Horsham Chamber Choir completes first year post lockdowns

Horsham Chamber Choir conclude their 2021-2022 season, their first full year back after all the lockdowns.
Olivia ShottonOlivia Shotton
Olivia Shotton

They will be offering Into The Light – Music for Summer, promising a “varied, truly spine-tingling and profoundly atmospheric” programme of shorter unaccompanied music from both classical and internationally renowned contemporary composers. Themed around the summer sky, light and stars, the collection of pieces takes the listener on a journey from nighttime into daytime. They will be in concert on June 25 at 8pm at St John the Evangelist Church, 3 Springfield Road, Horsham, RH12 2PJ when the night will include Alec Roth: Stargazer; Clara Schumann: Abendfeier in Venedig; Edward Elgar: The Shower (from a poem by Henry Vaughan); Eric Whitacre: Lux Aurumque; and Stephanie Martin: Missa Lumen.

Conductor Olivia Shotton is delighted at the progress the choir is making: “It has been very good to have that first full year of live performances. It has been about rebuilding the sound. After Covid it has been about getting the confidence back and getting stamina back. When you don't use these things for so long, then you can tend to lose it a bit so that's what we have been doing, just building that confidence back up – and we are getting there!

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“We have had some new members who have joined which is great and we have had some members returning that I haven't met before, that haven’t been back with us since I joined which was back in January 2021.”

Lockdown did have its benefits in terms of getting to know people: “Also we did a lot of music at that time. We did more because you don't want to spend hours and hours on one piece of music because that would become boring so we did a lot and that has meant that we are one step ahead now of where we would have been. They're a lovely choir to work with. They are very responsive, and because it is not a large choral society – it's a chamber choir – they have a very good level of taking individual responsibility. And they are just a really friendly group as well. They want to socialise with each other and with me in the breaks. And I just get a lot of feedback from them which is good.

“For this concert we're doing some stuff that they have not really done before. This is a little bit more of me coming in now. With the previous MD they did a lot of different things but they also did quite a lot of early music. This concert is really the opposite of that. It is a lot of contemporary music which is all unaccompanied which is something they haven't done for a long time, I don't think. It's definitely music that I particularly enjoy. I spend quite a lot of time working in churches so this is not necessarily the kind of music that I'm allowed to do very often. This is a concert of mostly non-religious music. There's a lot of American and Canadian composers but there is also a bit of Elgar. It should be great.” horsham-chamberchoir.org.uk.