In May, Rotary organised a visit of Belgian choir to Epsom

A Belgian Choir sang at St Martin's Church Epsom thanks to Rotarian Richard Deavin

The Belgian Choir singing in St Martin's Church Epsom

Rotary organises visit of Belgian choir to Epsom.

Following Epsom Choral Society’s excellent tour to Antwerp last summer,  Epsom Rotary Club was asked if a venue near London could be found for their 70 – strong oratorio choir “de Chorale”. As a result, on 26th May we were treated to a fine, slightly unusual, concert in St Martin’s.

It is fair to say that the concert, under the dramatic baton of Paul Dinneweth, and including works by Belgian composers, was not quite what we are used to. The choir goes for a big sound, but with no loss of clarity, and performed with much energy. They processed in to a resounding performance of “Zadok the Priest”, continuing with an arrangement of Mendelssohn’s setting of Psalm 45. Van Nuffield’s arrangement of Psalm 125 followed and the first half concluded with the shanty “Shenandoah”, arranged by J. Erb.

The choir’s accomplished organist, Peter Maus, then delighted us as he put St. Martin’s organ through its paces before the choir processed back in (using nave and both aisles) to the amazing “Immortal Bach” by Nystedt,  in which each choir member sang their part’s line of Bach’s  "Komm süßer Tod" (BWV 478), but in their own time!

More Mendelssohn was followed  by two works by Lodewijk de Vocht, the choir’s founder, including part of his choral symphony in which the choir truly takes the part of the orchestra (unlike in some better known works).

Finally a rousing chorus from Carmina Burana as encore, sung, as was much of the concert, without scores.

Thanks are due to the Choral Society for the loan of staging and lighting and to those members who assisted with set-up, clear-up and helping to recruit a good-size audience.


Richard Deavin