Talented choirs raise the roof

CHORAL groups produced a ‘high standard’ of performance when they took to the stage at Worthing Assembly Hall as part of the Worthing Music and Arts Festival (WMAAF) last Thursday.

W10593H14  Downsbrook  Glee Club in the Glee Club performing at Worthing Music and Arts Festival
W10593H14 Downsbrook Glee Club in the Glee Club performing at Worthing Music and Arts Festival

The 75-piece Cantatrice, from Steyning, were the big winners on the evening, scooping victory in the ladies choir and open class categories.

Jan Spooner-Swabey, WMAAF secretary, said: “Every choir did something that made you think that’s really good. There was some wonderful phrasing.

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“Thanks to all the people on the committee who have done lots of work.”

Mrs Spooner-Swabey said the only downside to the choral section was the lack of entrants from schools – Our Lady of Sion and Downsbrook Glee Club were the only young choral groups.

“Our local schools do not seem to want to join us in what is proving to be an annual choral festival with a fantastic atmosphere. So come on school choirs, come and join in the fun next year,” she said.

Mayor of Worthing Bob Smytherman watched every one of the evening performances.

He spoke of his parents’ enjoyment of choral singing and his own experience at Boundstone Community College during his school years.

“It was a really brilliant event with a really high standard – I didn’t envy the adjudicators.

“It’s a really important part of the town’s calendar and I was glad to be there,” said 
Mr Smytherman.

The adjudicator on the evening, David Lawrence, Guinness World Record holder for conducting the largest choir in the UK and prize-winning graduate of the Royal Academy of Music, was ‘impressed that Worthing could produce such varied choirs of a consistently high standard’, according to Mrs Spooner-Swabey.

Other winners on the night were Our Lady of Sion Junior Festival Choir in the under- 13 category, singing songs from Matilda and Whistle Down the Wind; the junior vocal group won the 19 and under category; Downsbrook Glee Club took home the show choir trophy for their performances of DNA and Titanium; JuSSt Voices won the choral ensemble; Kaleidoscope Singers won the Madrigal section; and the Christmas music category was won by The Rowland Singers.

The choir competition followed on from the speech and drama categories, which were full of ‘high-quality performances’, according to Mrs Spooner-Swabey.

The festival’s guitar competitions will be held in the Emmanuel Church and Centre, in St Michael’s Road, Worthing, on Saturday, May 10.