LOUGHBOROUGH MALE VOICE CHOIR VISITS SOUTH COAST
St Mary’s Church, Felpham will act as the first host to the Loughborough Male Voice Choir when they make a rare visit to the south coast on a three day mini-tour at the end of September. The choir will be performing concerts in Felpham , Littlehampton and Cranleigh.
Chris Hill became the Musical Director of the Loughborough Male Voice Choir by accident in 2006 when the previous conductor retired through ill health. Hill has very eclectic musical tastes ranging from church organ Bach through folk, swing and 1960’s pop to various jazz standards. He said ‘I really enjoy playing jazz piano and so my ideal job would have been as Ella Fitzgerald’s accompanist’.
Hill went on to say, ’The Loughborough Male Voice Choir are a group of men who simply like to sing and enjoy the company of others doing so. We are an open choir so there are no auditions. The only conditions for joining are that you enjoy singing and are prepared to work to achieve the highest standard we can. A sense of humour is a bonus.’
The choir usually organise a weekend away each year but recently have broken that mould and have been to Harrogate, Bath and Gembloux in Belgium. Thirty five singers within a group of 60 including accompanist Becky Norton, will be coming to Sussex. Hill, went on to say ‘We are performing three concerts, one for each day of our visit. The first of these will be held at St Mary’s Church, Felpham on Friday, 27th September at 7.30pm and is entitled ‘Music is Life – That’s Why Our Hearts Have Beats. The music will be varied and will include contributions by our Shanty Folk Group and a Flanders and Swann tribute duo. Admission is free with a retiring collection in aid of church funds.’
Hill continued saying ‘The Loughborough Male Voice Choir sings a wide range of music from folk songs and Welsh hymns to pieces from operas, musicals and popular songs. The majority of the choir are not trained musicians so we learn our pieces in weekly practices and from downloaded audio files. It is remarkable that a group of everyday people, many of whom cannot read music, through their commitment and practice can produce sounds that touch their listener’s lives. There really is nothing quite like a male voice choir singing very quietly, or with vigour and energy, to send a shiver down the spine. Our Sussex audiences are in for a treat.’
Hill said, ‘We were originally invited by James Rushman, the Musical Director of The Edwin James Festival Choir initially to come and sing at St Mary’s, and then to perform in a joint concert ‘A Time for Remembrance’ with the Edwin James Festival Choir in Littlehampton. The link between the two choirs is Lyndon Gardner who has sung as a Tenor Soloist on three previous occasions with the Edwin James Festival Choir’. A ‘Time for Remembrance’ will be performed by both choirs at St James Church, East Ham Road, Littlehampton. Doors open at 6.45pm for 7.30pm concert. Admission will be free with a retiring collection for The Sussex Snowdrop Trust, a unique charity providing ‘nursing care at home’ for local children with a life-threatening illness or who are terminally ill. The Trust is based in the Chichester area and also offer emotional and financial support to families coping with day-to-day problems experienced in caring for a very sick child.
Loughborough Male Voice Choir will be performing a third concert at Cranleigh Methodist Church prior to returning home. The concert at St Mary’s Church ‘Music is Life – That’s why Hearts Have Beats’ will be performed at St Mary the Virgin Church, Felpham on Friday 27th September starting at 7.30pm. Admission will be free with a retiring collection for church funds.
Information provided by Maddie Wadley, The Edwin James Festival Choir
The Loughborough Male Voice Choir
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"Speaks what cannot be expressed,
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Flows from Heaven to the soul."
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