Final town hall concert will be war tribute

Sussex Symphony Orchestra will give the last-ever concert at Hove Town Hall on Saturday, December 6 (7.30pm).

Hove Town Hall is closing this December, to be converted into flats and offices.

Concert spokesman Mark Andrew James said: “On Christmas Eve and Christmas Day 1914, many soldiers along the front spontaneously and entirely unofficially, stopped fighting. The Christmas Truce was a symbolic moment of peace and humanity amidst one of the most violent events in human history.

“This concert is a combination of a Christmas concert and a tribute to those who gave their lives in World War One. There will be a collection for Help the Heroes.

“The programme includes the four carols that were sung during the unofficial truce on Christmas Eve 1914 during the conflict. Also on the programme is Le Tombeau de Couperin, written by Ravel, where each of the sections are depicting friends and family who lost lives in the war. Also being played is a work called In memoriam Rupert Brooke by FS Kelly, a deeply-moving work written during the war.

“There will be readings of works by Siegfried Sassoon and Wilfred Owen, depicting life, conditions and thoughts on the front line. These will be read by an army cadet from Brighton College and TV and radio personality Richard Reynolds.

“The second half of the programme is Beethoven’s Symphony No 7, given its first performance 208 years ago to the day, to commemorate the victory of the battle of Hanau.”

Mark added: “The Orchestra now has to find another venue, large enough for a sizeable audience with the facilities for a concert-going public.”