Chichester’s St Richard Singers want you to come and sing Fauré’s Requiem with them!

Jake Barlow. Photo by Paul Hurst
Jake Barlow. Photo by Paul Hurst

Chichester’s St Richard Singers are offering a Come and Sing: Fauré’s Requiem as their contribution to the commemoration of the centenary of the close of World War One.

The event will be staged on Saturday, November 17, with registration at 12.30pm followed by a rehearsal from 1-4pm and an evening performance at 7.30pm (singers: £10 with £5 for U25s and students; concert entry free with a retiring collection towards costs and St Wilfrid’s Hospice). It all takes place at St George’s Church, Whyke, PO19 7AD, The choir’s director of music Jake Barlow will be masterminding proceedings.

“We will welcome anyone to come along and sing with us. We are not looking for anyone in particular. Reading music would be an advantage, but if people want to practise beforehand, that would be great. We will welcome anyone to come and join us. I just thought it would be great to have something that everyone can join in with.

“I would be really happy if we had about 30-40 singers come along. The St Richard Singers are a good 45 in size. The important thing is to get people together.

“There will be people whose hobby is to sing, and there will definitely be an element of fun, but it will be a chance also to learn some new singing skills.

“They will be learning things in terms of singing technique and they will also be looking at the piece through fresh eyes. We won’t just sing through it and flop it on the table. We will be looking at the different ways that people can approach it.”

And it will bring renewed focus on the choir itself, a group on the up.

“It is a chance for St Richard Singers to show who we are and what we do. I say to members of the choir that they are the best ambassadors for what we do. It is a chance for us to put our best foot forward and show people our process. It will be a behind-the-scenes look at the choir. They will see the way I take a rehearsal and that I am not scary. I am really, really not scary in the slightest! People will get to see what we do at a time of growth for the choir. We had a wonderful Festival of Chichester concert. We absolutely packed out the venue, which was great. I walked on stage and turned around and I couldn’t see a single empty seat... and I looked! We had a wonderful success with the concert, and we want to keep the momentum going. And we want to involve the community with it all.

“We have been going nearly 50 years. The anniversary year starts with Christmas 2019, but we are heading towards our 50th year now. The choir has been quiet for quite a few years, and I figured it was time for them to make a bit of noise!”

As for the Fauré: “We want to make the day as affordable and as accessible as possible. The workshop will take place in the afternoon, and then we will have a performance in the evening which will be free to attend with a retiring collection to help cover costs and also in aid of St Wilfrid’s Hospice.”

The choir’s Christmas concert will be A Babe is Born on Saturday, December 15 at 7.30pm, again at St George’s Church, Whyke, PO19 7AD.

Jake said: “Our concert for Christmas 2018 is a concert of two halves, opening with Haydn’s majestic Missa Sancti Nicolai, composed for the Feast of St Nicholas in 1772.

The choir will be accompanied by the Noviomagus String Ensemble. The second half is a mixture of festive carols and readings, including music by Holst, Matthias and Richard Rodney Bennett.”

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