The Huntingdonshire Philharmonic Society, or the Hunts Phil, as we are usually known, is unusual in that it is a joint choral and orchestral society. For much of our history we have had one Musical Director who conducts both groups, though there have also been periods when we have been jointly led by an Orchestral Conductor and a Chorus Master, as is the case at present. We tend to rehearse following the school term pattern, with half-term and Christmas, Easter, and Summer breaks, but this depends on the scheduling of our concerts. These normally take place in October, December, March, May, and June for the Choir, and November, December, March, and June for the Orchestra, but our pattern varies depending on what we are performing.
Our joint concerts (March and June) normally include a major work for chorus and orchestra in one half of the concert, and a major orchestral work in the other. Our orchestral concert (November) often takes the traditional overture-concerto-symphony, format, and our Christmas matinée concert is family-themed and includes seasonal favourites for both choir and orchestra. These concerts all take place in the Hinchingbrooke Performing Arts Centre. The two choral concerts take place in St Mary’s Church, Godmanchester, and are usually accompanied by a chamber ensemble principally derived from the orchestra. Our Hinchingbrooke concerts are conducted by the orchestral conductor, and the concerts in St Mary’s Church by the chorus master.
Our current membership fees are £140 per year, though fees are waived for students in full-time education. Eligible members are also kindly requested to take advantage of the gift aid scheme, so that the society can claim back tax on a significant part of the subscription fee.
We currently have around thirty orchestral members, including our paid leader, Cathryn Neuhauser, with colleagues and friends joining to complete our forces on the day of the concert. We rehearse on Thursday nights from 7:45pm until 9:45pm in the Hall at Godmanchester Community Academy (Park Lane, Godmanchester, PE29 2AG), and we are always on the look out for enthusiastic new members, especially amongst brass and string players. If you are interested in joining us, please send us an e-mail on firstname.lastname@example.org and we can welcome you to one or two taster rehearsals. If you enjoy it, we ask you to take part in a very short, informal audition; in general we ask that you have some orchestral experience, no matter how long ago it was, and a minimum of Grade 7 ability.
We currently have around seventy choir members, but when we are performing the very largest works in the repertoire we often team up with another choir. There is no audition process to join the choir, but we are looking for singers who have a nice clear voice, are enthusiastic, and if at all possible have some choral experience, no matter how long ago it was. We rehearse on Tuesday nights from 7:45pm until 9:45pm in the Hall at Godmanchester Community Academy (Park Lane, Godmanchester, PE29 2AG). If you are interested in joining us, please send us an e-mail on email@example.com and we can welcome you to one or two taster rehearsals.