The 2022 season features: January 12 – Continuum Baroque Quartet; February 9 – The Reza String Sextet Ensemble; March 9 – Chris Beaumont, xylophone with Derek Garden (piano); April 13 – Presentation concert of the students of the University of Chichester; May 11 – Margaret Fingerhut (piano) and Bradley Creswick (violin) in memory of Chris Coote, former CMS Treasurer; June 9 – Summer buffet concert – Julia Bishop (violin); September 14 – Paul Guinery (piano) – English Light Music; October 12 – Trio Rosamunde; November 9 – Chichester University Chamber Orchestra; and December 14 – Concert of SMC scholarship recipients.
Club president Chris Hough said: “It’s so nice to see music live again. There is simply no substitute. You can listen on the best HiFi system. But you just miss the real spark in the music, the real meaning of live performance, the fact that it’s happening now. There are a lot of other things going on that you are not aware of if you are just listening on a stereo, things that you have to be there to actually see and enjoy. You can get great sound at home, but it just can’t be the same. But it’s also this great experience shared with other people in the same room at the same time and also the great relationship that all of this creates between the audience and the artist. It’s something that happens in the room that you all share together, and that’s what makes it so special – whether you listen to Schumann or have the chance to listen to Bruce Springsteen! There is just something about being together that creates such a thrill.
“Obviously some people can’t wait to come back and enjoy this experience together again, but others are quite wary and a little more concerned about venturing out, which is why we continue to broadcast live.
“We couldn’t do them for the first or two shows after we came back, but we did it on the last one and we had as many people watching the live broadcast as we had on the. concert itself. I think the pandemic is going to change habits and with the availability of music streaming much more widely and technically easier, you really don’t need a lot of hardware. I think it’s relatively simple and straightforward to offer live broadcasts and we plan to continue to do so. The university will continue to broadcast our live streams until the end of the year and they do not charge us for it. We are discussing whether we will continue to do so next year (2022) when we need to make a contribution.
“We started the live concerts in June. June 9 was the first concert we did live.
“All the concerts from January to June have all been canceled and some are rescheduled. We still hope some of them will happen. But we did it again on June 9, then we had our summer vacation that we usually have in July and August, then in September we did it again, then in October and so on.
“There is a determination to try to get back to some form of thing as usual, but we realize however that the pandemic has not gone away. It will be a fact of life for a long time to come. The real test is whether we are sure enough about our events to be able to continue with all the right levels of precautions. I think it remains to be seen but everyone is certainly very optimistic. We know who everyone is. We take names and addresses. I don’t think the days when people would come and buy a ticket without us having an address will be back anytime soon. At the moment, all tickets must be purchased in advance.
The current concerts are the company’s first concert series since Funtington Music Group renamed to Chichester Music Society – a name change agreed upon just before the pandemic. The pandemic then prevented them from properly launching the new name.
“But I think the new name was the right thing to do. We say it makes absolute sense. We had a number of people who started joining us because they discovered us as the Chichester Music Society. Very few members opposed it. The vast majority, I would say 99 percent, thought it was a great idea to make the switch and have the new identity. Once you have a new brand you can go out there and say, “Hey, have you heard of us? Well, it’s been difficult because of the pandemic, but now we have the new name. “
As far as members are concerned, it’s time to rebuild things: “Our numbers have gone down a bit and so we’re focusing on getting people back. “
Membership for 2022 is £ 85 to include nine meetings. Contact Membership Secretary Elizabeth Stanley on 01243 378900 or 07973 410407.