The singers have all been preparing for the annual Henley Choir Festival taking place at St Mary’s Church on Saturday 26 January starting at 7pm.
There have been several rehearsals of the joint choir music very kindly organised and taken by Frances Brewitt-Taylor. The seven choirs taking part this year are St Mary’s, (Henley), All Saints (Rotherfield Peppard), St Nicholas (Rotherfield Greys), St Margaret’s (Harpsden), Hambleden Valley Choir and St John the Baptist (Kidmore End) Christ the King (Sonning Common) and Amicorum.
Co-organiser Liz Hodgkin said, “The main piece this year will be Handel’s Messiah Part I and of course we cannot sing this great work without the Hallelujah Chorus. We see the return of Rebecca Bell to sing the soprano solos, Lucy Gibbs, a Choral Scholar at Merton College, will sing Alto, Tom Emlyn Williams will sing Tenor and our local priest, James Stickings will sing Bass.”
Frances Brewitt-Taylor will once again conduct the massed choirs. David Old, who had played the organ for all the previous choir festivals has retired and moved to Cornwall. Liz commented, “David is greatly missed not only by St Nicholas Church but also by all the choirs he has helped over the years. Michael Howell has very kindly agreed to play for us this year. Michael is the Director of Music at St Thomas’, Goring & St Mary’s, Streatley.”
Over the years many charities have benefited and last year £1,470 was raised for Henley Stroke Club. This year the charity is Diabetes UK who do such great work for what is a much too common illness.
The cost is £5 and tickets are available on the door. There will be a bucket collection at the end of the evening for Diabetes UK.