Tim Ravalde, assistant organist at Chichester Cathedral, will be guest conductor for Chantry Quire for their Festival of Chichester concert.
They will be offering The 7 Ages Of Man at St Paul’s Church, Churchside, Chichester on Saturday, June 22 at 8pm, with drinks available from 7.30pm.
The programme has been devised by the choir’s usual choir director Peter Allwood who was unavailable to take the choir’s rehearsals this summer. However, Peter and his wife will be in attendance at the concert to show their support.
Choir member Linda Shepley said: “This will be our fourth concert for the Festival of Chichester. In the other years we weren’t quite fully formed at that stage.
“Chris Larley ran the choir for many years, but he ran out of time for various reasons having acquired family, and he stepped away from it. There was a short period where we were in a little bit of limbo, though we didn’t formally stop.
“We were still going, but there was a little patch where we were not doing a lot, and then when Chris said he felt he had to step away, we regrouped.
“We were very lucky that at this time Peter Allwood who is very renowned and has a very substantial musical pedigree had not long since moved to Pulborough and he was looking for a small chamber choir that he wanted to build up. Peter has been with us now for about three years.
“Peter has wanted to make us aspire to be the best we can, and there is hard work. We are not just there to have a nice evening singing… though hopefully we do have a nice evening singing! But that is not what we have come for. He wants to make us fight for a higher level, and he has brought in some of his own contacts, some new singers from a little bit further afield. We have got singers from Horsham and Storrington and Worthing and Portsmouth. There are about 30 singers on the books, though not all of them can commit all the time. For the Festival of Chichester we will be 24.”
Things are good: “But you must never be complacent. We can always do better.”
And helping in that respect is the challenge of having a guest conductor: “Peter is unavailable, and we have got Tim as a one-off. It is good for us to face a new person because everyone will have a different way of dealing with things, and it is good to be shaken up a little bit. I think it makes you sit up and pay more attention. We will have a cluster of rehearsals before the concert.”
The programme will offer light summer entertainment, Linda promises: “It will be very varied in style, at times light and playful and then some of it will be much more thoughtful and still and reflective.”
The music will include songs by Seiber, Gibbons, Passereau, Morley, Vaughn Williams, Rutter and Dove.
The point will be the variety, as Linda says: “Tim has inherited the programme, and he is much too gracious to make any comment whether he likes it or not!
“But we think it is going to work very nicely rather than one big choral work. With this you will get more different styles.”
And as part of the enjoyment, drinks will be available from half an hour before the concert starts so you can enjoy the music, drink in hand.
Tickets £12.50; students £5; children under 16 free.