As one season ends, we naturally look forward to the next, but this is no ordinary year and the last season and next are like no others we have ever known.

As Pam, our indefatigable Publicity Manager, wrote in our last Lockdown Update, we had begun our highly successful series of Zoom rehearsals. Our very creative and, I must now say, patient Musical Director and conductor, Michael Cayton, has kept us fully engaged over the last 3 months and our last rehearsal attracted more than 70 screens which probably represented close to 100 members of the choir and, of course, orchestra.

The future is still uncertain and at our last committee meeting at the end of June, the same questions regarding our future rehearsal arrangements and, indeed, concert performances, still existed. Hence our decision to issue the questionnaire that all members should have received in recent days. We take the health and safety of our members as our most important responsibility and your replies will help us to make the right decisions in the coming months.

Our rehearsal and concert venues at Watford Girls Grammar school and the Colosseum are unable to give us a firm date as to when we might return and if so, what conditions will then apply. We are all waiting for clear Government advice but even more than advice, we all have to follow our own consciences and do what we believe is best for others and ourselves.

We have made provisional reservations at other venues, including the Great Hall at Bushey Academy and local churches. We have also been in close touch with the Colosseum management and they are being both understanding and supportive.

We all hope that the Pandemic, that has caused so much pain and distress to so many people, will be a thing of the past very soon. In the meantime, we should be proud of what we have achieved this year. Despite 3 cancelled concerts since last December and virtual rehearsals since March, I believe that our Society is as strong and united as it has ever been and that spirit will carry us through the next few months, regardless of what happens.

You will all receive annual subscription notices during August. With thanks to Steve Crocker and our IT manager, Tim Pettigrew, these notices will be sent by email. Paul Buckley, our treasurer, will explain how we have arrived at the renewal subscription rates and we are confident that you will approve. At least we hope so!

As summer beckons, we hope that everyone will take advantage of the multiple opportunities to enjoy different ways of keeping in touch and enjoying music and singing. Our very own Corona Chronicles, so ably put together by Judy Newton-Davies, has been a revelation and contributions from you are very much appreciated. As Judy would say “keep ‘em coming”. As I write, we have learned that the Government has approved a £1.57bn support package to the arts. Lobbying works and we all hope that this money will be sufficient.

Stay fit, stay healthy and be safe and let’s all hope and pray that we can come together again as soon as possible.

David Pollak – Chairman
8th July 2020

Who are we?…

Based in Watford, with over 170 members and our own orchestra we are one of Hertfordshire’s largest and oldest amateur choral societies – founded in 1935 by Leslie Regan in association with the great Sir Henry Wood of BBC Proms fame.

Our history …

You can read more about our rich history HERE.

More about us …

Our repertoire features works by all the great composers from Bach to Bernstein and includes challenging classical masterpieces alongside Broadway, the West End and easy listening favourites.

The choir rehearses on Monday evenings and the orchestra on Wednesday evenings throughout term-time at the Watford Grammar School for Girls. We benefit from having the acoustically acclaimed Watford Colosseum as our regular concert venue. 

We provide vocal support for local charitable events and can be hired to perform for private functions and family occasions. For further information please contact timvenner@watfordphilharmonic.co.uk

The choir welcomes singers from all backgrounds. If you enjoy singing and preferably have some musical experience (even if it’s from school days) you can be sure of a warm welcome and plenty of encouragement. There is more information here:- Join Us

If you play an instrument up to the standard required for a Grade 8 award or its equivalent and would like to join our orchestra, we would be pleased to hear from you. Currently there are vacancies in all sections. There is more information here:- Join Us