English Arts Chorale

Our Mission

"To share with everyone the profound human and spiritual experience of great music"



Our entire reason for existence is sharing with others the life-changing experience of great music. We exist primarily for an out-going reason. All that is said below about the music we make is of such an importance in our own experience that we resolve to share it with others. The energy that drives us is therefore not simply that of a club. We don't exist primarily for an inward-bound reward of doing something that gives us pleasure, although that is a legitimate by-product. This concern for what is currently called "access" has been the beginning and end of our task for over 40 years.



The music that we do, properly done, properly prepared and explained, is not targetted at an elite. Indeed, there is no place for an elite in our thinking. The music can work its magic for anyone, and it is our mission to extend the range of those it reaches. This has driven, for example, our INROAD programme for adult beginners, our internal training programme, our work with University of the Third Age, and our work with children and young people. It also drives our preference for singing, as a general rule, in the language of the audience, and for providingprogramme books which contain all the words of a choral work together with helpful notes.



Our experience is that music can be far more than an ornament to life. It can change life. It runs to the core of our being. We aim to enrich lives with new vistas of possibility to the point where they are truly changed. We do it because music is one of the most powerful forces known to humankind. Our choices of repertoire are influenced by this concern.


The power of this music is universal and available to all human beings; and the emotions it touches are those which we feel to be fundamental to the human condition. We find that the profound depths to which music can move and change lives are not limited to church people even when the text and the spirit of the music are Christian in origin.


The power of the music works in that part of our nature which is broadly agreed to be described by the word "spiritual". To religious people this means a specific thing, and to non-religious people something rather different. But for our purpose here, that distinction does not matter since each person will find that the musice works at the level he or she describes as "spiritual". It is music which has this kind of power which we exist to bring to performance. We also have respect for the fact that our organisation had its origins in the worshipping life of St Mary's Parish Church in reigate, and that for many current choir members the harmony between Christian spirituality and the ethos of the Chorale is of geat importance.


Our aim is that people should experience music, not merely hear it described, or know that it exists. Experience includes informed hearing and understanding as well as performing. Everything that we do should be concerned with "drawing people into" this experience of music.

"of GREAT"

There is an immense corpus of music in existence which is universally regarded as "great" by those who have been privileged already to ave experienced it and begun to understand it. Yet for millions of people - the majority - very little of this music is known. Our mission is contimually to seek opportunities to expose more and more people to music which touches upon the human condition with profundity and spirituality.


Our mission is music. We may from time to time legitimately propagate the spoken word, or dance, or other art forms which are natural adjuncts to music, especially perhaps in the context of festival. There is nothing wrong with this and we should welcome the creative opportunities it presents. But we should never lose sight of the fact that our mission is music.



Origins of the Mission Statement

In 1992, at a time of considerable achievement in the Chorale's musical attainment and performing aspirations, a Conference was held to which all singing members and their spouses were invited, together with others interested in the life of the choir, including a number of sponsors. The conference was opened by the Mayor of Reigate and Banstead.

The conference was well received, and was especially highly praised by distinguished business guests, who compared it favourably with comparable conferences held in their business worlds. All left encouraged and looking forward to the future.

Shortly afterwards, a group of Chorale members, including the Committee and one or two other leading members, set about the task of trying to encapsulate in a few words what it is the choir stands for: what are the things that define it and make it distinct.

The task took many hours, much reflection, and not a little heated debate about what were the most important things.

The Mission Statement was the result of this endeavour.

Those who together forged the mission statement hoped that each word of the Statement would encapsulate and compress one of the aspects which the group considered most important.

The text on this page represents a summary "unpacking" of those words eight years later.