Petworth’s Leconfield Singers return to Arundel Cathedral on back of continuing success. Still only five years old, the community choir has built a strong reputation on the back of a string of successful concerts, an expanding repertoire and European tours.
For Arundel they will be offering a programme comprising Mozart’s Requiem, Handel’s Zadok the Priest and other works by Handel and Bach, performing under conductor Graham Wili and with the English Philharmonia (Saturday, May 13 at 7pm).
Chairman Anita Rogers said: “We only came into being in 2012. We did our first Christmas concert, and it started off as a very local thing in somebody’s house. It expanded from there with the idea really of enjoying the pleasure of music and bringing the pleasure to other people. We have charitable status, and the idea is to educate the people that come to sing and then take the music out to other people that may know the pieces or may not know the pieces because some of the pieces we do are a little bit different.
“It has taken off very quickly and gone from strength to strength. Because we are a community choir, we let everybody lead us where they want to go, and we have now established going on tour every year. We have been to France twice and then last year we went to Florence. People love singing, and on tour we can have a different repertoire to what we have when we are singing in our concerts.
“There would have been about 11 singers when we started and now it is more than a hundred. I think that is about the right size for the moment because we rehearse in a small church in Petworth. It is a good size. The numbers have gone up, but people come and go for various reasons and yet we have always managed to be sustainable at about a hundred. It is big, which means we have had to think about things like how we set up our usual venue. It has been a big learning curve for us. We hadn’t done it before. But it is fantastically satisfying and enjoyable. And singing is just very, very good for you. And there is also the camaraderie, the friendships, off-shoot friendships, the discipline of learning and the satisfaction of learning. We all come out of a concert having worked very, very hard but feeling elated. It has been a tremendous learning curve, but it is also great fun.”
Their Arundel Cathedral concert will be their second time at the venue and certainly won’t be intimidating: “It is a big cathedral, but we have now sung in Rouen Cathedral and you don’t get a lot bigger than that. All of it is very challenging and exciting. And last summer we also sang at the Royal Festival Hall. We are getting a huge amount of experience. And then next summer we are going to be singing in Chichester Cathedral.”
The singers generally offer three concerts a year, plus the tour – a Christmas concert, a summer concert and a smaller concert.
For their tour this year, they will be going to Ghent, Antwerp and Bruges
Tickets for the Arundel concert on http://www.leconfieldsingers.co.uk/next-concert/.
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