Sponsored rehearsal to raise funds for Worthing epic

James Olsen
James Olsen

The 100 singers of Worthing Choral Society will play their part in a six-hour non-stop sponsored singing rehearsal on Tuesday, March 13.

With just five-minute breaks for refreshment, they will rehearse from 6pm to midnight – as a fund-raiser for their performances of a masterpiece by Giuseppe Verdi and an exciting new composition by James Olsen

Worthing Choral Society’s conductor Aedan Kerney said: “The purpose of the rehearsal is to raise £1,000 as the group contribution to the fund-raising for the exciting commission from James of The Line is Immaterial: an Oratorio for Worthing which will mark Worthing Philharmonic Orchestra’s 70th anniversary in 2019 and involve Worthing Philharmonic Orchestra, Worthing Choral Society, The Boundstone Chorus and Sompting Village Primary School Choir.

“Besides being a great social event, this challenge will prepare the choir for their Easter performance of the great Verdi Requiem, perhaps the most dramatic and exciting of all choral works, in Worthing’s Assembly Hall.

“This performance will take place at 7.30pm on Saturday, March 24 and follows the long-established local tradition of performing a major choral work at Easter.”

Aedan will conduct the choir together with the Sinfonia of Arun, leader Robin Morrish, and soloists soprano Cheryl Enever, mezzo-soprano Alexandra Gibson, tenor Jon English and bass Stuart Young.

Aedan added: “Worthing Choral Society is one of three local choirs who have been invited by Worthing Philharmonic Orchestra to perform in The Line is Immaterial: an Oratorio for Worthing.

“The composition will celebrate the history, aspirations and vibrancy of the Worthing area and will be performed by more than 250 musicians aged between nine and 90.

“Worthing Choral Society is aiming to raise £1,000 from their sponsored rehearsal as their group-donation to the target of £25,000 needed for the composing project to go ahead to its next phase later this year.”

Aedan added: “I am sure I will feel quite exhausted after running this long rehearsal. However, the knowledge that every moment will polish our performance of the Verdi Requiem will make it all worthwhile. We are committed to raising funding for the new composition project. It is so exciting that Worthing’s growing profile will also receive recognition.”

To find out how to sponsor one of the choir’s singers or their conductor Aedan Kerney, contact 01903 761913.

Composer James said: “I have known (Worthing Philharmonic Orchestra’s musical director) Dominic Grier for some years, and he approached me about doing it. Dominic and I are both big fans of Oscar Wilde, and one of the thing that springs to mind is that The Importance of Being Earnest was written in Worthing. We then started thinking of other texts that related to Worthing, and we realised the more you look into Worthing, the more interesting it becomes. The images that the town has had is this sunny seaside resort, but there are all sorts of other things that have jumped out. James Bateman wrote this Victorian book about orchids there, and the Henty brothers were pioneers.

“So the way I have approached the piece is semi like a documentary film-maker meeting people, finding out more about Worthing, finding out people’s stories and finding out more about their history. The piece will be a collage of found texts which will be set to music. I don’t see my music as finished. I always see it as a work in progress. The final piece still won’t be finished. It will be performed, but it will be one moment in a long project. The reason I mention that is that I am currently working on like satellite pieces towards the main pieces.”