The Choirs Past and Future
Brian Jemmett, Ex-Chairman of Sittingbourne Orpheus Choral Society 2013 to 2019
I have been a member of Sittingbourne Orpheus Choral Society for 12 years, 9 years on the committee and 6 years as a Concert Manager and Chairman for 6 years.
After early retirement, I decided to join the Orpheus having enjoyment of music through my earlier experiences as a choir boy at Faversham Parish Church and a Founder Member of Faversham Children’s Operetta.
My skills and expertise as a project manager in industry, enabled me to take on the position as Concert manager; a role which led to an opportunity to develop and raise the profile of the choir, with involvement with local prestigious events and close involvement Kent County Council, Swale Borough Councils and Trusts funds to secure funding for the choir performances.
My greatest achievement was the Armistice Centenary, ‘Lest We Forget’ mass choirs and orchestra Concert in 2018. I am immensely proud to have led this prestigious event, providing a poignant and significant commemorative legacy for the Borough of Swale, on such an impressive scale.
I have facilitated many other projects, one of which was over a three year period. This was three memorial services held in Ypres Cathedral, singing with choirs that represented countries of conflict in WW1. The first of these services was sung on the very first day of the 100th Anniversary of the first round of gun fire by a British soldier.
Various other local projects have included, one of very few joint performances for Orpheus, singing in the Collier Ferguson Hall, “Haydn’s Creation” with Bearsted Choral Society and Canterbury Orchestra.
Securing approximately £16,000 funding for Orpheus has been a challenge but a very rewarding, successful achievement to enable the choir to purchase portable staging, music and hire equipment to enhance our repertoire and performances.
I am extremely proud to have developed good relationships and partnerships with county and local dignitaries to raise the profile of the choir. I have valued their support and financial assistance I have received and these have enabled me to achieve the outcomes I have.
My achievements, as Chair of the choir, have allowed me to develop my ideas and use my skills to deliver projects on a scale that I never envisaged. As I relinquish my responsibilities as Chairman, I look back on my achievements with pride.
I could not have delivered any of my achievement without the support and help of other members of the choir, committee and external bodies.