Moor Harmony Background

Brief History and What We Do.


"make music and have fun doing it" - that's what we're about !


'Moor Harmony' was established in December 1999 under the ignominious name of   "The Choir"; a name that stuck for about four years. We held a competition between ourselves for a new name and it was Ron, a long standing member of the bass section, who we thank for coming up with 'Moor Harmony'.

We may be based in South Zeal but we like tho think that we are a four village choir including members from Belstone, Sticklepath and South Tawton too however, we heartily welcome anyone from further afield who would like to join in.

Our repertoir is broad - see the 'Repertoire' tab including everything from requiems to Broadway Musical hits.  The list on the 'repertoire' tab gives you some idea how diverse we are.

We arrange our own concerts and the principle is that they are always free entry - although we do have retiring collections as the subs don't cover the full cost of accompanists and printing music. If at all possible we like to break-even but often we will dig into choir funds to try and make a donation to the venue that has hosted us. However over the last couple of years we have taken on a couple of larger works and in the future, as in 2013, will be raising funds for a charitable organisations on a bi-annual basis.

Technically we count ourselves as a 'Chamber Choir' of about two dozen singers (although we have hit over 30 people for Christmas before now) with some members preferring simply to come along for the autumn/Christmas season whilst others stay all year. Don't even think that we fall into that whole "Community Choir" thing with the dancing about and glittering blazers - that's NOT us (I understand Exeter is the place for that)! We break up for a few weeks after Christmas and also have a good long break in the summer after the Open Gardens day concert in South Zeal (3rd Sunday in June) before meeting again in September.


Joining Moor Harmony :


Why not give us a go ? We don't have auditions and anyone is welcome. Rehearsals are quite informal and have a 'lets go for it' kind of attitude. You needn't have any previous experience, training or even be able to read music; simply being willing to join in is all we ask; everything else will follow but we do ask that you make a commitment to the group and attend rehearsals regularly. September is traditionally the start of our new year but if you check-out the Rehearsal Schedule page you may see another appropriate slot to consider coming along. You get to attend the first rehearsal free, thereafter our 'sub' is £15.00 for the year or remainder thereof.


Booking :


Our preferred way of operating is to 'do our own thing' however, weddings are a favourite so why not get in touch if you have a special occasion? (We would appreciate a couple of months notice at least). Please contact us at the address below to discuss your requirements and fees :


Committee :


Currently the committee is comprised of Jeremy (MD). Top-bass John (Treasurer) top-alto Deborah (Secretary) top-bass Robin and also top-bass Tall Paul,top-tenor, Paul (NOT 'Short!) and top-sop Fiona (NOT Fi!). What we really need at the moment is a librarian to store, sort, hand out and devise a system to look after our music better than we do just now (feel free to apply) as this is one of our biggest expenses. If you are interested in joining the committee please let us know (naturally you do have to be a member!).


Our Colours ....


Not many people know this but, our 'official' colours are purple and gold. The long standing tradition of a choir in black and white was a bit boring (and the ladies didn't like being 'dressed up as waitresses') so during a prolonged discussion on the subject at a rehearsal, many years ago, during which sopranos were arguing with altos about which shade of white to use (!), the men had had enough. Exasperated, Robin stood up and said "Why not purple and gold ? The Assyrian came down like the wolf on the fold, And his cohorts were gleaming in purple and gold; ..." After a slightly pregnant pause this was  seconded and that was the job done; Thankyou Robin! The boys themselves maintain a costume of any coloured waistcoat and bow tie they have to hand ! The quote, above,  comes from a poem by Byron, 'The Destruction of Sennacherib' and here is the full thing :

The Assyrian came down like the wolf on the fold,
And his cohorts were gleaming in purple and gold;
And the sheen of their spears was like stars on the sea,
When the blue wave rolls nightly on deep Galilee.

Like the leaves of the forest when Summer is green,
That host with their banners at sunset were seen:
Like the leaves of the forest when Autumn hath blown,
That host on the morrow lay withered and strown.

For the Angel of Death spread his wings on the blast,
And breathed in the face of the foe as he passed;
And the eyes of the sleepers waxed deadly and chill,
And their hearts but once heaved, and for ever grew still!

And there lay the steed with his nostril all wide,
But through it there rolled not the breath of his pride;
And the foam of his gasping lay white on the turf,
And cold as the spray of the rock-beating surf.

And there lay the rider distorted and pale,
With the dew on his brow, and the rust on his mail:
And the tents were all silent, the banners alone,
The lances unlifted, the trumpet unblown.

And the widows of Ashur are loud in their wail,
And the idols are broke in the temple of Baal;
And the might of the Gentile, unsmote by the sword,
Hath melted like snow in the glance of the Lord!