Horsham Music Circle resumes for 79th season

Gerald TaylorGerald Taylor
Gerald Taylor
After a gap of six months Horsham Music Circle is delighted to get back to live music again for its of 79th season.

Chairman Jill Elsworthy said: “We hope (the season) brings initially a small return to the Circle’s live events for the autumn and eventually in 2021 concert settings getting nearer to the norm.

“For the autumn, adhering to current COVID-secure guidelines with regards to social distancing and wearing face masks, we present three lunchtime organ recitals at the Unitarian Church given by Gerald Taylor.

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“These have always been a popular addition to the Music Circle’s annual series. Gerald trained at the Royal College of Music followed by a busy career playing in London churches including Westminster Abbey, teaching at schools and playing regularly in the Horsham area. The first recital is on Wednesday, October 21 at 1pm with a programme including works by Handel, Schumann, Bach, Liszt and Mendelssohn. Entry is free with a retiring collection to support the Music Circle’s live music promotions. With COVID-secure protocols in place, audience numbers are restricted to 24. Please book in advance by email to [email protected] or phone 01403 252602 (answer machine).

“As we continue to monitor government guidelines, any changes will be posted on our website at horsham-music-circle.org.uk and Facebook page. It has been a long wait to see if concert performances with audiences could go ahead but there is now a glimmer of hope that musicians will be seen and heard again on the platform. Some live performances have already taken place in the town to everyone’s enjoyment.”

Jill added: “This last Music Circle season gone was to be an experimental year under our new structure as a not-for-profit organisation. We abandoned the subscription series format and arranged two ad hoc concerts for the autumn. With their success we presented three more concerts for the spring only to find COVID-19 bringing us to a halt before the last concert could take place. This was to mark our 78th anniversary – a double celebration with a Beethoven programme for this composer’s 250th year anniversary given by the Sharpenhurst Quartet.

“It was not to be as COVID-19 restrictions would not allow live performances and sadly many musicians were to be without work for months to come. The concert has been postponed twice but is re-scheduled for January 2021.

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“Those concerts we did hear ranged from the traditional classical repertoire to modern works and lighter music. They were well attended and gave great enjoyment showcasing local professional musicians and a combined celebration of music when they joined with the Parish Church choir.

“Over the year we had missed the presence of our former chairman John Stoddart. He was a familiar figure making announcements at the concerts and giving support to our activities and valued advice on many issues from arranging acoustic improvements to the Drill Hall to providing the annual reports to the Charity Commission.

“Last September he had stepped down from the role due to ill health having been a long standing member of the Music Circle and chairman for 17 years. So we were saddened to hear of his death on August 7.”

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