Tony Allen, the Conductor/Music Director of the Shoreham Oratorio Choir for many years, is to retire at the end of this year. He has worked with the choir for 35 years, starting as a soloist in 1980. His first concert as Conductor was the 1999 Christmas concert and as he has just celebrated his 70th birthday, it means that half of his life has been associated with the choir. Consequently Tony has been a key person in the rich musical history of Shoreham-bySea and a huge debt of gratitude is owed by the many past and present members whom he has helped to inspire. This year therefore, will be a memorable one for both the choir and Tony, and one where the handover to a new Music Director is made. To celebrate Tony Allen’s retirement, two concerts are already planned. The choir will perform the beautiful Faure’s Requiem on Good Friday in the Church of St. Mary’s Shoreham-by-Sea, together with movements from both Bach’s St. John Passion and Handel’s Messiah, plus the melodic Cantique de Jean Racine. In October, the choir will again host a visit by their twinned choir from Elmshorn, Germany – the Madrigalchor and although the programme is yet to be finalised, it will fittingly include Mozart’s Requiem – Tony’s first solo performance back in 1980. It is hoped that Tony Allen’s final concert conducting the choir will be a special Epiphany concert to be performed in January next year to mark Tony’s retirement. Details of these concerts will appear on the choir’s web-site – www.shoreham-oratorio-choir.co.uk Tony Allen says “I am very confident that the choir will find someone they will all really enjoy working with – which is the fundamental purpose of choral singing, after all - and someone who will lead SOC to even greater things.” Former members will be welcome to join existing and new members to make Tony’s last concert really memorable. The Shoreham Oratorio Choir committee will now look for a new Conductor/Director of Music to take the choir forward, whilst remaining accessible to all who want to make wonderful music in Shoreham-by-Sea. A role description and application form is available on their web-site.
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