Feeling good with the Phoenix Choir

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Phoenix Choir’s summer concerts are well-known for presenting popular classics with a feel-good factor.

Tomorrow (Saturday June 4) director Michael Fields will lead this popular local choir and its audience on an excursion from George Gershwin to John Rutter, exploring some surprising, uplifting and memorable examples of the vibrant fusion of jazz and classical music.

Rutter’s Gloria shows this champion of the Christmas carol at his most masterful in bringing together sacred and secular themes in a blend reflecting eclectic modern life.

Ex-Kings Singer Bob Chilcott - whose compositions also include many beautiful carols - takes a similar turn in his Little Jazz Mass, a work which is much closer to being real jazz music with sacred words.

The contrast will be obvious when Phoenix performs Rutter with organ and piano, while Chilcott gets the piano, bass and drums jazz trio treatment.

Fleshing out a programme that mixes old and new will be choral arrangements of the toe-tapping 60s classics, The Rhythm of Life - a golden classic performed by Shirley Mclean and Sammy Davis Jnr - and Simon & Garfunkel’s Feelin’ Groovy, alongside a Victorian madrigal and other songs and instrumental items with Eastbourne and Sussex connections.

The audience will be treated to a choral concert with a difference, and experience how variety is indeed the spice of life.

The concert takes place at 7.30pm at All Saints Church on Grange Road, Eastbourne, and includes an interval, during which refreshments are available.

There will be a retiring collection for the mental health charity, MIND.

Tickets are £12 (Under 18’s and students £6) and are available from Reid+Dean, Cornfield Road, Eastbourne’s Tourist Information Centre, and on the door.