Concert in memory of inspirational West Sussex musician

Bognor Regis Music Club members celebrate the life of their dear friend and chairman Chris Coote at a special concert on November 20.

Thursday, 18th November 2021, 7:05 am
Chris Coote

Chris passed away last year during the darkest days of the pandemic.

Over many years, he raised thousands of pounds for local charities presenting fundraising concerts at Chichester Baptist Church where he worshipped. His love of music brought together local amateur musicians, students and young professionals to showcase their talents.

For more than ten years, he was chairman of the Music Club and worked tirelessly to encourage members to develop their skills and the confidence to perform. Many of those from his fundraising concerts performed at the club and vice versa.

Ian Clark, acting BRMC chairman and compere of Chris’s fundraisers, said: “A brilliant pianist himself, Chris championed local talent and especially young musicians. Chris never stopped learning and perfecting his craft and loved to share the gift of music,

“On Saturday, I will introduce many of Chris’s friends and fellow performers in a concert celebrating his memory and the joy of performing. Some will be playing pieces they last played with Chris.”

Among those appearing is cellist James Dew, now studying at the Royal College of Music, who will play Rachmaninov’s Sonata in G minor for Cello and Piano, which he last performed with Chris at the Music Club’s concert in February 2020. He will be accompanied on Saturday by Nina Levtov.

Many club members will pay tribute at the concert including Paul Dorrell (flute) accompanied by Huw Griffiths (piano), and a trio of Alex Palmer (flute), Jan Lewis (piano) and Colin Hartree (oboe). Other long-term collaborators performing on the night include Lilias Lamont (viola) accompanied by Nick Gleed (piano), Tony Smart (clarinet) and Chris Johnston (piano), who will play one of Chris’s favourite pieces, Chopin’s Barcarolle.

“We hope as many people as possible will help us celebrate Chris’s life and musical legacy.” Music Club concerts are open to all. Tickets are £8 for guests and £6 for members and can be bought on the door. The concert begins at 7.30pm at the Regis School of Music, 46 Sudley Road, Bognor Regis.