About Us

The choir and orchestra were founded in August 1998 by Mr James Edwin Rushman.  In May 2004 a committee was formed and the name was changed to 'The Edwin James Festival Choir'.


We put on a variety of concerts each year for all tastes, from classical to modern day so we hope there is something in our programme that takes your eye!


On certain occasions throughout the year, the choir and orchestra perform together to leave you wanting more!


The majority of our concerts are performed at St James the Great Church, Littlehampton, stjameslittlehampton.co.uk  and raise funds for charities and worthy causes. Please check out our concert listings for further information.


Our President

Our President is James Edwin Rushman, who is also our Musical Director, Conductor and Co-Founder of the Edwin James Festival Choir & Orchestra.

He trained as an organist in Brighton & Hove where he became resident organist in many churches from the age of 15, progressing to Choir Director and Organist arranging many concerts with Orchestra in which he conducted. This led to acting as Musical Director in many musicals in the Brighton area, including Annie Get Your Gun, Oklahoma, Fiddler on the Roof, South Pacific and many more, working with many orchestral groups.

It was when James came to Littlehampton to take the post at St James the Great Church where, as Musical Director, the choir became the core of the start of his own choir which has grown to what it is today.

When James left St James Church to become Director of Music at St Mary the Virgin in Felpham, he renamed the St James Concert Choir to the Edwin James Festival Choir. 

James' passion is music, both with our Choir and that of his Church Choir. Also as Director and conductor of The Edwin James Festival Orchestra where he brings together Musicians from all over the Sussex, Surrey and Hampshire arranging many of the pieces for both Choir and Orchestra.


His working life also includes Music in which he plays for Weddings and Funerals across the area. In 2010 James trained as a Funeral and Wedding Celebrant. James works with the families to arrange a service which is unique to their needs celebrating the person they have lost in words and music. For those who want a more personal Wedding service after the formalities of the Registry office James conducts the service where ever they wish to incorporate their requests for their special day.


All the time spent involved in music is only made possible because of the support of James' partner, the people who make up the two choirs and the many friends along the way, not forgetting our audiences and congregations who have continued to support the choirs.

Our Motto is ‘Music is Life’ and James' life is certainly that.

Fascinating Facts

Fact 1 - During our financial years for 2019 and 2020, the choir directly raised £5,373.00 for charities and good causes:-


  • St Barnabas Hospice
  • Chestnut Tree House Childrens' Hospice
  • St Wilfrid's Hospice
  • Alzheimer's Society
  • BBC Comic Relief
  • RNLI
  • St James Church, Littlehampton
  • Turning Tides


The total raised over the last 23 years is £141,321.16 (as per audit 06.09.2021)


Thank you.

Fact 2- The choir has its roots in the church so is often perceived as a church choir but it is very much a community choir.  We are a not-for-profit performing arts charitable organisation serving the Littlehampton and surrounding areas. Being a community choir:-


  • there are no auditions although the Musical Director will want to assess your voice.
  • the choir is not affiliated to any particular idea, culture or organisation (e.g. church or other faith group, particular style of music).
  • no prior musical knowledge is required (e.g. the ability to read music).
  • People are not excluded on the basis of age, race, gender,disability, sexual orientation etc.
  • we are a group of people singing together, united by our love of music, which has created a strong sense of community.
  • we have an organising committee which represents the views of the choir as a whole, and who also help to run social events for the choir.

Fact 3 - For 2021, we are proud to have 65 Patrons, 3 Life Members and 4 Honorary Life Patron. Thank you for your continued support!


"Speaks what cannot be expressed,

Soothes the mind and gives it rest,

Heals the heart and makes it whole,

Flows from Heaven to the soul."


Ticket Booking Line: 

+44 1243 582330 +44 1243 582330


Membership Booking line:

+44 1903 502262


Email : edwinjamesfestivalchoir@gmail.com


Or use our contact form.


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