Events.    Spring & SUMMER



Scroll down to read all the exciting event details and editorials below

BOOK NOW VIA: Box Office: 01582 767525 Southdown Rd, Harpenden,  AL5 1TE

REVIEW. Hertfordshire Chamber Orchestra Concert. 

Conductor James Southall. January 11th 2020

The annual concert in Harpenden with all proceeds supporting

the A-T Society, a charity founded by a local family.

Let me take you to heaven - well not literally - but to the sacred church of St. Nicholas in Harpenden where an enthusiastic audience listened to three pieces of classical music:

Janacek’s darkly lyrical Adagio for Orchestra.

Brahms’ glorious Double Concerto for violin and cello, with the talented soloists Benjamin Nabarro and Gemma Rosefield

Dvorak’s 7th Symphony considered by many to be his greatest.

But for me the highlight of the evening was the Double Concerto for Violin (soloist Benjamin Nabarro) and  Cello (soloist Gemma Rosefield). They played with passion and virtuosity. As always the Hertfordshire Chamber Orchestra were superb, led by James Southall. A conductor  of amazing energy and enthusiasm for each piece of music  - bringing each  section of the orchestra into a harmonious  resonance. It was a truly heavenly evening.

Sarah Adjers made an impassioned speech about The A-T Society giving an insight into the very rare and life limiting genetic condition ataxia-telangiectasia.  Based in Harpenden the small team of people, supported by families and friends rely on support from the general public.

So if you have a moment to spare and feel you can donate to this charity that makes such a difference please contact the A-T Society via the web site:

A-T Society ataxia-telangiectasia awareness research.


Janáček    Adagio for Orchestra.

A lively introduction showing the ebbs and flows involving all sections of the orchestra. This was a new composition for me so I listened attentively, giving warm applause at the end.

Brahms Double Concerto for violin and cello

After a short full orchestral introduction both soloists joined the music moving from the highest notes of the violin to the deepest notes of the cello. This powerful section was emphasised by the sheer physicality of both soloists who shared the spotlight together making real drama. Moving on in other movements the tone changed to an almost gypsy music feel with slower and more tender renditions, again with both players working together. Back and forth with full orchestral involvement the conductor achieved a masterful ending to massive applause from the audience.

Dvorák’s 7th Symphony

A piece of high drama with a degree of solemnity and a wonderful transfer of instrumental colors from clarinet-dominated winds to strings to brass, all merging into flute- and oboe-led winds, accompanied by plucked strings. With such power and delicacy to control, the conductor worked flat out to balance every sector of the orchestra and harmonise into a frantic ending, leaving everyone drained of energy.

Benjamin Nabarro   violinist

Described by Musical Opinion as "an outstanding artist", Benjamin Nabarro has performed throughout Europe, North America, Africa, and the Middle and Far East. As a soloist or guest concert master he has played with the BBC Symphony, BBC Scottish Symphony, English Chamber and Scottish Chamber Orchestras, and with the Philharmonia, where he played Scherezade under the baton of Charles Dutoit. His concerto performances have won praise for their "purity of style, elegance of phrasing and unsurpassed perfection of technique" (Musical Opinion).

Gemma Rosefield   cellist

Winner of the prestigious Pierre Fournier Award at Wigmore Hall in 2007, Gemma Rosefield made her concerto debut at the age of sixteen, when she won First Prize in the European Music for Youth Competition in Oslo, Norway, playing a televised performance of the Saint-Saens Concerto with the Norwegian Radio Symphony Orchestra. Gemma gives some 50 performances a year as cellist of Ensemble 360, Royal Philharmonic Society Medal Winners, 2013, whose performances are described by the Independent as ‘brimming with body and soul, with passion, vitality and virtuosity, whose performances never cease to amaze’.

Gemma plays on a cello made in Naples in 1704 by Alessandro Gagliano, formerly owned and played by the Prince Regent.

The Hertfordshire Chamber Orchestra

Founded in 1966  by keen amateur musicians who had enjoyed making music in various university orchestras and wanted to continue playing after graduation. Players were initially recruited through university contacts, however, over the five decades players have continued to recommend and bring along friends and colleagues.The majority of players are from a wide variety of professions working in and around London. Former musical directors have included Sir Andrew Davis, Nicholas Collon and Edmon Colomer, now the president of the orchestra.

The orchestra are now celebrating their 50th anniversary year.

R. Taylor

Conductor James Southall

James read music as an Organ Scholar at Queens’ College, Cambridge and received a Masters with Distinction from the Royal College of Music in London.

He is an accomplished pianist and has performed recitals at Wigmore Hall, Cadogan Hall and live on BBC Radio 3. He was a cellist in the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain and performed with conductors Yan Pascal Tortelier, Jiri Belohlavek, Sir Mark Elder and Sir Roger Norrington.

Since 2016, he has conducted the series of Family Concerts and Schools Concerts at WNO.

In 2017 he conducted the Royal Birmingham Symphony Orchestra in concert.

 In 2018 he was conductor for the Opera Gala at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama with the WNO Orchestra. 


Above right. A sketch of Gemma Rosefield drawn on the night by local artist Sue Taylor.

Harpenden theatre-goers are invited on a fun-filled summer holiday, as Harpenden Musical Theatre Company perform ‘Summer Holiday’, the feel-good stage musical, based on the 1963 Cliff Richard film.

Join Don and his fellow London Transport bus mechanics on a on a joyous jaunt across Europe in a Routemaster bus. They travel through Paris, the Alps, Italy and finally Greece, picking up three young girls in a clapped-out Morris Minor and a young American pop star on the run from her domineering mother along the way.

All this to the strains of a hit-filled score featuring Summer Holiday, Bachelor Boy, Living Doll, The Young Ones, I Could Easily Fall in Love with You and On the Beach.

A real taste of Great British nostalgia to get your toes tapping.

The show runs from Tuesday 24 March to Saturday 28 March 2020 and tickets are on sale now.

Box Office 01582 767525, or visit for details.


It was certainly a ‘grand’ event, when the Music Makers Choir of Harpenden held their Christmas Charity Carol Concert just a few weeks ago.

Not only did they perform in front of an audience of over 200 people, but they raised over £1000 for their chosen charity in 2019 – Harpenden Mencap. They were joined on stage by the Chamber choir from Aldwickbury School, who thrilled the audience with their wonderful singing.

In the photograph, a cheque for £1100 is being presented to Julie Caseberry, Chairman of the Harpenden Mencap Executive Committee, surrounded by some of the choir’s members. Julie thanked Music Makers for supporting Mencap in this way, and spoke of her fond memories of an uplifting concert.

The Music Makers are currently rehearsing for their next concert, when they will be singing Mozart’s Mass in C Minor, together with pieces by Schubert, Bruckner and Haydn. This will take place on the evening of Saturday 4th April in the Harpenden High Street Methodist Church. The choir will be accompanied by a full chamber orchestra, and professional soloists. It should be another grand event. 

Harpenden History Walks

Sunday 23rd February 2020

10am till 2pm

Harpenden History walks will be bookable guided tours run by the Harpenden Local History Society in partnership with Harpenden Town Council. The tours will be full of interesting facts and details about the historical research into some of Harpenden’s older buildings. All guided tours will leave on the hour at 10am, 11am, 12noon and 1pm. Tours will last 30-45 minutes. The tours will meet at Harpenden Farmers’ Market on the Lower High Street and will walk through the town and onto the Common. Tours are free to book onto and places are on a first come, first served basis. Donations are welcome at the end of the tours and all donations will go the History Society. Tickets can be booked on the following link -


Harpenden Street Festival

Sunday 22nd March 2020

10am till 2pm

The Harpenden Street Festival will be using lots of space up and down the High Street including Church Green, Leyton Green (between the banks), the concourse, sensory garden and other small green spaces. The Street Festival will include Circus performers and workshops, dancing, street performances, face painting, live music, demonstrations and much more! The festival will feature Dan the Hat, a hat juggler and comedian that has been performing all over the world for the last 17 years in front of thousands of people. Dan will take Harpenden on a frenzied journey of skills and comedy with his quick wit and on the button ‘improv’ silliness. You can also expect to be wowed by the excellent bicycle stunt riders and the bubble wizard. Harpenden based company, Showtime Circus will be running workshops on the day as well as their teachers showing off some unusual skills!


Harpenden Street Food Social

Sunday 26th April 2020

10am till 9pm

You might be familiar with the monthly Street Food Social that is run from April to August by Emile on the Concourse. Along with the hot food that is available at the regular monthly Farmers’ Market, street food traders will be welcomed to the Concourse opposite Boots and music, a bar and a seating area for people to enjoy will add to the atmosphere. Emile will bring his menu to the gathering, along with a wide selection of other chefs offering their cooking talents. The Harpenden Street Food Social is a monthly event from April to August and this one will be an additional social to celebrate the Herts Year of Culture. Street Food Social brings together a diverse collection of local street food vendors with foods from around the world. Visitors to the Social can quench their thirst with a locally brewed beer and cider, or indulge in a chilled glass of Prosecco from the licensed bar - there’s something for everyone’s tastes. A DJ at the event will bring a relaxed atmosphere and assortment of music from all genres for visitors to the event. If you are a food and drink trader and interested in attending, please approach Emile directly who will be coordinating traders at the event.


Harpenden Vegan Food Fair

Sunday 24th May 2020

10am till 3pm

First time in Harpenden... The Harpenden Vegan Food Fair is being organised by Greengage Tree Ltd in partnership with Harpenden Town Council. Greengage Tree Ltd are a Harpenden based vegan trader and currently attend the monthly Farmers’ Market. The Vegan Market will be based on Church Green in Harpenden and will host a variety of the best vegan traders from London and beyond. Frederick and Sarah from Greengage are coordinating traders for this event and can be contacted via their website if you are interested


Harpenden Talent Stage

Sunday 28th June 2020

10am till 2pm

Harpenden Town Council will be hosting a stage in the town (likely to be located in the sensory garden), which will be available for community groups & local performers. The talent stage is an opportunity for Harpenden to celebrate talent in the town during the Herts Year of Culture. Closer to the time, an invite will be sent out to the community to take a slot on the stage. Stay tuned for more details! If you are interested in performing or have suggestions of who can perform, please send these to our events support officer, Faye Sarron – / 01582 463547.


Storytime with Outdoor Games

Sunday 26th July 2020

10am till 2pm

To celebrate Herts Year of Culture, Harpenden Town Council will be organising storytime sessions in partnership with Harpenden Library. Storytime sessions will be advertised closer to the time with age recommendations for each session. There will also be craft activities and outdoor games for children to participate in. This event will be based in the sensory garden.


Art in the Town

Sunday 23rd August 2020

10am till 4pm

The organisers of Art on the Common that takes place in June alongside the Summer Carnival will also be running an Art in the Town event on Church Green in August. Art in the Town will feature approximately 25 traders. The event is run in order to raise money for charity.


Food and Drink Festival

Sunday 20 September 2020

10am till 2pm

To celebrate the Herts Year of Culture, the Harpenden Food and Drink Festival will return to the High Street in September. The event will host more than 70 food and drink stalls that will feature a delicious variety of takeaway meals and snacks, craft beers, flavored gins and liquors, meats, pies, sausages, fish, preserves, cheeses, fruit and vegetables, fresh bread, eggs and more. The Festival will include lots of entertainment with a music stage, pop up restaurants, cookery theatre, tasting tents, Children’s entertainment and performances. There will be an opportunity for Harpenden based food and drink businesses to be involved. The event will make use of Church Green, the Sensory Garden, green spaces in the High Street and Leyton Road (between the banks).  As planning moves on in the coming months, we will be able to share more information on what this involvement looks like but if you have any thoughts or suggestions of how you would like to be involved, we very much welcome your ideas. Please contact me / 01582 463668.

Making Homes for Wildlife

Sunday 27th September 2020

10am till 2pm

Our town council officers in partnership with the Wildlife Trust will run a drop in event from Sensory Garden where they will be making homes for wildlife that members of the public can take home with them. The homes for wildlife will include bird boxes, log slices and more. The event will be suitable for all the family.


 Harpenden’s Halloween Trail

Sunday 25th October 2020

10am till 2pm

Harpenden Town Council will work with 10 local businesses to develop a Halloween trail around the town.  The businesses will set up a Halloween theme display for children to visit and tick off their map trail.  Each child that completes the trail on the day will be given a small prize and entered into a prize draw for the overall prize.  Shop owners and participants will be encouraged to dress up for the occasion. This event will run in line with the monthly Harpenden Farmers’ Market as part of Herts Year of Culture celebrations. I will be attending the next Business Forum to discuss this with you all more. Business Forum members will be given the first opportunity to be involved and the trail will then be opened up to other retailers if there is space. If you would like to express an interest in being involved earlier than the next meeting, please do so by contacting me on / 01582 463668.

Harpenden Christmas Carnival

Sunday 22nd November 2020

12noon till 6pm

Harpenden Town Council’s annual Christmas Carnival will return on Sunday 22nd November. The festivities will include the monthly Farmers’ Market, Santa's Grotto, the Henry Harris Funfair, the Main Stage, walk about entertainment, Young Enterprise Trade Fair and the much-anticipated PROCESSION which will make its way down Sun Lane, along the High Street and up Vaughan Road from 3pm.


Harpenden Farmers Market Celebrates Christmas

Sunday 20th December 2020

10am till 2pm

The Farmers’ Market in December will fall a week earlier to avoid the Christmas period. The Farmers’ Market in December will have a general Christmas theme with live choirs and more!  Chestnuts and mulled drinks will be available to purchase as well as a visit from Father Christmas.  There will be a Christmas Craft activity for children to take part in. More details to come!


20 September

Meet Your Street with a Street Party or Playing Out

Two local community organisations; Playing Out St Albans District and Our Street Party, are both running information sessions this March to encourage local residents to “meet their street”.

The Playing Out scheme has recently been introduced in St Albans, allowing residents to apply to close their road for play and community building - up to 8 times a year. Our Street Party is a Hertfordshire-based volunteer group who support residents who want to apply to close their road for a one-off street party.

Nicola Wyeth, volunteer for Our Street Party, said,

Street parties can be organised for any date, provided permission is granted by Herts County Council.  There are a number of celebrations coming up this year for which residents could organise a street party including VE Day weekend of 8-10 May, the Big Lunch weekend of 6-7 June and the Great Together weekend of 19-21st June.

Further information about Playing Out St Albans District can be found online at

Harpenden Town Council Hosting Harpenden Street Festival

Harpenden Town Council is excited to announce the Harpenden Street Festival, the launch event for the Town Council’s 2020 Hertfordshire Year of Culture event programme. The free event is running on Sunday 22 March from 10am-2pm in line with the Farmers’ Market.

The event will pack the high street with live music, walkabout entertainment, performances, and more. A Trick Gravity bike display will wow audiences on Leyton Green with multiple extreme sports shows throughout the day, while the Sensory Garden will host performances from Dan the Hat, a juggler & comedian, and the Caring, Sharing Circus, which will be recruiting audience members to participate in an amazing circus show!

Live musical performances will take place throughout the day on Church Green, and more family-friendly fun will be on hand with a mobile zoo, Showtime Circus workshops, the Bubble Wizard, stilt walkers, a caricaturist, and Peter Templeman’s outdoor wooden games. There will be lots of food & drink available at the event, with a bar area on Church Green and street food trucks on the concourse (opposite the Harpenden Library), in addition to the regular refreshments available from the Farmers’ Market traders.

Harpenden Town Mayor Cllr Brian Ellis said, “The Street Festival is the perfect way to welcome Spring to Harpenden and kick off the Town Council’s Hertforshire Year of Culture events programme. This year will be an exciting one with the Town Council’s expanded events offering, and we look forward to hosting residents at our special events throughout 2020.”

Attendees are encouraged to walk to the event where possible as parking is limited. The Harpenden Town Council Herts Year of Culture events will run in conjunction with local community groups & businesses alongside our monthly Harpenden Farmers’ Markets. The programme of events for Harpenden can be found online at

Saturday March 21. Come and meet your community organisations.

The Community Showcase is on Saturday, March 21, at High Street Methodist Church Hall from 10am to 2pm. And it’s free.

Rotary in Harpenden is staging a Community Showcase. The event will bring together a range of local charities and community organisations to tell local residents about the work they do and the support they offer.

Rotary in Harpenden’s Valerie Beale, the event’s joint organiser, said: “There are Harpenden people with problems and there are local organisations that could help them. The Showcase aims to bring the two parties together.

“You may have disabilities and need help in the home, or you’re lonely and looking for company, or you’re having difficulty making ends meet, or perhaps you have children and are looking for help. This is a chance for you to discover the local organisation that can support you.

March. Make Hand Washing a regular event where ever you are.

Don’t fall into the ‘INTENTION - BEHAVIOR’ gap.

Help keep Coronavirus at bay in Harpenden


March 11. World Famous star ‘On Fire’ at Harpenden Public Halls on March 10.

A packed Hall enjoyed an incredible show from the legendary LULU ahead of her West End show.