Chichester Chorale will celebrate Christmas with a special concert fund-raiser for Macmillan Cancer Support.
For Arthur and Polly Robson who run the choir, the concert will also celebrate the very special bonds of friendship and family which are at the choir’s heart.
“Macmillan Cancer Support is our big focus for this concert,” says Arthur. “One of our great mates has got bone marrow cancer. He is surviving.
“But we have known lots of people over the years that have disappeared. We are just thinking that we want to give something back now.”
Polly agrees: “The choir is a bit like family. We lost one of our choir members this year with Pat Kemp (wife of the late Eric, Bishop of Chichester), who had been with us almost since the beginning of the choir.
“She had found it really difficult to attend choir, but we had a number of choir members who would bring her.
“Everybody cared about her, and the feeling within the choir was very strong. We have got two choir members who are ill at the moment, and I think everyone is aware of just how fragile life is. Choir is important. It is not just a choir. It is full of people who will always go that extra mile to look after people. It has never been a problem finding people who would give a lift or visit in hospital. It is a wonderful group of people that Arthur and I care very much about.
“And they are all very committed. Arthur is very demanding musically, and people really love that, and I think it shows in the performances.
“Christmas is a very special time. It is about family and about loving people, and it is a demonstration of something very special when we stretch out our hands to help each other and to share that joy and friendship together. It’s such a family thing.”
The concert is at St George’s Church, Whyke, Cleveland Road, Chichester PO19 7AD on Saturday, December 10 at 7.30pm with tickets available from Polly on firstname.lastname@example.org or 01243 823481 or from the Chichester tourist information centre or on the door.
“St George’s is a very good venue,” Arthur says. “It has got a brand-new organ there which is only a couple of years old, and we have got the wonderful fingers of Mark Wardell to play it. It’s such a nice comfortable venue for us.”
Arthur is promising a selection of popular carols among a number of other, more unusual pieces.
The night will see Misericordias Domini by Mozart, featuring an Advent Sunday text, and Fantasia on Christmas Carols by Vaughan Williams. There will also be some Victoriana and some French carols.
“It will be a real feast of Christmas music,” Polly said.
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