Fernhurst Choral Society is a thriving mixed-voice choir based in West Sussex. We have around 90 members and normally perform three concerts throughout the year. We pride ourselves on imaginative and varied programming. We are committed to collaborating with professional soloists and instrumentalists. In 2013 we founded the Fernhurst Chamber Orchestra (now renamed The Downland Sinfonia), a professional ensemble that accompanies many of our concerts.
Fernhurst Choral Society (FCS) was formed in 1953 to sing at the village pageant in Fernhurst to celebrate the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II. The following year the Society performed and competed at the Petersfield Musical Festival. Our association with the Peterfield Musical Festival continues to this day and we are now the single largest choir taking part.
From those early days the Society has grown to around 90 members and has performed most of the great choral works. In the last ten years we have started to do exchanges with European choirs and in 2015 we hosted Le Chant Sacré from Geneva in an all Schubert programme in St Paul’s Chichester.
Tim Ravalde is the Assistant Organist of Chichester Cathedral and Musical Director of Fernhurst Choral Society.
In Chichester he is responsible for accompanying the daily choral services and assisting with the training of the choir. He has also accompanied the choir for two recordings with Herald, numerous BBC broadcasts, toured Germany and Italy and acted as the Festival Organist at the 2013 Southern Cathedrals Festival.
He was educated at the Nelson Thomlinson School, Wigton. While in sixth form he was Organ Scholar of Carlisle Cathedral and became a Fellow of the Royal College of Organists, before spending a year as Organ Scholar of Salisbury Cathedral.
He graduated from Cambridge University in 2010. As Organ Scholar of St John’s College he acted as assistant to Andrew Nethsingha, accompanying the college choir for numerous tours, the famous annual Advent broadcasts and three critically acclaimed CD recordings with Chandos, as well as the daily chapel services. He also acted as Musical Director of the St John’s Singers, the College’s mixed voice choir and won the 2009 Brian Runnett Prize for organ playing. His website can be found here.
Hughie Russell Chairman
Camilla Hooper Vice Chairman and Friends’ Representative
Clare Fripp Recording Secretary & Charity Commission Representative
Rob Walker Treasurer
Pat Bubbear Librarian
Jane Stuart Social Secretary
Michael Burnham Publicity Officer
Vacancy Concert Administrator
Tina Litchfield Membership Secretary