Ambitious project announced as Sarah Forbes takes over as director of West Sussex Youth Choirs

West Sussex Music has announced the appointment of Sarah Forbes as director of the West Sussex Youth Choirs in a move they say will bring new opportunities for young voices across the county.

Tuesday, 20th November 2018, 6:41 am
Sarah Forbes
Sarah Forbes

The West Sussex Youth Choir offers talented singers from 13 to 18-years-old access to singing tuition and performance opportunities which are designed to give them the skills they need to become outstanding choral singers, whilst also developing good vocal technique, exploring musical expression and enhancing communication and creativity.

James Underwood, chief executive of West Sussex Music, said: “This strategic appointment marks a new chapter for a choir that has already established itself as the leading youth choir in the district. This key appointment comes at an exciting stage in the West Sussex Youth Choir’s development, and I am delighted to welcome Sarah to the team.

“West Sussex Music has an enviable reputation for its range of high-quality singing projects in schools and I know Sarah, and our other specialist singing practitioners, will be nurturing the existing talent as well as creating inspiring opportunities for the next generation of choristers.”

A classically-trained singer, Sarah has performed in both opera and oratorio. She has her own company creating opera for young audiences and is currently touring Over the Moon - A First Opera For Little People to theatres across the country. Sarah is an experienced choral conductor and specialises in training young voices, having worked with London Youth Choir, Finchley Children’s Music Group and Trinity College of Music Juniors, as well as performing with London Symphony Orchestra in their education concerts at The Barbican.

Sarah said: “Everything I do is underpinned by a genuine passion for music and a belief that there’s a singer within us all. Classical music is life enhancing, inspiring and I’m excited to be joining an organisation that shares this belief and works hard to ensure that musical opportunities are accessible to all. I would love nothing more than for young singers to come to our choir and fall in love with choral music.”

Sarah is marking her appointment with an invitation for new members to join the choir as part of a project which will see them learning and performing Karl Jenkins’ The Armed Man - Choral Suite. The Youth Choir will meet weekly from Saturday, January 5 at The College of Richard Collyer in Horsham and the project will culminate with a performance at St Mary’s Church in Horsham on March 30.

“This is an exciting opportunity for young singers with no prior experience of choral singing to get a taste for the West Sussex Youth Choir and develop their musicianship skills, while meeting likeminded young musicians and having fun along the way.”

Entry into this exciting project is by either audition or nomination from a singing teacher or school Head of Music. Some ability to read music is an advantage but more important is a passion for singing and a willingness to learn from those around you.

Visit and apply via the County Ensembles page to book your place before Monday, December 10. Alternatively, email [email protected]

West Sussex Music is the largest provider of high-quality music education to children and young people in West Sussex, offering vocal projects, whole-class ensemble tuition, instrumental and vocal lessons, specialist advice and support for schools as well as a comprehensive range of musical activities at its five Music Centres in Horsham, Crawley, Haywards Heath, Worthing and Chichester.

Through its curriculum support, professional development opportunities and facilitating role, West Sussex Music builds music into the very fabric of school life; supporting schools and teachers to achieve the best possible outcomes for pupils, their families and the community. For over 50 years, West Sussex Music has supported projects that enable access to cultural opportunities for disadvantaged and disaffected young people through its strategic partnerships with other arts and cultural organisations and it plays a valued role as the MusicEducation Hub for West Sussex.

A not-for profit independent company limited by guarantee with charitable status, West Sussex Music’s musical opportunities for children and young people are funded by income from parents, schools and the National Music Grant, administered by Arts Council England. For more information, visit