The seed is sown. In 1960, the organists of St. Mary de Haura (David Bennett) and St. Nicolas (Sheila Chaplin) began to work together, with David playing and Sheila conducting.
Before this, the choirs from the two Shoreham-by-Sea churches had come together on special occasions. Jim Baker wrote in August 1999, that the first Good Friday concert was in 1961. However, Dennis Bird wrote in June 1999 that there was an earlier tradition of a Shoreham choir dating to at least 1948 – established by Rita Erwood, when Haydn’s Creation was performed.
When the two choirs became known as the ‘Shoreham Oratorio Choir‘ is uncertain, but it is recorded that Daphne McAlear had suggested the name ‘Oratorio Choir’ and ‘Shoreham Oratorio Choir’ is shown on the 1969 poster.
The Society’s constitution states that:
“The Society shall educate the public in the arts and sciences, and in particular the art and science of music, in the presentation of concerts and other activities.”
Shoreham Oratorio community choir created an official Facebook page in 2013 and built a website (formerly http://www.shoreham-oratorio-choir.co.uk) to recruit new members, promote performances, enable online rehearsals, and recruit new choir members, volunteers and patrons.