September 2020 
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Dear <<Greeting>>

How the world has changed since I last wrote to you! I wonder if live music has ever been so badly missed? But there is good news. As we begin our 40th season, the English Arts Chorale is still in celebration mode!

Everything in this newsletter is of course subject to review in the light of the Covid19 situation at the time. For up-to-date information throughout this period, please consult the EAC website

Messiah – November 2020
Where should a choral celebration begin after an enforced break, but with Handel’s Messiah? Four sparkling young soloists, the EAC bursting to get singing again, and an orchestra small but perfectly formed. Join us on Saturday 28th November at our home venue of St. Mary’s Church Reigate.

Elijah – December 2020 and February 2021
Mendelssohn’s masterful Elijah is one of the big-league sacred oratorios, full of melody, drama and lyricism. What fascinates me is the modernity of the story - a man who stands alone against corruption and faithlessness, wins the battle but is so drained that he sinks into despair. Only messengers straight from heaven can put heart into him. Mendelssohn’s insight is in every note.

We perform Elijah twice, once in the warm, familiar surroundings of St Mary’s Reigate on 12th December, and then again in London’s splendidly re-furbished Queen Elizabeth Hall on the South Bank on Tuesday 2nd February. Come to both! The music – and, I like to think, our particular performance of it – fully justifies at least two nights out!

Dvorak Stabat Mater – March and April
Early March this year found me in Prague, conducting the fabulous young orchestra of the Prague Conservatoire and working with them in rehearsal. What talent those gifted young players have! A real treat and delight awaits you when we bring them to England to give two performances of Dvorak’s Stabat Mater in March. Brighton’s famous musical church of St Bartholomew’s is the host venue on Friday 19th March, followed by St Mary’s Reigate on Saturday 20th March.

In April we take this great work home to Prague on our 2021 choir tour, which guest singers are warmly invited to join.

Paul Carr Commission & Dvorak’s New World - May
Paul Carr’s glorious music has become a real joy for EAC singers and audiences alike. Now, to celebrate 1,000 years of the Abbey of St Edmund (in Bury St Edmunds), Paul has produced yet another glorious 30-minute work for choir, orchestra, and tenor soloist. I am privileged to conduct the World Première of Into the Light on Saturday 29th May in St Edmundsbury Cathedral as part of the 2021 Bury Festival, with The English Arts Chorale, Eye Bach Choir, Suffolk Philharmonic Orchestra and the extremely distinguished tenor soloist James Gilchrist, who sang the tenor role in our two performances of Britten’s War Requiem at Winchester Cathedral and Tewkesbury Abbey. After the interval, bask in Suffolk Philharmonic’s lyrical performance of Dvorak’s New World Symphony.

Popular Classics for St Catherine’s Hospice - June
The EAC has been associated with St Catherine’s Hospice for many years. In June, our business sponsor, KMG Independent Ltd., will give us the chance to make a difference, by funding a glorious evening of music-making, featuring some of the most popular orchestral and choral classics ever written. Great film themes like 633 Squadron, marches like Crown Imperial and Elgar’s Pomp and Circumstance rub shoulders with choral gemstones like Zadok the Priest, Parry’s I Was Glad, and O Fortuna from Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana. Join us at the Hawth Theatre Crawley, on Thursday 10th June 2021 for a fantastic evening of music, fundraising for an outstanding cause.

Rachmaninov Vespers and Tallis’ 40-part motet – June and July
During this thrilling and exultant season we will be joined by wonderful orchestras – The English Arts Orchestra for Messiah and Elijah, Prague Conservatoire Orchestra for Dvorak Stabat Mater, Suffolk Philharmonic for Paul Carr and the New World. So to round off the season with something a little more reflective, we revert to the power and simplicity of the unaccompanied human voice.

Join us in June and July when, together with our friends of the Esher-based RIPIENO Choir, we perform Rachmaninov’s Vespers and Thomas Tallis’s hugely complex 40-part motet Spem in Alium. There are two performances, on Saturday 19th June at Our Lady of Lourdes church in Thames Ditton, and on Saturday 3rd July at St Mary’s Reigate.

And so the English Arts Chorale’s spectacular season concludes where it began – at St Mary’s Reigate. Home. We would love you to join us.

Best wishes,


Leslie Olive

PS: On Saturday 17th April 2021 it will be EXACTLY 40 years since the EAC’s first performance – Messiah on Saturday 17th April 1981. Red letter day!
KMG Independent Ltd. are pleased to support the English KMG Financial PlannersArts Chorale and the fantastic work they do. KMG provide bespoke investment management and financial planning services to both individual and corporate clients, offering a truly personal and holistic service. Based in Surrey, KMG have been offering fee-based, expert independent advice for over half a century.
The English Arts Chorale Association is a Registered Charity No. 1153599
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