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Only Enthusiasm Required

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How about this for a New Year Resolution? An ongoing recruitment drive by local choral societies has brought together Moleside members eager to encourage more of us to share the pleasure of making music together.

Brian James’ late wife Jan found time when their children were all at university to persuade her husband to join her in investigating the Oxshott Choral Society. More than 30 years later Brian still finds himself looking forward to the weekly rehearsals. “When I was working,” he says,”singing became a wonderful antidote to the pressures of business.”

“Now I’m retired,” Brian continues ” I have even more time to recognise and enjoy the delights of weekly singing in friendly company.”

Ray Blues has been singing all his life. After taking part in a broadcast from Christchurch Priory whilst a boy soprano he has loved performing with many choirs of all sizes

“Our voices change over time,” he admits. 

“Perhaps I’m not as good as I once was and my top notes don’t come as easily as they used to, but singing continues to help me both physically and mentally. And at the same time, I am having great fun.”   

Michael Preiss and his wife, Jill, have sung with the Epsom Choral Society for over forty years – they started young. For them, Michael says, the great thing is that for a couple of hours a week you are 100% concentrating on the singing and music and the rest of life’s stresses and strains are forgotten. 

And then there is the fun preparing for and staging choral concerts.  Michael mentions the Leith Hill Musical Festival where our local choirs come together to rehearse and perform choral works in concert accompanied by a full orchestra with a professional conductor and soloists.

Jim Penny, at 91 years, has long been a prominent figure in the choral-singing world.  From boyhood he has sung in Westminster Abbey choirs and participated in ceremonial duties there including on Royal occasions.  His links to the Abbey continue to this day.  Locally, he is by far the longest-serving member of Oxshott Choral Society and he sings in the choir at St Mary’s Church, Stoke D’Abernon. Now, as well as throughout his a very successful business career, Jim says that singing has been a constant joy for him and continues to enrich his life. 

So what skills are needed to make a real and serious musical contribution?

Brian says “I know from the stories I’ve been hearing from all of us in Moleside who sing, that there is always plenty of help willingly available from our conductors and fellow choir members to help us develop our skills in following a score.  And our enthusiasm to sing great music has taken some of us on unforgettable visits to many wonderful cities in Europe and beyond.

Plenty of us have recently been enjoying the singing of Christmas time. Brian and the other Molesiders who have helped him prepare this report know that our local choral societies will be delighted to hear from any of us who might be interested in getting more actively involved in making wonderful music.  A taster is always possible – why not visit a rehearsal

Here is contact information for the two local societies mentioned above: –

              Oxshott Choral Society

  OCS rehearses each Wednesday evening at 8 pm at: –     
    St Mary’s Church Hall (Parkside School),      Stoke Road, Stoke D’Abernon  KT113PX

                  Epsom Choral Society 

    ECS rehearses each Wednesday evening at 7.45 pm at: – 
     Church House, Church Street, Epsom     KT17 4PX