Loughborough and Littlehampton combine in Felpham

Loughborough Male Voice Choir
Loughborough Male Voice Choir

The voices of the Loughborough Male Voice Choir are set to raise the roof when they make a rare appearance on the south coast, performing alongside Littlehampton’s Edwin James Festival Choir in a Time for Remembrance in Felpham.

The Loughborough choir have been known to James Rushman, musical director of the Edwin James Festival Choir, for many years. One of their members, Lyndon Gardner, has sung with the Littlehampton-based community choir as a tenor soloist on three previous occasions.

James said: “I invited the Loughborough Choir to come to the south coast and arranged for them to sing at St Mary the Virgin Church, Felpham on Friday, September 27 at 7.30pm with their own programme of music Music is Life – That’s Why Hearts Have Beats.

“On the following evening, the Loughborough Male Voice Choir and the Edwin James Festival Choir will perform a joint concert at St James Church, East Ham Road, Littlehampton on Saturday, September 28.

“Loughborough will perform their last concert in the south at Cranleigh Methodist Church prior to returning home.

“The programme for the choirs’ joint concert A Time for Remembrance with the Edwin James Festival Choir will reflect loss, hope, peace and reflection in what will be an overall celebration of memories of those no longer with us, including those who have lost their lives while serving in the armed forces. There will be an opportunity to light a candle in memory of a loved one.”

The Loughborough Male Voice Choir is a group of men who simply like to sing in the company of others and celebrated its 52nd year in 2019. 35 singers within a group of 60 including choir accompanist Becky Norton, will visit Sussex.

When the previous conductor retired in 2006 due to ill health, Chris Hill took up the baton to become the musical director.

Chris said: “I have a very eclectic taste in music, everything from church organ Bach through folk, swing and 1960s pop to jazz standards. My ideal job would have been as Ella Fitzgerald’s accompanist.

“I find it remarkable that a group of everyday people, many of whom cannot read music, can, through practice and commitment, produce sounds that touch listeners’ lives.

“There is nothing quite like a male voice choir, singing very quietly or with vigour and energy, to send shivers down your back. We are looking forward to singing with the Edwin James Festival Choir and Orchestra who we know are a well-respected, popular community choir.”

The concert A Time for Remembrance will offer a varied programme of choral and orchestral numbers that are nostalgic, popular and religious including English and Welsh Hymns including Jerusalem, the anthem from Chess and songs from other musicals, some Faure and many more.

The joint concert will be performed on Saturday, September 28 at St James Church, Littlehampton. Doors open 6.45pm for 7.30pm start. Admission is free but there will be a retiring collection for The Sussex Snowdrop Trust, a charity providing nursing care at home for local children who have a life-limiting condition.

Based in the Chichester area, the charity also offers emotional and financial support to families coping with the day-to-day problems of having to care for a very sick child.

The trust funds two paediatric nurses and a nursing assistant who work closely with other teams involved in each child’s care such as hospital staff, teachers and social workers.

The Edwin James Festival Choir rehearse every Wednesday evening in St James Church Hall and new members are welcome.

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