The 2023 Christmas Concert held in St John's School Chapel, Leatherhead began with a joyous fanfare from the Academy Brass Ensemble plus Greg Thomson on timps before the audience had their first opportunity to raise their voices in a carol. There followed a quiet and thought-provoking poem and carol before a virtuosic performance by Jane Searle, soprano, and Roy Falshaw on piccolo trumpet.
Bob Chilcott's Gloria is an uplifting and jubilant work featuring upbeat tempi and syncopated cross-rhythms interspersed with lyrical lines all moving towards the final exhilarating 'Amen'. Brass, percussion and organ accompaniment (from Matthew Rickard) made this an exciting work for the choir to perform and the audience were very appreciative. After drinks in the dining room and an opportunity to discuss the first half, we returned to the hall for a feast of carols and readings. Highlights after the the interval included Ave Maria from Jane and a joyous Carol Fantasy from the Brass Quintet as well as some beautiful singing, accompanied by piano and organ, from the choir.
Thanks went to Valerie Beynon for putting together (and rehearsing) a meaningful programme combining carols, old and new, to reflect on the Christmas story while wishing for 'Joy to the World'.
A retiring collection was taken for a local Molesey-based charity, Momentum, which supports families in which a child is facing cancer or other life-challenging conditions. £1000 provides 50 hours of help from a Family support worker, our generous choir and audience managed to raise the amazing sum of £1170
Verdi Requiem at Grange Park
Sat, 23 Sep 2023
LHMF 2023 OCS Competition Day
Sat, 15 Apr 2023
Saturday 15 April and the day we returned to Leith Hill Music Festival competition after the covid years. We embraced the new style recital competition with And Can It Be (living composer), Ave Verum (unaccompanied) and Bobby Shafto (accompanied). We also entered an ensemble who sang My Spirit Sang All Day. Despite being a little worried about singing everything from memory, we started the day with what Val considered, a 'knockout performance' of And Can It Be that she will never forget. An amazing 89 scored which won us the Cecil Wiltshire Cup (a large trophy which will hold a goodly amount of celebratory champagne). We didn't reach such distinction on the other two pieces (85 for Ave Verum and 86 for Bobby Shafto) but the total score of 260 equalled Dorking and put us in joint first place! A stunning result for us and a reward for all the hard work over the past months from the choir, our Music Director, Val Beynon and David Harvey, accompanist..
After a delicious lunch at a restaurant over the road, it was back to the halls for an afternoon rehearsal for the evening concert. Despite the worry over late ticket sales, we did have an audience forToward the Unknown Region by RVW and Elgar's The Music Makers. Untested by competition the combined choirs needed to keep their wits about them to follow Jonathan Willcocks' conducting with the many changes in tempo but the, very large, Southern Pro Musica orchestra managed to cover any mistakes! A highlight of the concert for many was Diana Moore singing Elgar's Sea Pictures - absolutely beautiful. The concert ended traditionally with audience and choir joining to sing the hymn God be with you till we meet again - an appropriate ending to an emotional day.
R C Sherriff Celebration Elmbridge Choir Festival
Fri, 24 Feb 2023
OCS enjoyed performing as one of 10 choirs in celebration of the 30th Anniversary of the RC Sherriff Trust. Each Elmbridge choir entertained us with a 20 minute programme, with different musical genres featuring over the two nights. Our programme included both classical and fun pieces at the Friday concert.
OCS has been fortunate to have been supported by the Trust over a number of years and we have been grateful for that help so were delighted to be part of this event.
OCS Christmas Concert "Gloria"
Sat, 3 Dec 2022
Christmas 2022 and on 3 December, OCS was back in St Andrew’s for a joyful evening of Puccini, Christmas songs and carols with a full choir, audience and interval refreshments including the must-have sausage rolls!
Valerie Beynon, conductor, was on good (and speedy) form in the Messa di Gloria and we were grateful that David Harvey, our accompanist, was able to keep us on track from the piano. John Upperton was suitably lyrical in the operatic tenor parts and Geoffrey Horton, bass-baritone, brought out the pathos in the Crucifixus.
In the second half we were joined by the organist, Stewart Whatton, as the programme continued with much loved songs, including favourites such as: O Holy Night!, The Three Kings, Rutter carols and A Christmas Blessing, from soloists and the choir. Most wonderful of all was everyone in the church raising their voices to sing traditional carols as we looked forward to a more 'normal' Christmas.
Thanks go to all who contributed to the retiring collection which raised £750 for the Cobham Area Foodbank.
OCS Summer Concert
Sun, 12 Jun 2022
In summer 2022 we again combined with our friends from Horsley Choral Society for our concert "Gloriana" to celebrate the Queen's Platinum Jubilee. The concert featured Haydn's Nelson Mass, Zadok the Priest and Parry's I was Glad, and lighter numbers including Abba's Dancing Queen, rumoured to be one of HM's favourites.
Fri, 8 Apr 2022
The 2022 festival took place in a slightly different format to usual, due to the uncertainty over the resumption of choral activities. The opening concert, Handel's Messiah, had been postponed until June 19th, but unfortunately this had to be cancelled. The Festival itself was reduced from its normal three days down to two, with Oxshott participating on the Friday. Competition was limited, and optional, but the afternoon rehearsals and evening concerts took place as usual. Our own Val Beynon presented the prizes on the Friday evening, in recognition of her long tenure as a Leith Hill conductor.
There were two "main" works - Beethoven's Mass in C and Jonathan Willcocks' Song for Mary. In a break with tradition, choirs were allowed to choose their own repertoire in other categories, which was presented as a 20-minute recital. The choice of music had to include a piece by a living composer, an a capella piece, an accompanied piece and two extracts from the main works.
On the Saturday, the main works were Gershwin's Porgy and Bess and Bob Cholcott's A Little Jazz Mass.
Sun, 5 Dec 2021
We sang excerpts from Handel's Messiah, and a selection of Christmas music old and new. Unfortunately there was no interval to be enlivened by the customary wine and hot mince pies and sausage rolls. Despite the audience size being limited by Covid-19 precautions, we managed to raise £410 for our Christmas charity, B@titude, a shop in Leatherhead which, according to its website, "sells second-hand babies (!) and children's clothes", and provides a hub for families to meet in the north Leatherhead area.
Sat, 14 Dec 2019
Our 2019 Christmas concert, in St Andrew's Church, Oxshott, on Saturday December 14th included J S Bach's Magnificat in D, and a selection of Christmas music old and new. In the interval there was the usual irresistible allure of wine and hot mince pies and sausage rolls.
Our chosen charity this year was Elmbridge Community Link.
Thu, 11 Apr 2019
The 2019 Festival was Jonathan Willcocks' third as conductor. The festival started with a performance of Bach's St John Passion, on Sunday March 10th at the Dorking Halls. The Festival competition took place over 11th-13th April. Red division (Capel, Epsom, Oxshott and Shalford) sang on Thursday - Hummel's Mass in B-flat Major and Requiem by William Godfree. Blue division (Buckland & Betchworth, Beare Green & Newdigate, Horsley and Leatherhead) sang on Friday, main works Carl Orff's Carmina Burana and Travelling Tales by Alan Bullard. Green division (Bookham, Dorking, Holmbury St. Mary and Mickleham) sang on Saturday, main works J S Bach's Magnificat and Haydn's Creation.
Sat, 15 Dec 2018
Our 2018 Christmas concert in Oxshott was again given to a full house. The featured work was Vivaldi's Gloria, accompanied by Christmas carols for choir and audience, and with the traditional hot mince pies and sausage rolls in the interval. The retiring collection raised over £1,000 for our chosen charity, Surrey Care Trust..
Sat, 9 Dec 2017
The featured work was Bob Chilcott's Gloria,with soloist Jane Searle.
Carols and other seasonal songs were accompanied on the organ by Matthew Rickard and the Tony Adie Brass Ensemble..
Sat, 14 Jun 2014
On Saturday June 15th, Oxshott Choral Society presented "Eventide", a programme of music for a summer evening, which included Faure's ever-popular Requiem and the Canteen of Jean Racique. We were again joined by singers from Horsley Choral Society, but unusually the concert was not held in St. Andrew's Church Oxshott, our normal venue, because of the church's re-ordering. Instead we performed in the chapel at St. John's School Leatherhead and in spite of the move the concert attracted a large and enthusiastic audience.
Sat, 11 Dec 2010
In our Christmas concert, entitled "Gloria", we sang John Rutter's Gloria, fittingly, and Vaughan Williams' Fantasia on Christmas Carols. Baritone Davis Salmon deputised for the indisposed Geoffrey Horton, Robin Wells accompanied on the organ and piano, and trumpeter Roy Falshaw contributed some fine solo pieces. The audience joined in with some carols and christmas songs after seasonal refreshments. Profits from the evening were donated to The Children's Trust, Tadworth, who provide care, education, therapy and rehabilitation to children with multiple disabilities. Find out more at The Children's Trust website.