Heathfield Choral Society was formed in the heady days of 1945, when people were beginning to return to their daily lives, although their lives had changed for ever. The first meeting was held in the Union Church Lecture Hall in Heathfield on April 18th 1945. It was presided over by Mr B A Jervis, the organist of the Union Church: he had "felt the desire amongst local singers for a Choral Society" and the meeting was called on his initiative. The first rehearsal was on Friday 4th May and was attended by 32 members. The subscription was set at 2/6d. Little did they know what a success the society would be!
The founder conductor was Mr Albert Clark, who wielded the baton for five years with his wife playing the piano. The first work to be performed was Mendelssohn's "Hymn of Praise", which was thought to be particularly appropriate "owing to the cessation
of hostilities". The ticket prices were 5/-, 3/6 and 2/- and a collection was also made for the restoration of Coventry Cathedral.
Leleie Head took over from Albert Clark and, after several changes of conductor, Henry Jones was in charge from 1956 to 1970. Jared Armstrong brought a wealth of new music, was followed by Dr Ruth Gipps, Stuart Rees and then Brian Newman, who was MD for an astonishing 23 years. You can read some of Brian's reflections on his time in office here. Brian retired in May 2019, and was succeeded by our current Musical Director, Sebastian Charlesworth.