The Handelians remember

In this our 70th year, we have made a tremendous effort to compile a proper archive of the Handelian history. A catalogue of programmes, publicity materials, press cuttings and correspondence from the past seven decades has been completed.

Perhaps most important of all, has been capturing the personal stories and memories of choir members and conductors – some recent, and many going back to the very early days of the Society. These have been put together in a 70th anniversary booklet, ‘The Handelians Remember’. Copies are available at £3 each. 

“One of the soloists we engaged was Alfred Deller, the pioneer counter tenor. Hardly anyone in Deal at the time had even heard of a counter tenor and Alfred was a very big man, dark haired, tall with a beard; when he stood up and this most glorious high voice came out, most of the audience’s mouths dropped open.”

“Dr Hall worked at Deal Hospital. I remember one rehearsal he received a call saying they were ready for him in surgery. He popped out, performed a quick appendectomy, and was back before the end of the rehearsal!”

Eric Fagg – choir member since 1948

“Five minutes call, the soprano soloist, somewhat over-ambitious regarding the dress she had purchased for the occasion, had burst out of it with an audible tearing sound. My wife located the First Aid kit, liberated it of safety pins and with a carefully placed pashmina and some very controlled breathing from said soprano, the audience were none the wiser!”

Peter Litman, Conductor 2003 – 2009

“There, in the children’s crèche room at St George’s, was Sir David Willcox, relaxing on the little yellow sofa surrounded by plastic toys and teddy bears! A choral giant of the twentieth century, brilliant and humble. A man of great courage who won the MC in Normandy during the war.”

Gordon Love, choir member since 2002 

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