Recent Concerts & Reviews

A variety of music at the heart of the community

Ashtead Choral Society has been performing for over 70 years.  On this page the details and reviews of our recent concerts will give you a flavour of our range.

We are proud of our long history of singing together in our community and a complete list of our performances can also be found at the link below.

Sing Carols for Charity

Carols for Choir & Audience

9 December 2023

Our popular annual Carols for Choir and Audience, conducted by Andrew Storey with Stephen Ridge on piano. With refreshments along with a Festive Stall selling crafts and produce.

This year we were pleased to be supporting two charities: Joe’s Buddy Line and Dyscover. Joe’s Buddy Line was set up in memory of Joe Lyons and aims to promote and protect the mental health of young people from Primary School to University. Dyscover is a charity that supports people with aphasia, a communication difficulty usually as the result of a stroke.

Petite Messe Solennelle

Rossini

4 November 2023

A heart-warming and celebratory work, bursting with humour, charm and sincerity.

Ironically, Rossini’s Petite Messe Solennelle (Small Solemn Mass), is neither small nor particularly solemn! A naturally witty composer, it was entirely characteristic of Rossini to play with his audience’s expectations in this way. Most famous for his 39 operas, it might also be no surprise that, in this ostensibly religious piece, the vocal writing is unashamedly operatic.

In this the great composer’s final work, the music ranges from hushed intensity to boisterous high spirits, and abounds with the memorable tunes and rhythmic vitality for which Rossini became justly famous. It is a heart-warming and celebratory piece, bursting with humour, charm and sincerity.

In this performance, the choir was accompanied by two pianos played by Stephen Ridge and Simon Phillips, and a harmonium played by Lucy Morrell. Our soloists were: Soprano – Lucy Cox; Alto – Susan Legg; Tenor – Adam Tunnicliffe; and Bass – Philip Tebb.

Carmina Burana

Carl Orff

The Armed Man

Karl Jenkins

13 May 2023

Two classics of the 20th century choral repertoire were on the menu for our summer concert.

Most famous to many as the soundtrack for the Old Spice aftershave advert and films such as The Omen, Carmina Burana has become one of the most celebrated and performed works in recent history. Whereas The Armed Man is a relatively new work which has nevertheless become a choral classic in its short life.

We were accompanied by the Kent Sinfonia, with soloists Ana Beard Fernández (soprano), Richard Decker (counter tenor) and Rupert Pardoe (baritone).

A Sea Symphony

Five Mystical Songs

The Lark Ascending

Ralph Vaughan Williams

25 February 2023

Celebrating the 150th anniversary of his birth, we presented a programme of the works of Ralph Vaughan Williams, including the Lark Ascending, Five Mystical Songs and the powerful and beautifully crafted Sea Symphony. We were accompanied by the Kent Sinfonia with soloists Eleanor Pennell-Briggs (soprano), Daniel Tate (baritone), Christian Halstead (violin) and Stephen Ridge (pianist for Five Mystical Songs).

Pirates of Penzance

Trial by Jury

Gilbert & Sullivan

8 October 2022

We began our 2022-23 season on 8th October in the Epsom Playhouse with concert versions of Pirates of Penzance and Trial by Jury, operettas by Gilbert and Sullivan. A rip roaring evening of melodies and Gilbert-esque story lines, with the Kent Sinfonia and soloists Kathleen Nic Dhairmada, Susan Legg, Mark Nathan and Jeff Stewart.

Messiah

Handel

23 April 2022

No matter how many times one has heard Handel’s ‘Messiah’, if it is sung well, as it certainly was here there is always something new to savour while simultaneously rejoicing in the many highlights of this cherished score. The concert was dedicated to the people of Ukraine, and a collection for the Disasters Emergency Committee raised £1,350 on the evening, which commenced with the Ukrainian National Anthem, played majestically and poignantly on the church’s organ by Lucy Morrell of the Kent Sinfonia…

Elijah

Mendelssohn

5 February 2022

And so it came to pass that, as the UK seemed to be emerging from two years in the wilderness as a result of the Covid pandemic, Ashtead Choral Society’s long-postponed 70th anniversary performance of Mendelssohn’s Elijah took place on 5 February at Dorking Halls – but – would anyone come to listen? Would there be any sign of a crowd, let alone a cloud?

We needn’t have worried, as the audience seats filled up and the lights dimmed to greet the arrival of the soloists along with conductor Andrew Storey…

Masters in Concert

Beethoven & Mozart

9 October 2021

After what seems like forever, Ashtead Choral Society were able to return to live music-making in St Martin’s, Epsom, on 9 October. Ably supported by the Kent Sinfonia and a range of soloists, ACS, and their Music Director Dr Andrew Storey, treated us to a programme of Beethoven and Mozart…