Sussex Chorus starts Creation rehearsals with new conductor and director of music

Jack Thompson
Jack Thompson

Sussex Chorus welcomed their new conductor this week as rehearsals began for their next performance in March.

The new director of music Jack Thompson picked up the baton on Monday, January 7, and the singers are now looking forward to an exciting 2019.

A spokesperson said: “Keen supporters of the choir will know that previous conductor, Alan Vincent, led his farewell concert with Sussex Chorus in December, with a performance of Handel’s Messiah (at King’s Church, Burgess Hill) that earned them a standing ovation. The reviewer, Simon Austin, commented that ‘the choir sang their hearts out’.

“Jack Thompson, currently organist and music teacher at Ardingly College, was appointed following a wide-reaching recruitment process that included all choir members in the final decision. Singers were able to ‘audition’ the short- listed candidates through involvement in a short rehearsal and were very clear that Jack was their number one choice.”

As well as his teaching career in Ardingly, Jack is director of music at St Mary’s church, Chelsea, and has worked as a conductor at Oxford, Cambridge and Durham universities. He has also done freelance work in projects with members of the BBC Singers, the Gabrieli Consort, Glyndebourne Chorus and The Sixteen. He aims to get younger people involved in singing too, supporting children’s choruses preparing for concerts like the BBC Proms.

Jack was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, aged just 24, in 2018.

“I was delighted to accept this exciting role with Sussex Chorus,” said Jack. “It is clearly a choir that believes in delivering high quality choral performances and keeping classical music very much alive in Mid Sussex. This is a wonderful opportunity to use my experience, ideas and enthusiasm to take the choir into an exciting new era.”

Sussex Chorus is a four-part (soprano, alto, tenor and bass) choir with about 80 members. They have a varied repertoire and perform in Sussex four times a year.

New singers are always welcome and rehearsals take place on Mondays from 7.15pm to 9.30pm at St Paul’s Catholic College, Burgess Hill. The next concert will be Haydn’s Creation on Saturday, March 23, at King’s Church, Burgess Hill.

Mass in Blue by Will Todd is on June 15 in Hurstpierpoint College Chapel.

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