Community choir celebrates 25 years

VOICES will ring out in harmony this summer as a community choir celebrates a landmark anniversary.

East Sussex Community Choir has helped hundreds of people indulge their love of singing and performed at venues around the UK and Europe since it was formed in the summer of 1988.

To mark its silver jubilee, the choir, part of East Sussex County Council’s music service, will perform Haydn’s Creation, featuring a full orchestra and professional soloists, and host a celebratory lunch.

Ruth Ashton, from Eastbourne, has been a member of the choir for 14 years.

She said, “What prompted me to join was the fact it’s a community choir which is open to anyone. I’d had more than 30 years in comprehensive education and very much believed that if people want to do something, they can.

“I’ve got a huge amount out of being a member. On a physical level it’s a bit of a workout and very good for your breathing and deportment, and it’s great to be part of a real mix of people working on a piece of music you might not know up to performance level.

“Everybody is welcome, whatever their ability and if you like singing, this is a really safe place to come and have a try.”

Conductor Nick Houghton, the head of music at the East Sussex Academy of Music, said: “Ours is a very welcoming choir and includes people from all walks of life and levels of experience. As well as being stimulating musically, singing as part of a choir is a nice social activity, and is also good for you as it gets the endorphins flowing and makes you feel good.

“It’s a great moment for the choir to have been running for so long and to be in such healthy shape. Our numbers have gone up in recent years and we’re looking good for the next 25 years.”

The choir boasts around 100 members drawn from across East Sussex. The concert is on Saturday June 29 at 7.30pm at Lewes Town Hall. See www.eastsussexcommunitychoir.org.uk for details.