Chichester Chorale in concert

Chichester Chorale will be joined by the University of Chichester Chamber Choir and the University Otter Consort for a night of British choral music on Saturday, April 28  at 7.30pm at St George's Church, Whyke, Chichester


All three choirs, totalling around 75 voices, will combine for the iconic Mass in G minor by Vaughan Williams in a programme which will also include Holst, Balfour Gardiner, Elgar and Stanford.

Chichester Chorale founder Arthur Robson will share conducting duties with his son Tom.

“We will also be using the splendid organ at St George’s which is quite an instrument. It’s great for accompanying choirs. It has got some concert sounds as well. There are lots of lovely effects. You can play the quite beefy loud stuff and also the quieter works.”

The University Otter Consort is a small group formed from the university’s chamber choir. They will be performing three songs by Frank Bridge and the three Shakespearean songs by Vaughan Williams.

“But the main focus, the big work, will be the Mass in G minor by Vaughan Williams which is an iconic work for two choirs and a group of soloists. It is quite a tricky piece. It is really not performed very much these days, sadly. I think it is rather neglected, perhaps because of the forces that it requires and also the fact that it is unaccompanied.

“Vaughan Williams was very keen on Tudor music and in this piece he uses these ancient modes within the setting. It starts with a very tranquil Kyrie and it has got an uplifting Gloria and then as you go through it, you get lots of different tones and voices. It is very rich in vocal constrasts.”

Linking it all is the fact that the composers are all British, though Arthur suspects that it is perhaps rather fanciful to talk of a common, discernible Britishness which runs through them.

“But it is a celebration of British music. We have got a psalm by Gustav Holst and also three motets by Stanford.

“I am working with my son Tom on this. We will both be conducting. We had a discussion between ourselves about what we could do, and it was his idea to go for an all British programme. It seemed a good idea to me!”

Booking details: £10 / £8 concessions. University of Chichester students and staff are free. Tickets on [email protected] or 0333 666 3366.

The Chichester Chorale returns on Friday, July 6 at 7.30pm for its Festival of Chichester concert, O For The Wings Of A Dove And More, Boxgrove Priory, Church Lane, Boxgrove, PO18 0ED: a feast of popular choral gems, with strings and organ, including: Vivaldi – Gloria; Mendelssohn – Hear My Prayer.

Tickets £12; children under 16s free.