Choir’s concert pays tribute to great champion of music

Tony Hill at the piano, rehearsing for his All Aboard concert for Marlipins Museum

Tony Hill at the piano, rehearsing for his All Aboard concert for Marlipins Museum

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A CHOIR member who supported charity and gave pleasure to many through his singing is to be remembered at a Christmas concert.

Tony Hill, who had been a member of Shoreham Oratorio Choir since 2007, died of a heart attack in October, just days after its Come and Sing workshop day.

Choir members are now holding their Christmas concert in memory of the 80-year-old, who had also helped raise money for Marlipins Museum in Shoreham.

Mr Hill, who lived in Brighton Road, Lancing, with Elaine, his wife of only three years, was a great champion of local music.

He loved all types of music and his tastes were varied. He and Elaine sang in both Sussex Voiceworks and Shoreham Oratorio Choir and he was part of the group that sang Vivaldi’s Gloria at the recent workshop.

Mrs Hill said: “As a child, he so enjoyed the rich chords of the harmonium that his musician father sent him for piano lessons.

“After only a year and a half, he earned his first money as a pianist when he played for a Southwick social club and earned ten shillings.”

He was the pianist for Southwick Choral Society, eventually joining their bass section, pianist for a Brighton youth club, and pianist and accordion player for the Montpelier Revellers, the resident band at the Montpelier Hotel and more recently at the Windmill Inn, Southwick.

During his National Service, Mr Hill was once relieved of his button-sewing duty so that he could play for a party in the corporals’ mess. Even when posted abroad, he played in a Nairobi nightspot when time allowed.

For the past few years. Mr Hill had played regularly for services at the Church of the Good Shepherd on Shoreham Beach and occasionally entertained members of its Friday Club.

Mrs Hill said, as a custodian of the Marlipins Museum, he organised two concerts to raise funds for a new roof and performed together with friends.

“Preparations were well underway for a further concert in January 2015; sadly this will not now take place,” she added.

Mr Hill is remembered fondly by Shoreham Oratorio Choir members.

Concert manager Brian Hills said: “Tony was a warm-hearted and generous person who gave a huge amount of pleasure through his music. He is greatly missed by all those who had the privilege of knowing him.”

The choir’s annual Christmas Concert will be held at St Mary de Haura Church on Saturday, December 13, at 7.30pm. Vivaldi’s Gloria and Magnificat will be performed, as well as traditional carols, followed by festive refreshments.

Tickets are £10 on the door, £8 in advance from Just Bananas, Brunswick Road Shoreham, or call 01273 530350. Visit www.shoreham-oratorio-choir.co.uk for more information.