Review by Marion Lovell: Ryesingers 40th Anniversary Concert, St Mary’s Church, Rye, July 16

The Ryesingers 40th Anniversary Concert given in Rye last Saturday by this group of local singers, with a full orchestra, was a complete triumph.

The hard work put in by them all certainly paid off, and tributes were paid to the Musical Director, Lesley Brownbill.

When she moved to Rye 40 years ago, she founded this choir, which even now has some of its original members. Ryesingers has been Lesley’s main choral passion for 40 years, and she is looking forward to the next 40!

The programme included Serenade to Music by Ralph Vaughan Williams; the Music Makers, an organ solo by Malcolm Riley; Sea Pictures, superbly-sung by mezzo soprano Louise Winter, and concluded with I was glad, by Parry.

Choir and orchestra were in the very capable hands of Lesley’s brother, Howard Rooke.

The sopranos ‘rose to the occasion’ - high indeed - and the other parts of the choral section were well trained. The splendid sounds reverberated in this wonderful church. The orchestral accompaniment was full, sometimes double ff, and sometimes so soft it merely whispered.

This was a concert which celebrated music making in the best possible tradition and all are to be congratulated on a splendid achievement.