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The Wadhurst Chorale, under the baton of Robert Fuller, aims
to perform two or three times a year
and rehearses in the Parish Church of St Peter & St Paul on Friday evenings for around six weeks before each event.
Over the last
years, they have sung the Stainer ‘Crucifixion’, the ‘Cantique de Jean Racine’
and the Fauré and Rutter ‘Requiems’ on Good Friday.
They also sing more secular works: in the 2009 Etchingham Festival, they sang settings of English songs to accompany readings of the poetry of A E Housman.
On Good Friday April 22 2011 in the |Parish Church the Wadhurst Chorale will be performing Charles Wood's Passion according to St Mark
On Sunday July 11 2010 in Etchingham Parish Church the Wadhurst Chorale performed 'The Seven Ages of Man' in the Etchingham Festival - a mix of readings, by Richard Dixon and others in the Etchingham community, songs performed by the Wadhurst Chorale and soloist Lydia Bannister,and piano pieces by Jane Spurr and Robert Fuller.
On Good Friday April 2 April 2010, in the Parish Church the Wadhurst Chorale led a meditation on the death of Christ with a performance of Stainer’s ‘Crucifixion’. Under the direction of Robert Fuller, with Alistair Curtis at the organ, young John Digman [who started in the Church choir as a boy treble and now sings tenor] and Jeremy James [our vicar – and bass soloist] led the Chorale through this moving work; Noel Bannister and Julian Ryder Richards were voices from the crowd. The congregation too had a major part to play in the hymns which are an important part of this work.
On Saturday November 7 in the Parish Church the Wadhurst Chorale presented a concert of words and music for Remembrance 'Greater Love hath No Man' in aid of the Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal.
With the sound of fireworks outside, almost creating the right battlefield atmosphere, three readers - Penny Welham, Robert Dixon and Gerry Wooding -Jones - and the Wadhurst Chorale - Robert Fuller conductor and Jane Spurr at the keyboard - ran through a programme of readings, sensitively chosen by Heather Woodward, and song, mainly English.
Remembrance, beginning with the beauty of the English countryside - at peace but under threat - through the realities of fighting and sacrifice, ending with peaceful reflection on the war and its consequences, held a large audience spellbound. The Wadhurst Chorale gave of its splendid best, with old favourites, including 'The Ash Grove', 'Linden Lea', 'All in an April Evening', 'Kyrie Eleison' from John Rutter's Requiem and their 'signature tune' - 'How Lovely are Thy Dwellings' from the Brahms Requiem; they also gave a first performance of 'Do Not Stand at my Grave and Weep' by local composer Noel Bannister, which brought tears to many people's eyes and deserves to enter the repertoire of many other choral groups. The concert ended with 'For the Fallen' - words by Laurence Binyon and music by Peter Irving with a trumpet solo from Algy Hoare.
The audience stayed on after the concert to enjoy wine and nibbles, creating a warm and enjoyable end to a memorable evening. As someone remarked 'Wadhurst is so lucky to have such a talented choir and choirmaster - with high quality soloists in its ranks; and the audience is so welcoming to all'. The evening also raised £350 for the Poppy Appeal.
Additional voices are always welcome – no audition required! Contact Robert Fuller in the evenings on 01 580 200 477 or e-mail