Established in 1860, the history of Haverhill Choral Society shows it has not always been as succesful as it is today.

Thanks to the determination of local characters though, it has always been revived to sing again.

The earliest recorded performance was in 1871, Barnett's The Ancient Mariner at the Old Independent Church's original building.  During this time the Society was directed by Daniel Gurteen Jnr.

Similar cantatas by Victorian composers were performed in the next few years, and finally Handel's Messiah was attempted in 1875, followed by the same composer's Samson and Judas Maccabeus. 

By 1884 the Choral Union, as it was then known, had moved into the new Town Hall with its magnificent organ, and was organising special trains from Halstead, on the Colne Valley Line, for its concerts.

This success continued, with rather predictable annual performances of the same cantatas and oratorios, until 1897 when Handel's Acis and Galatea proved financially disappointing.  The group began to falter and was disbanded in 1905, after a half-hearted Messiah.

After a lapse of almost twenty years the Choral Union was revived in 1924 with a fine performance of Elijah one year later.  The Ancient Mariner was chosen for 1926 and there were intermittent performances for the next two decades, including a Samson in 1928 and Sterndale Bennett's The Woman of Samaria in June 1942 (this was conducted from the organ by Mr George Leake who had been with the Society since 1889!).

In 1950 two combined concerts were given with the Clare Choral Society: Hiawatha, Messiah and Acis and Galatea.  It appears that the Society then lapsed again until October 1964.  David Willcocks became President for several years and gave valuable support to the Society. 

The society made a successful continental debut under the baton of Edward Dodge in 1990 during a visit to Pont St Esprit, Haverhill's twin town in France.

Today? With over 50 members from Haverhill and the surronding villages, Haverhill Choral Society is enjoying one of its most successful periods ever.