Music group’s ninth season

Claire Southworth and Lauren Scott.
Claire Southworth and Lauren Scott.

Funtington Music Group launches into its ninth year at the University of Chichester with a sparkling programme of musical delights for the year ahead.

“We have had an extremely successful eight years,” says chairman David Tinsley.

Previously, the group met at Funtington - until a switch to the university opened up a wealth of new possibilities.

“We have had so many marvellous people come from all over the country and also many good local people. The link with the university puts us in touch with so many excellent musicians and music students.”

The group’s aims are the promotion and study of music through the medium of lectures, recitals and concerts presented by experts.

“The group has a close and rewarding relationship with the University of Chichester where, as their guests, monthly meetings are held on Wednesday evenings in the Chapel of the Ascension. The excellent acoustics, comfortable seating and a new Steinway concert grand piano make for a perfect venue.”

The group operates on a membership basis and is also an educational charity,

“As in past years, the group is again sponsoring a Student Showcase Concert when six auditioned university music students compete for the Robert Headley Memorial Fund prizes worth a total of £1,000.

“In order to ensure that the Memorial Fund has sufficient funds to continue its charitable work, group members are encouraged to use Gift Aid for their subscriptions and any other donations, so we can apply to the Inland Revenue for a tax refund.

“So far the Robert Headley Memorial Fund has given £21,500 in grants and prizes to Chichester music students to help with fees and other expenses when continuing with their professional studies.”

Membership currently stands at 133, a level which creates stability and allows the group to plan ahead with confidence. David said maximum membership would be 150, but he stressed visitors are always welcome. Tickets are £10 on the door or can be booked in advance from David on 01243 379335. New members should also call on that number.

“This year’s programme covers a wide range of musical subjects including two meetings devoted to the demonstration of brass instruments and percussion.

“In June, the popular Summer Evening Buffet Concert features the Rymans Trio led by the virtuoso pianist Christopher Gayford with Martin Cropper on violin.

“The ninth year starts with a survey by Adam Swayne of film music. In February, the virtuoso harpsichordist David Pollock describes the delights of Bach’s Well Tempered Clavier.

“In March, Claire Southworth, Professor of Flute at the Royal Academy, demonstrates the versatility of the flute family and in May, Angela Zanders explores Beethoven’s romantic music for the piano. The year ends with a flourish by the six piece Aurora Wind Ensemble, led by clarinettist Andrew Mason.”

All meetings are Wednesdays at 7.30pm in the University of Chichester Chapel.

The programme at a glance:

January 11: Film music by Adam Swayne. Multi-media presentation piano recital

February 8: Bach’s Well Tempered Clavier. Lecture recital by harpsichordist David Pollock.

March 14: Claire Southworth (flute) with Lauren Scott (harp). Lecture recital on the flute.

March 18: Student Showcase Concert, £1,000 prize fund, first prize £500.

May 9: Beethoven and his Appassionata Sonata. Lecture recital by Angela Zanders

June 13: Summer Evening Buffet Concert. The Rymans Trio with Christopher Gayford (piano) and Martin Cropper (violin). £25.

September 12: Travelling By Tuba. A journey of Brass Instrument Magic by Chris Cranham with Stewart Death (piano).

October 19. The Orchestral Kitchen Department. Demonstration and recital by percussionist Andrew Whetton.

November 14. Aurora Wind Ensemble. An opportunity to hear a wind quintet with piano perform rarely-heard classical works.