Sussex Folk Orchestra return with concert in aid of suicide prevention

All At Sea sees The Sussex Folk Orchestra return to the concert platform with the world premiere of Seafaring Folk by Jonathan Brigg.

Thursday, 7th October 2021, 10:05 am
Sussex Folk Orchestra Jonathan Brigg

All proceeds will go to suicide prevention charity Olly’s Future.

The afternoon will also feature historian Chris Hare as the historical narrator and as a member of the Duck Pond Sailors who will also perform.

The entertainment is at Sullington Tithe Barn on Sunday, October 10 at 3pm with tickets available from www.ticketsource.co.uk/sussex-folk-orchestra.

Orchestra spokeswoman Eileen Sephton is delighted to be back in action. They managed their first post-lockdown concert in June.

Ironically, the orchestra was due to celebrate its 20th anniversary on the first day of the first lockdown last March – an announcement which effectively “disbanded” them “for the foreseeable future”, Eileen says.

But already this latest concert was taking shape. They had “adopted a composer” through a scheme set up by the Making Music umbrella organisation. Groups and composers apply, and The Sussex Folk Orchestra was matched up with Jonathan Brigg.

“This was a big part of our plans for our 20th-year celebration. But then Covid struck and our composer was ill. We had all the gremlins in. When we had the rule of six, we started meeting in sixes in our garden, and then in January this year, he was able to send us the piece – and then we had the lockdown that went on forever. But we managed to mess about on computers and practise with a computer track on Zoom.”

Now they can do it for real.

“Jonathan did a couple of workshops with us before lockdown and he stayed right by the sea in Worthing, and the piece evolved into a piece with a sea theme.”

Purely instrumental, it is in five sections: “We have a slightly unusual sound for an orchestra. We have accordions, guitars and flutes, and we have gained a fabulous bass section. We have quite a different texture to an ordinary orchestra. Anybody is welcome whose instrument blends in with the orchestra.

“The orchestra for this piece will be 23, I think. We have lost quite a few of the older members through the lockdowns. We were down to about 14 regulars but we have gained a few more. 15-20 would be the usual, but this is bigger than usual. We have called on other musicians.”

For the premiere the composer will conduct and will then join the orchestra for the other pieces on the programme.

Tickets £12.50 from www.ticketsource.co.uk/sussex-folk-orchestra

All proceeds from the concert will go to Olly’s Future, a suicide prevention charity

A spokesman from the charity said: “Everything we do at Olly’s Future is in memory of Olly Hare. We’re a bunch of Olly’s friends and family who have come together as a family. By sharing Olly’s love and light we can help stop our amazing young people losing their lives to suicide.

“We have three missions: to develop and deliver suicide prevention initiatives, particularly for young people; to work with and support other organisations with the same aims; to promote well-being, in particular through the arts.”

“Olly was truly special. He brought joy, happiness and laughter wherever he went and had more friends and adventures than for a lifetime. He had a magnetic personality which lit up a room, and yet he was also a deep thinker and wise beyond his years.

“Olly’s Future has the motto ‘love and light’ which sums up Olly perfectly.”