Copyright © All rights reserved.Liss Community Choir

Liss Community Choir


St Mary’s Church, Liss

Saturday, 21 June 2014

The Liss Community Choir has been in existence for almost three years: it is a mixed non-auditioned choir of enthusiastic singers.  Although the choir has sung at local events, Saturday’s performance was its first “proper concert”.   The choir is master minded, trained and conducted by the charismatic, distinguished singing teacher, Margaret Gussman.

The programme they presented was beautifully varied and gave much pleasure to the large audience, as much of it consisted of medleys from musicals such as South Pacific, Oklahoma and Oliver, which contain delightful, familiar tunes. We even had a selection of Beatle songs!

The excellent accompanist was Lucy Flint who had arranged two songs, Waly, Waly and Suo-Gan.  The latter was particularly charming with the gentle tune split between the voices: it was lovingly sung.

The 25 members of the choir produced a warm, pleasing tone with – on the whole – good intonation.  As with so many choirs, the women outnumbered the men and the balance would be greatly improved if it had more tenors and basses.

This was a very pleasant evening’s music making and I wish the choir every success for the future.

Ann Pinhey

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I have never been a fan of choirs.  All that Gareth Malone malarkey has left me unimpressed.

The Memsahib is similarly minded - Gareth’s efforts being the exception - so it was with low expectations that we found ourselves in St Mary’s Church, Liss, to listen to the concert by the village’s community choir.

We were there for no other reason than to support a friend who sings in the choir.  After two hours, however, we left the church elated, having been thoroughly entertained.

The varied programme had a populist edge about it, with excerpts from Mamma Mia!, Oklahoma!, South Pacific and Oliver! rubbing along with Hungarian folk songs and a tribute to The Beatles.

I was even swept back to my own junior school days with the choir’s lyric-perfect rendition of Bobby Shafto.  Good to know that bonny Bobby survived his mutilation by tone-deaf 11-year-olds.

I admire people who get off their back-sides and do things; people who eschew the telly and the sofa, and take up a challenge.  Until this concert, I had not associated this ‘doing’ factor with belonging to a village choir.  My mistake, but we live and we learn.  I wish the choir many more successes.

The best bit of news was that the evening raised £1,000 for the Rosemary Foundation Hospice at Home charity.

Frank Scribe (Review appeared in The Messenger 8 July 2014)

St Mary’s Church, Liss
Friday, 19th June 2015

St Mary’s Church in Liss was filled with a large and enthusiastic audience on the 19th of June, for a concert presented by Liss Community Choir. This started with Vivaldi’s first movement of Gloria, showcasing both the choir’s capability to handle full choral works and the accompanist Lucy Flint’s prowess on the organ. From this resounding start, the choir moved through the evening’s theme of popular music through the decades – from the Carpenters and Beatles to Abba’s Mamma Mia and Paul Simon. Each piece was entertainingly introduced by the conductor, Margaret Gussman, who has worked so hard and consistently to broaden the community choir’s repertoire from its start in 2011. As a former founder member, I well remember grinding through a medley of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat – but on Friday, this was performed by the choir with gusto, achieving a standard that had escaped us in those early days! There had been a tip off before the event that the choir was going to do a Tribute to Queen and I was looking forward (with some wonderment at their ambition) to their rendition of Bohemian Rhapsody. Lucy’s piano playing for this, as with all her accompaniments, was of a very high standard. To our delight, the audience (of all age ranges) was invited to clap and stamp the rhythm for one song and wave our arms, stadium rock style, for another. The overall effect was greatly enjoyed by all, even if the singing of some of the more complex sections of Queen’s repertoire was still perhaps a slight “work in progress”!  Overall, the choir of some 36 members, presented a wide and varied programme with great enthusiasm and a high degree of musicality – and were a credit to the concept of community choirs bringing amateur singers together to perform. The choir is always looking out for new members – especially tenors and basses – and there is no audition required to join. You can contact the choir through their e-mail address:

The choir meets for its weekly rehearsals at Liss Infant School and, as a thank you to the school for their support, the outgoing collection of £500 will be presented to the school, towards the cost of providing raised garden beds for the Reception year children, to allow them to grow plants and vegetables outside their classroom.

Chris Sangster

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St Mary’s Church, Liss
Friday, 19th June 2015

One year on, and the Memsahib and I found ourselves back at St Mary’s Church, Liss, being entertained by the village’s Community Choir.

Last year, more than £1,000 was raised for The Rosemary Foundation.  This year it was the turn of Liss Infant School - the location for choir rehearsals each Wednesday evening - to benefit from donations made on the night.

Ventures of this type always need a strong leader if they are to slip anchor and remain afloat.  Here, the choir is lucky to have the experienced conductor, Margaret Gussman, pulling everything together.  I doubt that many mistakes evade her acute ear for music and lyrics.

This latest programme included, in the first half, a Beatles tribute, a taste of The Carpenters and a reminder of just how many outstanding songs are to be found in My Fair Lady.  The choir’s male section seemed happy to be following where the great Stanley Holloway once led.

For me, the highlight of the second half was the choir’s soulful rendition of Paul Simon’s The Sound of Silence, followed closely by a Mamma Mia selection.

The Tribute to Queen was - how can I put it? - a less rewarding choice and, to my untutored ear, it all got a tad ragged.  Let me be charitable and advance the thought that some choristers were thrown off course by the decidedly iffy audience participation.

The choir was on safer ground with its choice of encore - Danny Boy.  This evocative song of lost love usually finds me on the verge of blubbing, but the Memsahib gave me strict instructions to “man up or she’d walk out without me”.  So “man up” I did.

The choir is always on the look out for new members - especially tenors and basses.  If you are put off by a fear of auditions, don’t be, because there are none.  Just go along and sing; be proud, be loud.

Frank Scribe (Review appeared in The Messenger 7 July 2015)

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St Mary’s Church, Liss

Summer Concert 2016

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