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2019 – Hastings Philharmonic Choir performed Rossini’s lovely and unusual Petite Messe Solennelle in the atmospheric surroundings of Christ Church, St Leonards on Sea, Photo: Peter Mould

Hastings choir celebrates first concert in 19 months

The Hastings Philharmonic Choir are now breaking their long 19-month silence (their last concert was in December 2019). Rehearsals began in Autumn 2020 for a concert of top choral pieces from Gabriel Fauré (1845-1924) and Antonio Vivaldi (1678–1741), but the subsequent concert had to be postponed to this Sunday 18 July. It must be the best rehearsed of concerts in a long time and the choir found the Covid lockdown more bearable, languishing in this beautiful music, writes Chris Cormack.

The concert can only proceed as a result of the huge support the Choir received from  Father Peter and his team at Christ Church for opening up the rehearsal and concert space in accordance with government ‘safe space’ guidance which imposes onerous terms on the church and the performers.

Gabriel Fauré by John Singer Sargent, oil on canvas, c. 1889 (The Paris Museum of Music)

On retirement as Bishop of Edmonton, Father Peter settled in St Leonards and came to worship at Christ Church, taking mass on some occasions. When Father Luke moved to Chichester a few years ago, Bishop Peter was appointed Priest in Charge at Christ Church, pending the appointment of a new Rector, which hasn’t happened yet. Through his encouragement and support of live classical music, Father Peter has inspired the Hastings Philharmonic Choir and Orchestra not only to survive but also to get back to normal at the earliest opportunity. Thanks also to churchwarden, John Read, for his unstinting day-to-day assistance.

The summer concert on Sunday 18 July is going to be a stunner! It will feature two evergreen choral classics: Fauré’s sublime Requiem and Vivaldi’s joyful Gloria. There will be magnificent young professional soloists and instrumentalists on this momentous musical journey from consolation to jubilation, darkness to light. Soprano Helen May and countertenor Nathan Mercieca provide the light.

Audience numbers will be limited to allow for social distancing and to ensure a covid-secure environment, so ticket availability will run out fast – all £15 each + booking fee. All tickets must be pre-booked for this concert via the website or here.

Sunday 18 July, 7.30pm – Christ Church, London Road (entrance in Silchester Road), St Leonards-on-Sea, TN37 6AY

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Posted 14:02 Wednesday, Jul 14, 2021 In: Music & Sound

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