NameSacred Harmonic Society; 1832-1878; British amateur choir
BiographyThe Sacred Harmonic Society was founded in London as an amateur choral society in 1832 for the weekly practice of music of an exclusively sacred character. The first home of the Society was the Gate Chapel in Lincoln's Inn Fields. In 1836 it was granted the use of the larger Exeter Hall, focus of London's dissenting community and designed for religious and charitable meetings. The works of Handel were part of its core repertoire and the society also performed the major new works of Spohr and Mendelssohn, including the London première of Elijah in 1847. At the Handel Festival of 1859 the Sacred Harmonic choir numbered 2765. The Sacred Harmonic Society provided the nucleus for the nationally represented choir of the Trial Festival of 1857 (numbering 2000, with an orchestra of about 400), prior to the Centenary Festival of 1859, which inaugurated the triennial Handel Festival. In 1882, the Society disbanded after losing the use of its Exeter Hall base.

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