A ‘once-in-a-lifetime’ concert for Angmering choir

RECONCILIATION, liberty and peace were the themes as Angmering Chorale enjoyed a once-in-a-lifetime trip to northern France.

In commemoration of the 70th anniversary of D-Day and the 100th anniversary of the start of the First World War, the Chorale joined with host choir the Ouistreham Chorale, a choir from Belgium and two choirs from Germany across a range of activities.

Included in their programme were concerts in Ouistreham and Bayeux, both of which were packed, enjoying 100 per cent standing ovations. Would-be concert goers had to be turned away the venues were so full.

Musical director George Jones said the Chorale had never taken part in anything of this kind before – and doubted whether they ever would again.

“It was amazing. It was absolutely unique,” he reminisced.

He said French organisation and hospitality were outstanding, all based on a keen sense of community which you simply wouldn’t find over here.

Around the two concerts were activities including a ceremonial crossing of Pegasus Bridge, a key location in the Normandy landings.

“It was led by French bagpipers playing the same music that was used after the liberation during the war by the Scottish pipers. You would have had to have been there to feel the emotion.”

For the full story, see this week’s Gazette (Thursday, May 29).