 8pm: Quiz Night at the Royal Hotel. £4 – price includes chip butty supper. Please contact if intending to attend.

Spring season 2015

Rehearsals began on Tuesday January 6th for our Spring Concert, held at St Matthews, Hayfield, on Sunday 26th April.

Summer Social Events 2014

Tuesday 20th May 2014, 8pm: Quiz Night at the Royal Hotel. £3.50 – price includes chip butty supper.

Spring season 2014

Rehearsals began in January for our Spring Concert, held at St Matthews, Hayfield, on Sunday 13th April. We performed contrasting requiem masses by the French composers Maurice Duruflé and Gabriel Fauré. We intend to reprise the Fauré at Spring Bank Arts on the afternoon of Sunday 21st September.

Dates for your diary

  • Thursday 10th April, 8pm at St Matthews Church, Hayfield: Extra rehearsal
  • Sunday 13th April, at St Matthews Church, Hayfield: Dress Rehearsal and Spring Concert (7.30pm
  • Tuesday 9th September, 8pm at St Matthews Church, Hayfield: Rehearsals begin for Autumn term
  • Thursday 18th September, 8pm at St Matthews Church, Hayfield: Extra rehearsal
  • Sunday 21st September Rehearsal (11pm) and Afternoon Tea Concert (2.30pm) at Spring Bank Arts, New Mills
  • Sunday 14th December, at St Matthews Church, Hayfield: Dress Rehearsal and Christmas Concert
  • Sunday 26th April 2015 (provisional) at St Matthews Church: Spring concert featuring Beethoven Mass in C

Spring season 2013

The second concert of our 20th anniversary season, on 28th April, commemorated the 60th anniversary of Queen Elizabeth II's coronation with music with royal connections from Handel, Britten, Purcell, Parry and Mozart.

Autumn season 2012

Rehearsals began in September for our 20th Anniversary Concert, held on Sunday 2nd December. The programme included excerpts from Handel's Messiah. We reprised excerpts from this programme at Chinley Chapel on Tuesday 4th December.

In October 2012 we performed at the Opening of Spring Bank Arts (formerly St James the Less) in New Mills.

Spring concert 2012: Rossini Petite Messe Solennelle

On the evening of Sunday, April 22nd the rafters of St Matthew's Church, Hayfield, rang with the music of Rossini's Petite Messe Solennelle. The Hayfield Singers were in particularly good voice for their spring concert and the soloists, from the Royal Northern College of Music, were exceptional.

The music was performed with its original accompaniment, for piano and harmonium. The piano part is enormous and plays almost without a break. Sadly the newly restored harmonium developed a high-pitched, continuous squeak and couldn't be used. Electronics came to the rescue in the form of a keyboard, programmed to a harmonium sound (as near as possible) but without the characteristic wheeze!

The music is neither 'petite' nor 'solennelle' (so said Napoleon III) in the modern sense. Its style is operatic and full of good tunes which go round and round in the head long after the last notes of the Agnus Dei, one of the few subdued movements, have died away. It was evident that everyone involved was having a great sing and the audience responded with enthusiasm.

The piece is Rossini's final great work, written in 1863 when the composer was over 70 years old. He wrote very little after the success of his opera William Tell in 1829, and retired to a life of good food, good wine and visits from the musical world at his villa at Plassy, outside Paris.

The Hayfield Singers will be celebrating their 20th anniversary in a concert in Hayfield on December 2nd. The programme will include music from Handel's Messiah.

Before that, the choir will be singing at Spring Bank Arts, the newly converted centre in the old church of St James the Less in New Mills, on Sunday, October 21st.

Christmas concert 2011

Tricia writes:

Well done everyone! You rose to the occasion wonderfully and we gave a good concert. I don't know what Jonathan put in your pre-concert drink.... I know there were a few blips but there were also some magic moments and our dynamic range was much better, i.e. the Tchaikovsky song. Thank you for all your hard work. We had a large audience and there was a terrific buzz in the church.

Spring concert 2010: Dido and Aeneas

Tricia writes:

What a concert! Thank you all so much.

You sang with confidence – mostly! – and the sound was very full and very good and well in tune on the whole. Once again, not using music was good: it gives more freedom and confidence – thank you to everyone who was able to memorise Dido and to all who tried to. Having said that, the Finzi was wonderful – full of brightness and joy.

It was all excellent and a great credit to you all. I've had loads of complimentary remarks. Several people commented on the sound. One person said it was the best concert ever!

The Lament was heartbreaking – and after it the applause felt so enthusiastic. Our wonderful soloists loved performing with us and I know they would all come again.

I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did.

I'd like to thank those of you who helped with all the arrangements – furniture shifting, food, loos, refreshments, programme collating/setting/printing, ticket selling, poster distributing, tea making, bouquet buying, etc., etc. – the list is endless and I hope I've not missed anything.

and of our "reprise" in St James the Lesser, New Mills:

I have been waiting for 'the dust to settle' in my mind before writing this in order to be able to stand back and assess last Sunday's concert. The feeling I have is a very happy one: we really made music that night and it was hugely enjoyable. It has left a warm glow! The unison Britten arrangements were especially beautiful.

Congratulations to you all! Thank you for all your hard work.

Barn Dance

Around 30 members and friends enjoyed an evening of dancing (and tasty hotpot) on Friday 26th March. Thanks to everyone who turned up, to Alison the caller and the Barnstormers, and to the Royal for their excellent hospitality.

Alison and The Barnstormers
Our caller Alison with The Barnstormers
Barndance 2 Barndance 3

Christmas concert 2009

Tricia writes:

Lots of 'thank yous'!

Thank you all so much for a splendid concert. You rose to the occasion and sang as well as you've ever sung. The sound was rich and well-blended. I think the first Bach movement was the best you've ever sung it — it sounded like 'a multitude of the heavenly host' — at last! There were some magic moments too.

I enjoyed the concert enormously and it looked and sounded as if you did too. All that hard work was worth it in the end — I hope you all feel that too.

The audience was large — thank you for getting 'bums on seats'. Thank you to everyone who put an advert in the programme or who asked other people to put one in.

Thanks too to the stage management team for setting up so efficiently.

Thank you very much for your generous gift: I greatly appreciate it and will spend it on singing lessons.

Dave writes:

Thanks to everyone involved for making our last-minute transfer to St John's go so amazingly smoothly. In my first concert as Chairman I quickly learnt how much goes on behind the scenes to make our concerts happen: thanks to everyone who worked so hard in preparation for the evening and "backstage" on the night. And thanks for indulging me by singing my carol was lovely to hear it sung so well (and I'm looking forward to hearing it on the recording that was taken). And I had shivers running down my spine during "He, watching over Israel" too.

Spring concert 2009: Haydn's Creation

For those of you unable to attend, our Spring Concert was somewhat eventful, with our soprano soloist Jennifer France being taken ill at literally the last minute, having sung beautifully in rehearsal. Tenor soloist Graham Wili sight-read one of the soprano arias brilliantly (to a spontaneous round of applause) and Tricia took the soprano part in various duets and trios (while continuing to conduct). Jennifer was able to return to sing towards the end of the piece, again to generous applause.

Tricia writes:

Thank you very much for your generous gift—it will almost pay for 3 singing lessons and is much appreciated. What a good idea of someone's! I'm still in a daze and last night is a bizarre blur which I find difficult to evaluate. What I do know is that the choir's performance was excellent: you knew the music, you sang with confidence, your rhythm never let you down—and you rose to the occasion and dealt with the strange situation brilliantly. Thank you and congratulations! And isn't the music wonderful! Thank you to Jonathan and Andrew for all their help—and Dave Hoult (from the back row!

Linda Whitaker writes:

I just want to say how much I enjoyed singing The Creation on Sunday night and to congratulate Tricia on coping so well with such a difficult situation. Not only singing some of the soprano parts but conducting at the same time—brilliant! Then all the rearranging for the second half, well done everyone who helped. I thought all the singers and musicians did well in the circumstances and hope Jennifer is OK now.