“It pays to be pushy” says Rupert Street

I told off Di Masters for being
too pushy!

Di is Publicity Manager for Ashtead Choral Society, near Epsom, Surrey. It is to my shame that I criticised her because their last concert was a sell out. She was only doing her job.

. I asked her how they did it so she told me about 'Out of Africa'.

“How did you manage a sell-out in January when most people are recovering from Christmas, carols, Messiah and so on?

“Not really sure but I do think it's got to with working hard on the publicity to spread the word - we had people in the audience from North London!”

“Why should people come so far?”

“It was such a very different programme and such an exciting one that people were curious. It was an experience rather than just a concert. We were also lucky enough to have the composer's widow, Jane Fanshawe, with us for the afternoon rehearsal. She gave a talk about the African Sanctus in the evening.”

“So the choir felt good about it too?”

“Yes. Rather than dressing in our traditional red outfits, we wore shirts of the colours of the South African flag. The effect was absolutely amazing.”

“Is everything left up to you to do?”

No. I get a lot of help from choir members. We publicise in all kinds of different media. As well as approaching magazines and newspapers in and around the area, the Parish of Epsom were extremely helpful in giving us space in their newsletters”

“What did your Music Director, Paul Dodds, think of it all?”

“Paul was delighted. The musicians we had were superb; professional percussionists, African drumming ensemble from City of London Freemen’s School, Chris Hurn and Victoria Gater on African drums and balafon. He pushes us to the limits but always gets the best out of us.
Aren't we lucky?”

Di Masters talked with Rupert Street.
January 2011

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w280_ACS out of africa (3)perspective

Jane Fanshawe gave a talk about the African Sanctus in the evening.

Young people on the African drums are from City of London Freemen’s School, Ashtead