Singers mark 100 years since Battle of the Somme at Crawley concert

The Weald Choir
The Weald Choir

Two of Crawley’s top choirs join voices for a special concert at The Hawth to mark the 100th anniversary of the Battle of the Somme.

Concordia Singers and The Weald Choir will present Joseph Haydn’s Mass in Time of War and Karl Jenkins’ The Armed Man, on Saturday, June 18, at 7.30pm.

Spokesman Martin Oxley said: “The concert also heralds the merger of the two choirs after more than four decades of friendly musical rivalry to form the Phoenix Choir of Crawley.

“Both choirs have enjoyed great success but the thought of the sound that could be achieved with a single, much bigger, choir of more than 80 voices has now proved irresistible. This will be demonstrated at the concert, which is in two parts – War and Peace.

“The first half is devoted to Mass in Time of War – one of the most popular of Joseph Haydn’s 14 settings of the Mass – which was written in 1796 at the time Napoleon was threatening Vienna. The guest conductor will be Neil Jenkins.

“After the interval, Concordia Singers’ musical director Ian Assersohn will conduct The Armed Man, which is subtitled A Mass for Peace. It was commissioned by the Royal Armouries for the Millennium celebrations and dedicated to victims of the Kosovo crisis.

“The choirs will be accompanied by the Festival Sinfonia and professional soloists Lucy Knight (soprano), Janet Shell (alto), Paul Austin Kelly (tenor) and Njabulo Madlala (baritone).”

Tickets (£16 adult and £8 child) are available from choir members or through The Hawth box office (01293 553636).

“At the end of the concert there will be a collection in aid of Help for Heroes, the charity that provides direct, practical support for wounded, injured and sick veterans, servicemen and women and their loved ones.”

Martin added: “Plans are already underway for the Phoenix Choir’s first season. Rehearsals will take place at Holy Trinity School, Buckswood Drive, Gossops Green, from 7.45pm to 9.45pm every Thursday starting on September 8. New members would be made very welcome and anyone interested should call 0779 0863 229 or email

“The autumn concert, Haydn’s Creation, which will be sung in English, will take place in November under the baton of the choir’s newly-appointed music director Sam Hayes.”

Don’t miss out on all the latest breaking news where you live.

Here are four ways you can be sure you’ll be among the first to know what’s going on.

1 Make our website your homepage

2 Like our Facebook page

3 Follow us on Twitter

4 Register with us by clicking on ‘sign in’ (top right corner). You can then receive our daily newsletter AND add your point of view to stories that you read here.

And do share with your family and friends – so they don’t miss out!

Be part of it.