St Richard Singers’ Festival of Chichester concert will see them bid farewell to their conductor Jake Barlow who is stepping down after two seasons in charge.
Jake is moving away from the area later this summer.
The concert on Saturday, July 6 at 7.30pm will be entitled Rejoice!, taking place at St George’s Church, Cleveland Road, Chichester.
After their huge sell-out success last year, the St Richard Singers return with the promise of a concert exploring the music of celebration from Batten to Britten. The night will see the choir enter the spirit of celebration as they approach their 50th-anniversary season.
“I will have done two seasons,” says Jake, “and I am going to remember them very fondly. The choir has done a huge amount of work and has come on so very well.
“I feel I have built the start of something that the choir has got the ability to build on further.
“I think that the musical standard has certainly gone up. The choir is always very open-minded. They are a group that are always very willing to rise to challenges, and that is something to be celebrated.
“I certainly won’t be thinking of it all as unfinished business because I don’t like leaving loose ends. I will be tying everything up in my capacity as much as possible.
“The choir has planned its 50th-anniversary year and it will be nice to watch it unfold from slightly afar. The choir has made it very clear that I will most welcome to come back.”
As for the choir’s Festival of Chichester concert, they sang excerpts from their Rejoice! programme at the first day of the festival celebrations on the Cathedral Green.
“The choir very much enjoyed the launch, and they had a good time doing it –and they knew that it was good for people to see us. And from the applause we had, it seems that people enjoyed us! Performing at the launch was a very worthwhile exercise for us.”
“The programme is all on the theme of rejoicing and celebrating, with the anniversary year coming up and with this being a festival.
“The concert includes the iconic Rejoice In The Lamb by Benjamin Britten, which is quite a difficult piece. It has got quite a lot of technical demands about it, especially in terms of the rhythm, but the choir has risen to the challenge very nicely.”
Also featured will be an excerpt from Haydn’s Creation: “We have got some young professionals from the local area undertaking the solo parts. The choir love working with local musicians and local singers. It is very easy in this location to get your soloists from London and have done with it, but we like to work with young local soloists who want to gain experience with us.”