The Eastbourne Symphony Orchestra offers a spring choral concert

Eastbourne Symphony Orchestra in rehearsal in St. Savior’s Church

Eastbourne Symphony Chorus and Eastbournian Society Chorus join them for Haydn’s Creation on Sunday 8th May at 7.30pm at St Savior’s Church.

The performance will also feature soprano Rachel Shouksmith; tenor Andrew Mackenzie-Wicks; and bass Christopher Dixon.

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Conductor Graham Jones said: “This is an annual event. We’ve been doing it now for almost 40 years during which time we’ve performed most of the major works in three different venues. We were in St Savior’s and we went to the Congress Theater and we also came to Chichester and now we are back in St Savior’s.

“Really, it started because there was a feeling that it was something the orchestra should do as part of its role in the community and there was also a feeling that we knew singers who could come together to do it.

“It’s important to remember that we are an orchestra and some singers come from different local groups. Eastbourne Symphony Chorus is something that comes together for this event. Many singers we see year after year.

It’s obviously quite a logistical challenge: “These are two different groups that rehearse side by side but not together. The two groups only meet on the day of the concert. Part of what happens during rehearsal is anticipating what the other group is thinking and therefore aiming for a consistent performance on the day, as there is precious little time when we actually get together.

“We have a three-hour rehearsal and we bring together the choir and the orchestra as well as the three soloists. Normally it clicks. Sometimes it takes a little longer than other times to click. Musicians need to learn to understand themselves and the venue and from a conductor’s point of view it is important to remember that the musicians themselves will do their best to adapt after the first hit. baguette. Part of that is really keeping things together. There’s a lot of music to play. It’s roughly a two hour piece and we only have three hours to rehearse the day.

Above all, the coin fulfills a pre-pandemic promise. This is the room they were going to make before the first lockdown.

“So that has been somewhat in storage for us. When we came together in March of this year, we were picking up where we left off.

Part of the challenge will be that the choirs are usually a bit smaller, around 20-30% fewer: “We expect there will be just over 70 in the choir, which is probably rather better than Haydn’s first performance. It had 120 musicians and 60 singers and it doesn’t seem very balanced! We will be around 50 in the orchestra.

“We wanted to get back into it partly because the singers had worked on it before the pandemic and also because it’s a track that has an incredible message for us today. First of all, it’s probably the “one of the greatest choral works ever written, but it’s also an upbeat, uplifting work in these troubled times. I think we tend to forget that in the late 1700s and especially the early 1800s , Vienna was partly threatened by war and that in the early 1800s it had been invaded twice during the Napoleonic war. It was a work that was conceived and performed in this troubled context, and I think that it concerns us today in certain respects.

wegottickets (£14); Reid and Dean, 43-45 Cornfield Road, Eastbourne BN21 4QG (£14; Friends of ESO £12); at the door (£15; £13 for Friends of ESO). Information from [email protected]

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