Combined choirs sang wonderfully

Saturday evening saw the premiere performance of The True St Nicolas with “an astonishingly good performance” by local schoolchildren singing alongside an adult choir.

Matthew Johns writes: “This concert featured the world première performance of an especially composed six part Cantata’ – The True St Nicolas, to celebrate the 800th anniversary of St Nicolas Church, Pevensey. The piece was composed for 60 combined voices of Hailsham Choral Society, celebrating its own 55th anniversary, and children from Pevensey and Westham School.

The combined choirs worked closely together. The children’s choir was especially formed for this performance – the first at the school in 25 years. They sang wonderfully with clear diction and confidently with tuneful expression throughout. The balance between the adult and children’s voices was perfect in the excellent acoustics for which St. Nicolas church is renowned.

The exciting new cantata from established Sussex based professional composers Ruth Kenward and Martin Neill, The True Saint Nicolas had its first performance at Saint Nicolas Church, Pevensey, on Saturday June 11 . Appropriately it has been written for children to sing with adults. Here for the first ever performance it was children from Pevensey & Westham Primary School with members of Hailsham Choral Society.

The 20-minute piece which followed a spirited and vibrant performance of Haydn’s St Nicolas Mass (Missa Sancti Nicolai - Mass no. 6 in G Major) by the Hailsham Choral Society opened with the children asking the adults to tell them the story of the real Santa Claus.

They are led on a journey through a series of miraculous events attributed to Saint Nicolas, some of them more fictitious-sounding than others! The character of the man himself is revealed through the stories told and, by the end, the children recognise the link between the generous nature of both Father Christmas and the true Saint Nicolas.”

Head teacher Mr R Thomas commented: “This has been an excellent opportunity to bring together a new school choir that I hope goes from strength to strength.”