Singers’ summer concert dedicated to memory of founding member

Picture by Martin Oxley
Picture by Martin Oxley

Crawley Concordia Singers’ summer concert on Saturday, June 28, is dedicated to the memory of one of the choir’s founding members, Marguerite Clifford, who was a staunch supporter for more than half a century.

Marguerite was one of the original members when Concordia Singers began life in 1962 as a Thomas Bennett parent/teacher group. As well as being an active singer, Marguerite, who lived in West Hoathly, was also membership secretary, working hard to ensure the continuing success of the choir. She died on June 7 aged 83.

The summer concert – The Sprig of Thyme – is at St Margaret’s Church, Ifield, at 7.30pm. Tickets priced £12 (£8 concessions) will be available on the door. It features music inspired by folk tradition and Concordia Singers will be joined by the Martineau Brass ensemble.

The choir’s musical director Ian Assersohn said: “We begin with the 11 songs that make up John Rutter’s beautiful, poignant and at times earthy folk song suitel, A Sprig of Thyme.

“In the second half of the concert we have included a selection of our favourite lighter songs, including Simon and Garfunkel’s Bridge Over Troubled Water and Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah, which has been covered by many artists and featured in the hit film Shrek.

“We conclude the choir’s programme in this WW1 centenary year with my own arrangement of four songs from the war, beginning with Ivor Novello’s masterly Keep The Home Fires Burning and ending with the marching song Tipperary – complete with one verse of the alternative, soldiers’, words. The concert will conclude with Land of Hope and Glory and Jerusalem – some familiar audience participation songs for which I very much hope everyone will join us in attempting to raise the roof.

“At the keyboard we have, sadly for the last time as she and her husband are moving out of the area, our accomplished and much loved accompanist Judith Flint.”

Concordia offers a warm welcome to new members and is keen to recruit more tenors to the ranks. Rehearsals take place on Thursday evenings at Crawley United Reformed Church, Three Bridges, 7.45pm to 9.45pm.

Choir publicity officer Donna Oxley said: “If you enjoy singing, why not come along and try it out for yourself?

“There is a fun and friendly, informal atmosphere and you don’t have to audition.”

To find out more about Crawley Concordia Singers visit or find the group on Facebook.