Some memories of the Chamber Choir from early days, by John Rose, co- founder of the choir.


John writes:
The first evening class was actually closed, but we continued on the suggestion of Norman Kent to meet at his house. That is what saved the infant SACC. In September ’58 the choir was re-launched as an evening class, which luckily by then had a larger and more balanced membership. From January ‘59 rehearsals were then in the vestry of St Saviour's Church, Sandpit Lane, which we all remember as very cold! It was not until later that year that we moved to a nearby school, Spencer School, just off the Sandridge Road.

There was, if I may say so, a certain trail-blazing element in the ’58-’64 programmes, which included rarely heard works by Hugo Distler, Rachmaninoff, Berkeley, Rubbra, Joubert, Bruckner, Buxtehude and others from all periods. I trust that this element will not be lost sight of in future programming policy.

It has given me much satisfaction to know that the SACC has a firm base in St Albans, and that under the guidance of just two conductors, Richard Stangroom and David Hansell, the SACC has flourished in the last 40 years since my tenancy, and to know that it seems set to continue doing so.
A list of venues at which the choir performed during the period 1958 to 1964 (a total of 13 concerts) were:

  • St Albans College of Further Education Hall (x1)
  • St Saviour’s Church, Sandpit Lane, St Albans (x3)
  • Luton Music Club, College of Further Education (x1)
  • Presbyterian Church, Watford (x1)
  • St Giles' Church, Cripplegate. London (x1)
  • Methodist Church, Harpenden (x1)
  • The Bourne, Harpenden (x2)
  • St Albans Abbey (x3)

December 2004