Chichester Chorale offers its Christmas concert on Saturday, December 8 at 7.30pm at St George’s Whyke, Cleveland Road, promising Bach’s Wachet Auf and a selection of favourite Christmas songs and carols.
Once again they will be under their conductor and founder Arthur Robson.
Arthur reckons they are now in their 15th or 16th year, years during which the Chorale has become a significant presence on the Chichester-area music scene.
“I think it is the friendliness of the people in the choir that makes it so successful and appealing.
“It is auditioned so the standard is high, but there is also a good mix of social backgrounds. We have a sprinkling of students from the University of Chichester, and it just appeals to a lot of people.
“It has grown. It started small but it has grown in numbers, but it has also grown in terms of its reputation and repertoire. It is the classical repertoire with occasional excursions into Christmas music and the more popular music.
“The choir are local people, and there is a family feeling. We have always done a Christmas concert.
“We had it at Lavant originally, but we are now at St George’s which is a very welcoming and accommodating church.
“And the organ there is brilliant. We are going to have Luke Bond who is the assistant director of music at St George’s, Windsor.
“For this concert, I wanted to do something that was fairly substantial and something that was fairly challenging. Wachet Auf is in German and there are lots of notes!
“I love the piece. I love the sense of energy about it, the forward movement. It is triumphant. It is a wake-up. The Lord is about to come. It is a really joyous piece. But it not an easy piece, but the Chorale enjoys a challenge.”
As Arthur’s wife Polly, the Chorale administrator, says: “The Chorale would be pretty fed up if we just did a diet of easy things.
“They love singing, and Arthur loves to give them a balance between things that are challenging and things that are good fun to sing.”
The concert will be in aid of Samaritans, as Polly explains: “The Samaritans are a very important organisation, particularly as we get towards Christmas, and I have just become a Samaritan.
“I just felt that this concert should be our gift to them. They don’t have any paid employees. It is all a voluntary organisation.
“I have done six months training, and I am on the brink of starting. You have got to be a good listener. I think that is the bottom line. They have a wonderful national telephone network. You could be talking to anyone anywhere.”
Tickets for An Evening of Christmas Delights are available in advance from Polly on email@example.com.