AND MARRIAGE’ WITH POMP AND CIRCUMSTANCE
The combined talents of Musical Director James
Rushman and Production Director Chris Allen ensured the Choir, in their smart and colourful wedding outfits, presented an upbeat yet heart-warming first half of "Love and Marriage", followed by the
uplifting music of pomp and circumstance that can only announce a lively, charismatic and traditional entertaining Last Night of the Proms.
Attended by William Blanchard-Cooper, Littlehampton Mayor, the concert was held at St James Church in
Littlehampton. Magnificent festoons, drapes and wedding accessories as well as Union Jack bunting promoted the perfect atmosphere. From the outset the enthusiastic audience was swept along into a
Scottish Wedding with choir members standing round the church singing the ‘Bridal Song’ and ‘I love a Lassie’ while the Bride entered with her ‘Father’ to be given away to her Groom, rings exchanged
and the marriage sealed with a kiss. The ‘Bridal Chorus’ announced the English Wedding Party and their marriage followed by the choir singing ‘The Wedding’ and ‘One Hand, One Heart’. A
hilarious rendering of the poem ‘He Never Leaves the Seat Up’ was then given by Sandy Shiner and Chris Allen immediately prior to the Jewish wedding guest’s arrival. The Groom was led to the
canopy by the two Papas’, followed by the Rabbi, where they signed the Marriage Contract. The audience were asked to face the font as the Bride was led up the aisle by the two Mamas’ and the Rabbi
conducted the ceremony under the traditional Chuppah. Bride and Groom sipped wine after the Rabbi’s blessing in Hebrew followed by the Groom’s legal declaration in Hebrew and English. The glass
was smashed by the Groom with the group exclaiming ‘Mazel tov’. A skin tingling version of ‘Sunrise, Sunset’ to rival that of any performance in the recent run of Fiddler on the Roof was performed by
the choir and an increasingly lively version of ‘Hava Nagila’ completed the Jewish section as everyone danced their way back up the aisle. A short humorous interval ensued with two angry and tearful
brides walking up the aisle to find they were both being left in the lurch by the same callous boyfriend who, with barely a prick of conscience, sang I can’t Marry You Today…..My Wife Won’t Let
The sounds of rhythmic drums heralded the entrance of fierce looking Native American Indian Chiefs
accompanied by their squaws and the wedding couple. By then all choir members were on stage poised to sing ‘Come What May’, ‘Seasons of Love’, ‘Bella Notte’ and ‘The Last Night of the World’.
‘Love Me When I’m Old and Shocking’ was expertly performed by Lorna Haynes who had the audience shaking with laughter. All too soon, the first half of the concert drew to a close with ‘Louise’,
‘Gilly Gilly’, ‘Love and Marriage’ and a choir finale with members standing amongst the audience singing ‘Flash, Bang, Wallop’ and all jostling to be seen in the wedding photos.
The second half of the concert followed with all the traditional and much-loved ‘Last Night of the Proms’
formula with the Choir and audience singing ‘ Sussex by the Sea’, ‘Pomp and Circumstance- Land of Hope and Glory’, and ‘I Vow to the My Country.’ The Choir, as last year, had elected to
sing the pieces from Fantasia on British Sea Songs which were all enthusiastically enjoyed by a flag waving audience. The evening concluded with ‘Jerusalem’ and the National Anthem. The concert
was performed in aid of 4SIGHT, a Sussex-based organisation caring for the blind and partially sighted as well as carers and families. The Mayor thanked the choir for their continuing efforts to
entertain the Littlehampton Community and took a photograph for posterity.