The Society Today

A recent Society quiz night

A recent Society quiz night

The members of the HCS all have at least two interests - the enjoyment of singing, and the performance of choral works for local audiences!

The repertoire is varied with an average of three concerts per year. Winter concerts usually consist of classical music with Christmas carols; in Spring we often perform sacred music around Eastertime; and the summer concerts generally tend to feature a lighter programme, such as opera choruses or songs from the shows.

Over the years, we have performed the works of composers ranging alphabetically from Bach to Vivaldi by way of Cherubini, Elgar, Orff, Lehar, Poulenc, and Rutter. Sometimes we concentrate on one major work, on other occasions, several are featured.

Our conductor is still Peter J Williams, who was in on the founding of the Society in 1980. Our Accompanist Luke Saint joined us in September 2023.

The Choir also arranges regular social events such as Christmas parties, boat trips, and quiz suppers.

The HCS has an impressive list of overseas tours, including Germany, Belgium, Holland, Czech Republic, Austria and Hillingdon's twin town in France, Mantes la Jolie, where we went for the Three Choir Festival in 2003. We'll be touring in Belgium in 2024. Our previous tour was a very successful trip to Luxembourg in 2019. See our photos page for more.

The HCS is often invited to sing at local charity or other events. In recent years we have sung Christmas carols at the Harefield Dogs' Home, joined in a Help for Heroes concert at St Martin's Church in Ruislip, and sung at the opening of a new peace garden at the Cherry Lane Cemetery.

A recent Society quiz night

A recent Society quiz night

The Society is a Registered Charity.

Peter J Williams - Our Conductor

Peter's music career began very early on. Born in North London, at the age of twelve he was, at that time, the country's youngest church organist. By fourteen he had formed a local choir and conducted his first choral concert. At the London College of Music he studied conducting with Christopher Fry as well as the piano and organ. After graduating he joined the music teaching profession.

In 1973 Peter founded and was conductor of the Islington Choral Society, holding that post until 1990. In 1980 he founded Hillingdon Choral Society and five years later, Hillingdon Philharmonic Orchestra. He has continued to conduct both ever since. In addition to these posts, he was guest conductor of the Hillingdon Musical Society from 1989 to 1995 and for eight years was chairman of the Music Sub- Committee of the Hillingdon Arts Association.

At present Peter continues his work as a Tutor and Supervisor for teachers undertaking PGCE/QTS courses and Masters degrees for the University of Buckingham, Music Examiner for the London College of Music, and National Director of Music of the Free Church Choirs (formerly the Free Church Choir Union), as well as maintaining a small teaching practice.

Peter has worked with many distinguished soloists. As well as conducting concerts locally he has also conducted concerts in London at The Royal Festival Hall and The Queen Elizabeth Hall on the South Bank, The Cadogan Hall and in a number of cathedrals in the UK and Europe. He has led and directed many concert tours to France, Germany, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Austria, The Netherlands and Luxembourg. In December 2015 Peter was awarded the Michael Craxton Award by the Hillingdon Arts Association for outstanding service to the music of Hillingdon over many years. Peter is married and has two daughters and three granddaughters.