Littlehampton: the great Prom tradition

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Littlehampton’s Edwin James Festival Choir have been rehearsing hard for their popular yearly prom concert (July 23).

James Rushman, musical director, said: “The Edwin James annual prom concert runs true to prom tradition with an evening of orchestral works, singing and lots of fun for all, and was originally inspired by the Henry Wood Promenade Concerts at The Royal Albert Hall and presented by BBC1

“Every year, our prom has a different theme, and this year, our 19th, is no exception and will be performed with the Edwin James Festival Orchestra in a concert entitled The Good, The Bad and The Ugly. The first half in this year’s concert sees cowboys and girls, red Indians and squaws, saloon girls with their madam, settlers and lots more fun singing songs from old films and shows such as The Deadwood Stage, Riders in the Sky, Home on the Range and not forgetting The Good, The Bad and The Ugly. The second half will follow the more traditional prom sequence including Edward Elgar’s Pomp and Circumstance part of which is Land of Hope and Glory; Henry Woods Fantasia on British Sea Songs; Thomas Arne’s Rule Britannia; the Herbert Parry Jerusalem set to the poem by William Blake; and the British National Anthem. This will be followed with the tradition of Auld Lang Syne at the end of the concert.”

James added: “We’ve made the prom concert a bit more challenging for the choir this year with members having to memorise words for some of the numbers, and they will be singing the British Sea Songs usually just played by the orchestra. The audience will, as usual, be required to join in with the traditional flag-waving, whistles, cheering, clapping, stamping and singing along whilst generally enjoying themselves.”

The Edwin James Festival Choir performs the majority of their concerts in aid of local charities, having to date raised a running total of well over £125,000. This year’s Prom Concert will be in aid of the Ferring Country Centre whose legend is “new horizons” and provides help for people with learning difficulties.

“The centre offers a tranquil and unique interlude to today’s hectic pace of life. A local independent charity, the Ferring Country Centre provides training and work experience whereby clients can develop work and social skills by assisting with the riding therapy unit, the garden centre, café, small animals farm and charity shop (all open to the public) and enables them to participate in various community projects.”

The prom concert will be at St James’ Church in East Ham Road, Littlehampton on Sat, July 23. Doors 6.45pm for 7.30pm. Tickets on the door; 01243 582330; www.edwinjamesfestivalchoir.co.uk.

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