MEMBERS of Shoreham Oratorio Choir have just returned from a successful exchange visit to Germany.
A group of 25 visited Elmshorn, near Hamburg, to perform with the Madrigalchor.
The two choirs have been visiting each other and making music together for more than 30 years.
The Shoreham Oratorio Choir, which rehearses weekly at Shoreham Methodist Church, in Brunswick Road, Shoreham, lived with host families from the German choir during their stay.
Brian Hills said: “Choir members who have made the visit before often stay with the same families each time and so have developed firm friendships.
“Every second year there is an exchange, so in 2015 it will be the Madrigalchor’s turn to visit Shoreham.”
This year, the choirs performed their own programme of music, as well as a joint performance of The John Rutter Requiem, a hauntingly beautiful piece in seven movements.
Mr Hills added: “The concert was a great success, with the Bugenhagen Church in Elmshorn at near capacity.”
Before the concert, a message of welcome from the Elmshorn mayor was read, in both English and German, confirming the importance of the exchange in cementing friendly links between the two communities.
Both choirs had two days of intense rehearsals before the concert and a buffet supper, provided by the hosts, afterwards.
During the stay, the choirs visited places of interest, including a trip to Hamburg to see progress on the Elbphilharmonie, a state-of-the-art concert hall under construction.
At the farewell dinner, Ingrid Karstens, chairman of the Madrigalchor, was presented with a gift by Maggie Kent, chairman of the Shoreham Oratorio Choir. The gift showed an illustration of St Mary de Haura Church, Shoreham, where most of the choir’s concerts are held.
Shoreham Oratorio Choir is now working on its programme for the Christmas carol concert, on December 14, in St Mary de Haura Church. Tickets, soon to be available, will cost £10 on the door, £8 in advance from Just Bananas, in Brunswick Road, Shoreham.
Visit www.shoreham-oratorio-choir.co.uk for more details on the choir. New members are always welcome at rehearsals, on Thursday evenings.