The choir was founded in 1945 and draws singers from Heathfield and other towns and villages in the Wealden area of East Sussex
We perform a wide range of classical choral works with professional soloists and orchestra. As well as favourites such as Mozart's "Requiem" and Handel's "Messiah", we have also introduced a number of first performances in the area. These include Howard Goodall's "Eternal Light" and "Every Purpose under the Heaven", Karl Jenkins' "The Armed Man", Stuart Johnson's "Praise and Revelation", and most recently, Laura Rossi's "Voices of Remembrance" which was performed at a special concert to commemorate the Armistice
We occasionally combine with other choirs for performances, and also provide a chorus for South Downs Opera. In April 2017 we put on a joint concert with two local primary schools to encourage participation in singing by younger members of the community, and in May 2018 performed a joint concert with the choir from Heathfield Youth Drama. We are founder members of the Eastbourne and District Choirs Association.
Musical Director - Sebastian Charlesworth
Sebastian Charlesworth took over the position of Musical Director at the end of May, 2019, after the retirement of Brian Newman. Sebastian is a graduate of the Guildhall School of Music and Drama where he initially trained as a bassoonist. On graduating and deciding that the best thing to do with a degree in bassoon was to pursue a career in singing, he now works as a professional soloist on both the concert and opera stages and as a chorister (as a session singer, he can be heard on many recent blockbusters). He is also a teacher of both singing and bassoon, MD of Heathfield Choral Society and New Sussex Singers, a guest conductor for Musician’s of All Saints, a facilitator for transformational leadership programmes within businesses and a photographer. In his ‘spare’ time, he enjoys fine dining, home improvement and spending as much time as possible with his wife, family and, in particular, being a doting uncle to his two beautiful nieces.
Having sung as a soloist with HCS a few times, Sebastian couldn’t be happier to be continuing Brian’s great work with the choir.
Accompanist - Gavin Stevens
Gavin has been accompanist for Heathfield Choral Society since 1999. He works as a teacher of piano and guitar. As a composer, Gavin has written a wide range of works for piano and a growing number of pieces for guitar, among works for other instruments and voices. Gavin gives frequent piano recitals and he likes to include works by 20th century British composers in these concerts alongside his own music and more standard repertoire.