Who We Are
Fernhurst Choral Society is a thriving mixed-voice choir based in West Sussex. We have around 90 members and normally perform three concerts throughout the year. We pride ourselves on imaginative and varied programming. We are committed to collaborating with talented young professional singer soloists and instrumentalists, many of whom are at the start of their professional careers.
In 2013 we founded the Downland Sinfonia (originally the Fernhurst Chamber Orchestra), a professional ensemble that accompanies many of our concerts.
Since 2014 we have also run hugely enjoyable annual “Come & Sing” events.
Fernhurst Choral Society was formed in 1953 to sing at the village pageant in Fernhurst to celebrate the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II. The following year the Society performed and competed at the Petersfield Musical Festival. Our association with the Peterfield Musical Festival continues to this day and we are now the single largest choir taking part.
From those early days the Society has grown to around 90 members and has performed most of the great choral works. In the last ten years we have started to do exchanges with European choirs including hosting Le Chant Sacré from Geneva in an all Schubert programme in St Paul’s Chichester in 2015.
Tim Ravalde is the Assistant Organist of Chichester Cathedral and Musical Director of Fernhurst Choral Society.
In Chichester he is responsible for accompanying the daily choral services and assisting with the training of the choir. He has also accompanied the choir for two recordings with Herald, numerous BBC broadcasts, toured Germany and Italy and acted as the Festival Organist at the 2013 Southern Cathedrals Festival.
He was educated at the Nelson Thomlinson School, Wigton. While in sixth form he was Organ Scholar of Carlisle Cathedral and became a Fellow of the Royal College of Organists, before spending a year as Organ Scholar of Salisbury Cathedral.
He graduated from Cambridge University in 2010. As Organ Scholar of St John’s College he acted as assistant to Andrew Nethsingha, accompanying the college choir for numerous tours, the famous annual Advent broadcasts and three critically acclaimed CD recordings with Chandos, as well as the daily chapel services. He also acted as Musical Director of the St John’s Singers, the College’s mixed voice choir and won the 2009 Brian Runnett Prize for organ playing. Tim’s website can be found here.
Fernhurst Choral Society is non-profit organisation registered as a Charity with the Charity Commission for England and Wales (No 1068101).
It’s aim is to promote public education in and appreciation of the art of music by the presentation of public concerts and recitals.
Chairman: Nigel Roberts
Vice-Chairman & Friends Representative: Camilla Hooper
Treasurer: VACANCY (Nigel Roberts – acting)
Minute Secretary & Charity Commission Representative: Clare Fripp
Concert Administrator: Lindsay Warwick Gee
Petersfield Festival Committee Representative: Hughie Russell
Publicity Officer & Website Administrator: Michael Burnham
Librarian: VACANCY (Pat Bubbear – acting)
Ticket Manager: Pat Bubbear
Membership Secretary: Tina Litchfield
Social Secretaries: Alison Russell & Tracy Garland
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