Halstead Choral Society is one of the oldest non-audition musical societies in Essex with records going back 75 years. The Choral Society has a reputation for presenting concerts of a wide and varied content to a high standard of musical performance. In 2007 we celebrated 50 years as Halstead and District Choral Society although records went back at least another 25 years under different names. Led by Musical Director, Philip Prior, the choral society sings a variety of music and we hold 4 concerts a year including a Carol Concert at Christmas.
Philip Prior graduated from Anglia Polytechnic University with a B.Ed (Hons) degree and taught for 5 years at Kelvedon Hatch Primary School, with responsibility for Music throughout the school. In November 2002, he was appointed Acting Assistant Director of Music at St Cedd's School in Chelmsford, where he continued to teach until leaving at Easter 2007 to pursue a career as a freelance organist and teacher. In September 2004, he completed a postgraduate Master of Arts degree in Choral Education at the Roehampton Institute in London, part of the University of Surrey. Philip studied organ with Roy Wise, Gillian Ward Russell and Alison Baker, and held church posts in Hutton, Brentwood and Billericay before being appointed Director of Music at St Peter-ad-Vincula, Coggeshall in March 2004. In January 2014 he was appointed Musical Director to Halstead Choral Society in North Essex.
Rehearsal AccompanistHector started his musical life as a chorister at Chelmsford Cathedral Choir. He played viola in KEGS Senior Orchestra, the two Essex youth orchestras and Essex Youth String Quartet. He obtained ABRSM Grade 8 Piano with Distinction under the tutoring of Fiona Lau. He then studied at the University of Manchester and completed his Diploma of Higher Education in Music in July 2011. Whilst there he played in the Manchester University Symphony Orchestra and accompanied the Manchester University Wind Band. Recently he has sung in the choir at St Andrews church Earls Colne.