Who would have thought that a little place like Steyning would have a choir that boast 95 members with a sister choir in Horsham of over 50.
Cantatrice (meaning women singers) began back in 2004 when 90 singers crammed into the local church hall. We rapidly moved to our home base, the Steyning Centre where you can still hear us rehearsing every Friday morning during term time. A sister choir in Horsham began 3 months later – this continues to grow.
Our repertoire is still as varied as when we began, ranging from sacred items to jazz and musicals, the venues as diverse as Chichester Festival Theatre to our own Live Lounge in the Rifle Range here in Steyning – no to mention a few wins at competitive festivals at other venues! Incredible to see also that about 90% of the members have been with us since the beginning.
Workshops by visiting professionals are a must for any choir who want to improve and David Lawrence, Brenda Rattray, Jeremy Jackman & Jonathan Wilcocks were musicians we invited to work with Cantatrice.
They loved the energy, happiness and over-whelming sound of the choir and of course lunch at White’s! Also arranged were voice craft workshops with Mark Oldman and Ruth Kerr, a must for any choir who want to learn the basics of singing when time does not always allow because of note bashing!
We love working with young musicians which are plentiful and willing in our area; many of whom have gone on to music colleagues and who have returned to share in some more music making.
Since September – apart from the social events(!) and the usual Christmas celebrations, the choir performed with Worthing Symphony Orchestra at Worthing Assembly Hall in the ‘Last Night of the Proms’ concert, for the 25th anniversary celebrations for ABCD (Association of British Choral Directors) at the Dorking Halls in October and joined forces with the Sussex Harmonisers Barbershop Chorus in Burgess Hill, & the Drill Hall Horsham.
To come is another trip to Bournemouth to compete in the festival, also local concerts and charity events and in the autumn they perform Adiemus at the Hawth in Crawley.
Finally one could not have any choir without an accompanist and Laura Skuce is my absolute rock when it comes to support. A totally versatile musician, happy to play (& sing) classical, rock, folk & musicals and turn her hand to almost any instrument!
What the choir said:
“This is the choir’s first Choiroke – they are excited and nervous but hope their infectious warmth & passionate love of singing will bring you great enjoyment”