Landmark anniversary for Angmering Chorale

George Jones
George Jones

Angmering Chorale are celebrating 40 years of music this autumn, with a busy programme coming up.

A major performance of Verdi’s Requiem on November 26 in Arundel Cathedral will be one of the anniversary season highlights. Spokeswoman Marilyn Hurdwell explains: “Way back in 1976, a small group of parents and teachers assembled together at Angmering School at the instigation of the then Head of Music, Les Harverson, to form a new choir. Due to their size the group became known as the Angmering Chorale, and their first performance was of Stainer’s Crucifixion. Since then the choir has grown steadily in size, experience and expertise in Les’ capable hands, but when he retired due to ill health, a new MD had to be found. The story goes that a certain George Jones was spotted walking along the pavement bearing a small package containing a conductor’s baton, which led to an invitation to visit the choir. Already the MD of Billingshurst Choral Society, George was soon invited to take over Angmering Chorale, and the rest is history!

“Since then, George has introduced and trained the choir in most of the great choral repertoire of the 17th to 21st centuries. Angmering Chorale has performed in many prestigious venues, notably Arundel Cathedral, London’s Royal Festival Hall and the Brandenburg Choral Festival, Leicester, Paris, USA (Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall) and perhaps most poignantly in 2014 for the Commemoration of the Battle of Normandy (D-Day Landings) at Ouistreham and Bayeux Cathedral.”

Marilyn added: “Other events in this anniversary season will be the annual Christmas Concert at Angmering School on December 10, with Patcham Silver Band and choirs from local primary schools. Choral Classics will take place at the Brandenburg Choral Festival in St Paul’s, Covent Garden on February 4, and A Night at the Opera is scheduled for June 24 at Angmering School.

“Angmering Chorale has been fortunate to enjoy the loyalty and support of its audiences, members (currently over 100), the wonderful Sinfonia of Arun (leader Robin Morrish) and a dedicated committee.

“Last but not least, tribute must be paid to multi-talented deputy and accompanist Alison Manton and above all to the inspirational direction of George Jones himself.

“Angmering Chorale will celebrate its 40th birthday in what promises to be a spectacular and moving performance of Verdi’s monumental Requiem, on November 26 at Arundel Cathedral at 7.30pm. They will be joined by members of Arun Choral Society, four professional soloists and the Sinfonia of Arun.”

Tickets at £15 are available at the Chorale box office on 01243 554501, and more details can be found at www.theangmeringchorale.org.uk.

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