About Herts & Soul Community Choir
Our History & Timeline
Herts and Soul Community Choir was formed in Bishop’s Stortford in 2010 by business and peak performance coaches Chris Humphreys and Dawn Stalker, alongside RNCM and Guildhall-trained singer and music educator Josie Cowley.
Josie stayed at the choir’s helm as MD until April 2017, when succeeded by the dynamic duo of Susie Savage and Peter Clayton (who you can read more about on Music Team page).
The Herts and Soul sound is based on vocal agility in 3 and 4-part harmonies, with innovative arrangements, accompanied at least by piano at all rehearsals, and by a varying sized concert band (4 piece to 15 piece!) depending upon the theme and repertoire. There are also soloist and ensemble opportunities for all who fancy the challenge.
We perform 3 full-choir, full-set concerts a year (spring, late summer and winter) to fundraise for our chosen charity partners, at a wide variety of venues such as the Harlow Playhouse, Rhodes Theatre, Bishop’s Stortford College, Herts & Essex High School and the region’s larger churches.
We also perform in smaller-group ensembles by invitation, including the annual Bishop’s Stortford Town Council Sunday Remembrance Service in Castle Gardens (www.bishopsstortford.org/other-services) and Isabel Hospice Lights of Love service (www.isabelhospice.org.uk/support-us/donate-in-memory/lights-of-love), and at various local and regional music festivals such as the UK Choir Festival in St. Alban’s, Herts (www.ukchoirfestival.com/).
Since forming, Herts and Soul’s fundraising concerts have raised more than £42,000 for charities including The Rainbow Trust, Isabel Hospice, Essex and Herts Air Ambulance, St Clare Hospice, Royal British Legion and Mencap’s Grove Cottage.
Whether it’s pop ballads, stirring rock, up-tempo soul, funk and Motown, or more traditional, seasonal choral pieces, many songs are crafted with our own harmonic arrangements, creating a unique Soulster feel and repertoire.
Our rehearsals are guaranteed to be fun and engaging for social, like-minded singers who wish for a gentle vocal education without an intimidating, overly formal environment.