The Pleasure Singers ladies choir has been in existence in Horsham, West Sussex for over 50 years. Its members used to meet in the Parish Room in Horsham’s historic Causeway, but later moved to Holy Trinity Church Hall in Rushams Road, Horsham, which is where they continue to rehearse on Wednesday afternoons.
The choir’s original conductor was Mrs Medland and was joined by Tony Wright on the piano. Ursula Haines later took over as choirmistress and ran the choir for several years with the help of her piano accompanist Kath Sainsbury. There were about 15 members in the choir at that time in late 198O.
Under the leadership of choir mistress Dianne Walters and then pianist and director Mark Reeves, the choir steadily increased its membership and repertoire. They also began to perform more regularly in a number of different locations.
After Dianne left Mark Reeves managed the choir alone for just under 2 years.
During these times strong links were forged with the Horsham Twinning Associaion and we were invited to sing in Lage, Germany on three occasions and on a visit to Saint-Maixent-L’Ecole in France. We continue to support the Horsham Twinning Association by singing each Christmas at their Carol Concert.
The May 2014 edition of AAH (All About Horsham) Magazine ran an interesting feature on The Pleasure Singers. Click HERE to view the magazine online.
In July 2014 The Pleasure Singers were invited to perform the opening act of the third annual Horsham Garden Music Festival.
Following on from Mark Reeves, in 2015 Jon Openshaw took over as the Musical Director with Rosemary Hensor as accompanist. Under Jon’s directorship the choir has been encouraged to learn new vocal techniques and more demanding musical arrangements and with Rosemary’s support the choir’s confidence and enthusiasm has grown. We now have a membership of over 40.
Keep an eye on the Concerts page of this website for details of forthcoming concerts by The Pleasure Singers.
JON OPENSHAW, BA (Hons), PGCE
Jon began singing around the age of ten and sang in various choirs in the Bromley area, where he grew up. While at Sheffield University, Jon spent most of his time developing his singing: he began to perform as a soloist and was also persuaded to direct a small student chamber choir, Socii Cantorum.
Jon then went on to study with English National Opera on their opera course ‘The Knack’. He has since performed with a number of professional opera companies including Garsington Opera, Longborough Festival Opera, Heritage Opera, Opera South and Opera Up Close, as well as performing with semi-professional and amateur companies such as Surrey Opera, Hampstead Garden Opera and more recently Moon-Little Theatre Company. Jon continues to study singing privately with Neil Baker, having previously studied with Susan McCulloch, Professor of Voice at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama.
Jon also performs with his trio Crimes Against Taste: one of the finest (and only) classical-comedy-cabaret-crossover acts in the UK.
Jon moved to Horsham approximately five years ago, and teaches singing privately in Horsham. He is keen to hear from anyone who would like to improve their singing – whether beginner or keen performer!
You can find more information here : www.jonopenshaw.co.uk
ROSEMARY J HENSOR GRSM ARCM
Rosemary Hensor trained in piano and voice at the Royal College of Music in London, obtaining both Associate and Graduate diplomas. After a further year of study to gain her teaching certificate, she taught in junior schools for 5 years before moving to Horsham where she has lived and worked ever since.
Rosemary has taught many pupils at the piano, accompanied and coached many more for exams and auditions. For 28 years she was rehearsal accompanist for the West Sussex Philharmonic Choir. She was instrumental, along with two colleagues in setting up Horsham Performers Platform, a non-competitive music Festival and has administered and hosted public exams for Trinity examining board for over 20 years. She also plays the organ for morning chapel and Sunday Evening Prayers at Cottesmore school at Pease Pottage, as well as being the regular organist at St Leonards Church.
More recently Rosemary has been closely involved, along with colleague Jon Openshaw, with two community choirs, The Pleasure Singers in Horsham and The North Singers in Loxwood, acting as their accompanist.
Rosemary has three grown up children, one grandson and enjoys walking, books, games and puzzles.