Choirs join forces for special performance

Chanctonbury Chorus at St Andrew and St Cuthman Church in Steyning
Chanctonbury Chorus at St Andrew and St Cuthman Church in Steyning

TWO choirs are collaborating for the first time for a very special performance.

Such is the scale of Verdi’s Requiem that it cannot be performed by anything other than a large choir with strong male voices.

Chanctonbury Chorus and Orchestra has therefore combined with Hurstpierpoint College Choral Society to present this iconic piece in the splendid chapel in Hurstpierpoint College.

Theresa Gilsenan, from Chanctonbury Chorus, said: “The combination of the two choruses is going to make for a stunning concert and we want as many people to come along so they can enjoy it as well.

“Verdi’s Requiem is always a very special piece of music and demands the highest standards of performance.

“This will be the first time that the Chanctonbury Chorus has collaborated with the Hurstpierpoint College Choral Society and Orchestra. As a result this popular piece will reach out to a much wider audience.

“It seems that demand is going to be strong and so people will need to get in quick.”

The performance will be at Hurstpierpoint College Chapel on Sunday, December 6, at 7.30pm. Tickets will be going on sale at Steyning Bookshop from November 6, at £10 each.

Theresa added: “Verdi’s Requiem has been described as ‘an opera in ecclesiastical garb’ because it is intensely moving and dramatic.

“Not only does it need a very large orchestra and four superb soloists, it also needs a double choir – this multi-layering needs skill and many hours of practice.”

The Hurstpierpoint choir is formed of 50 people from the wider college community. Chanctonbury Chorus, based in Steyning, also has around 50 members, from all walks of life. First formed in 1982 by conductor and founder Siobhan Denning, the chorus has been going from strength to strength ever since.

For this concert, the conductor will be Neil Matthews, director of music at Hurstpierpoint College, and the leader of the orchestra will be Charlotte Scott.

It will also include professionals from London orchestras, with soloists Lesley-Jane Rogers, soprano, Anne Mason, mezzo soprano, Stephen Brown, tenor, and Nicholas Warden, bass.

Tickets are also available from Hurstpierpoint College on 01273 833636, email, or on the door.