A sensational musical event took place on Saturday September 19 at the 550-seat King’s Centre, Burgess Hill, when Susan Fleet presented ‘A Night of 100 Voices.’
More than a hundred singers took part in what was an extraordinary evening of fun and fine singing to remember Rick Peckham (step-father to Zoe Ball) and to raise money for the Motor Neurone Disease Association.
Quite incredibly, Susan has been organising fund-raising concerts for 45 years, and Basil & Mary House were among a handful of Saturday evening’s singers who also sang in her very first concert!
A near-capacity audience embraced the occasion whole-heartedly, creating a wonderful family atmosphere, and applauding wildly at every opportunity.
And there was much to applaud, as the huge choir under the expert baton of Richard Haslam and impeccably accompanied at the piano by Tim Nail gave us their all.
Particularly impressive was the double chorus from Gilbert & Sullivan’s The Yeomen of the Guard, in which the diction was crystal clear - amazingly so after just six hours rehearsal. Many a choir master would have been proud of the disciplined singing displayed in numbers like The Battle Hymn of the Republic, Some Enchanted Evening, Keep the Home Fires Burning, etc., not to mention the medleys from Les Miserables, Mack the Knife, and Oliver!
The concert was very professionally compered by television presenter Charles Metcalfe, who kept tight control of the proceedings, and never confused the names of the many excellent soloists who stepped out of the chorus when required.
Too numerous to mention individually, they all acquitted themselves well in this very varied programme.
Special mention must however be made of Mark Yexley, who, working with Megan Roberts, nearly stopped the show with his rendition of Master of the House from Les Miserables!
We also enjoyed young Laura & Emily Loutit who sang the duets Flight, and Falling Slowly, and Susan Fleet & Belinda Sharp who delighted us with the Cats’ Duet.
Swing singer Duncan Allen was also well to the fore, but the biggest cheers were reserved for operatic tenor Andrew Rees, who thrilled us with magnificent renderings of Maria, O Sole Mio, and My Dearest Dear. What a voice!
The evening concluded with community singing conducted by Matt Roberts, and moving speeches from MNDA representatives and Julia Peckham.
The Mayor of Burgess Hill, Cllr. Anne Jones MBE then thanked everyone who had taken part in this memorable concert which raised £7.500 for the Motor Neurone Disease Association. It had been, she said, ‘ a splendid occasion - but then everything Susan does is splendid!, Hear, Hear!
Report and picture contributed by Lea Graham Assocaiates.