About Hull Choral Union
Hull Choral Union was founded in 1929 as a result of the amalgamation of two local musical societies, Hull Harmonic Society and Hull Vocal Society. The choir quickly established a strong reputation and has taken pleasure in bringing high quality choral events to the city of Hull ever since.
Our Chorus Master/Conductor is Paul Dewhurst.
He also conducts the Wakefield Festival Chorus as well as his work as Director of Music at Leeds Minster. Prior to this he held a similar position at PontefractParish Church (St Giles’) for nine years Whilst an under-graduate at the University of Hull, Paul held the University Organ Scholarship which involved him as an Assistant Organist at Beverley Minster, studying the organ with Alan Spedding and John Scott Whiteley at York Minster. Upon graduation he completed a Master’s degree in English Church Music at the University of East Anglia, focusing on choral conducting with Professor Peter Aston. Remaining in the area, he began a career as a teacher, whilst also being kept busy as an organist, singer and conductor with numerous groups throughout the area, including the cathedrals of St Edmundsbury and Chelmsford; the Wolsey Chamber Choir and the Britten-Pears Chamber Choir at Snape.
We perform an ever-extending repertoire from the great oratorios to contempory works. Each season typically consists of an autumn and a spring concert, with a Christmas performance of Handel’s Messiah and a Family Carol Concert on alternate years. Some of these events take place in the magnificent Hull City Hall.
Dr SB Ainsworth CBE past President and Vice President of the Hull Choral Union, together with J H Fenner Co Ltd, sponsored the work ‘Bridge For The Living’. He commissioned Anthony Hedges to compose the music to a poem by Philip Larkin to celebrate the opening of the Humber Bridge. The world premier was performed by Hull Choral Union in April 1981 and repeated again in October 1981.
Hull Choral Union is fortunate to have its own orchestra of local and regional musicians but on occasion has sung with visiting professional orchestras, including the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic and the Hallé. The society continues to work with international soloists and conductors and is particularly keen to attract soloists at the beginning of their careers.