Celebrations for Ryesingers


To mark the choir’s milestone 45th birthday, Ryesingers have chosen their favourite pieces to sing at their spring concert, “An Evening to Remember”, at 7:30 pm next Saturday February 27 in the Community Hall. They and their audience will celebrate with wine and nibbles and a programme of songs including many that have won them prizes at music festivals around the country.

Those festivals included the Welsh Eisteddfod, Blackpool Musical Festival, Middlesbrough, Cheltenham and once, memorably, at Bromley where they arrived just in time to take part in the competition, and brought the house down with a lively rendition of “The Wedding Ring”.

The choir has presented concerts in churches and other venues in and around Rye as well as further afield in this country and in Europe – in Belgium, France and Germany.

Ryesingers was started in 1971 by Lesley Brownbill with just a few keen singers practising in her neighbour’s (Sally Osborne’s) sitting room.

Initially the choir was made up of women but when men joined there was the chance to present the Gilbert and Sullivan operettas that have been so popular in Rye. Lesley, still the choir’s musical director, has always insisted on achieving a high standard of pure sound, with a wide-ranging programme of classical works, such as the Berlioz Requiem as well as madrigals, folk songs, gospel and songs from popular musicals.

Tickets are available on the door or from Grammar School Records. The price includes a glass of wine and the audience is invited to join the choir’s post-concert party  The choir’s summer concert in this anniversary year is on July 16, with Purcell’s “Dido and Aeneas” and works by Gustav Holst and Ralph Vaughan Williams.

Photo: Rye News Library

Image Credits: Rye News Gallery .

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