Arun Choral Society commemorate the armistice centenary in Arundel Cathedral

Joe Paxton Arun Choral Society
Joe Paxton Arun Choral Society

Arun Choral Society mark the centenary of the armistice which ended the First World War with a concert in Arundel Cathedral on October 20.

They will be singing Elgar’s Spirit of England and Vaughan Williams’ Dona Nobis Pacem. The standards of the Sussex Regiment will be paraded, and a slide show will accompany them.

Choir member Susan Francis is looking forward to a challenging and enjoyable programme: “Both piece are quite hard, the comparisons in Spirit of England to try to bring out the great things about England and the terribleness of the war. You have got some bright bits like when he is talking about sun beams, but then you have got moments where he is talking about mothers that have no longer got their sons. Spirit of England is a very emotional piece of music.

“The Vaughan Williams is similar. Elgar wrote his piece not long after he came back from World War One and Vaughan Williams wrote his piece when he was approaching World War Two. He wrote it in 1936. He was looking back at the terrible reminders of the first war and he was trying to bring people into thoughts of peace. They are both remembering the same things but in different time zones.

“They are both very emotional pieces, and behind the choir we are going to have a big screen where we are going to project onto the screen images while the choir is singing. Some of it will be beautiful scenes of the Downs; some of it will be images from the war. There will be some pictures of choir members’ family that either fought or died in the war.”

Susan has been a member of Arun Choral Society for about four years: “I love singing, and I missed singing properly. I went to a friend’s husband’s funeral where Arun Choral Society was singing. I was so impressed that I went along and joined them.

“Singing is such a fantastic thing to do. You can come away from work really tired and stressed, and then by the time you have finished rehearsing, you have worked really really hard, but all of the stress has gone. It is better than going to the gym! Singing really does exercise the whole body if you do it properly.

“The choir is more than 100 years old, but we have got a lovely new musical director, Joe Paxton. He is so young and so enthusiastic and he is so knowledgeable. He really makes you want to do better than you are doing. He has got this wonderful smile that you get when you get something right, but if you get something wrong, he doesn’t tell you off. He will just say ‘Let’s do that again’ or ‘Let’s do it differently.’ He is just so good. You just want to do it better and better for him.”

Tickets £15 (half price for students and under 18s) are available by phone on 01243 866469 or email boxoffice@arunchoralsociety.co.uk.

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