A History of Pro Musica Choir.



Pro Musica choir was formed in Rottingdean in September 1998 by Dr Roy Wales as a chamber choir for experienced singers wanting to perform a reasonably challenging repertoire. Ray Maulkin was the accompanist and Kathryn Maulkin a key member of the soprano section. In 1999 Pro Musica’s first big performance was David Fanshaw’s ‘African Sanctus’. The choir then performed other major works locally and enjoyed yearly singing tours to Europe.  Roy directed the choir of 45 voices till 2002 when he stepped down and passed the role to Ray and Kathryn Maulkin, initially as guest directors. Ray and Kathryn became permanent joint directors in 2003 and Pro Musica continued to flourish. In 2005 an ‘Open Rehearsal’ in Rottingdean attracted new members and voice hearings were introduced. The choir moved to Lewes in 2008 and the membership grew to over 50.

Over the next ten years the choir explored a wide range of music. In addition to the traditional classical choral repertoire they gave lively summer concerts  including ‘show stoppers’, spirituals and folk songs. Members took part in several overseas concert tours


In March 2019 Ray died and Kathryn resigned her position. A number of local conductors stepped in to keep the choir going and Peter Farrant conducted a Pro Musica summer concert in Alfriston as a tribute to Ray. Some of the music had been specially arranged by Ray for Pro Musica accompanied by the Florentine Ensemble. Together Ray and Kathryn  had expanded and developed the choir to a high standard of performance with a wide and enjoyable repertoire. They were both much missed.


In August 2019 Richard Miller, a London based conductor, was appointed Director of Music and his first concert was in St Andrews, Alfriston with a programme of Faure and excerpts from Britten’s ‘Ceremony of Carols’.


Covid disrupted Pro Musica as it did many other choirs from March 2020. Richard kept rehearsals going over Zoom but there was, naturally, less support from members for distance singing and numbers dropped to 20. In June 2021 the choir met up again in St Anne’s, suitably distanced, and started working on Handel’s ‘Messiah’. After a successful ’Bring a Friend’ evening 11 new members were recruited and the choir was in a better position.

Richard was unwell in 2022 and in August he resigned from the choir but found Olivia Tait as a replacement.


Olivia was an accomplished young conductor and her first concert ‘Songs of the spirit’ was in St Michael’s Church, Lewes. The concert was a success and St Michael’s a popular venue. The choir decided to give future concerts in Lewes, where it rehearsed and where most people live, but to keep summer performances in Alfriston where the choir has a large and loyal following after Ray & Kathryn’s long association with St Andrew’s church


When Olivia resigned in June 2023 Pro Musica was delighted to welcome back Gerard Lim for a term. Gerard had already deputised for Olivia and known to be an inspiring and sensitive conductor.


But it was particularly good to recruit Sion Parry as our long term conductor from January 2024 after the unsettled previous few years

Sion is an experienced choral conductor whose choirs have performed in cathedrals and concert halls in the USA and on the continent as well as in England and have collaborated with Selwyn College Chapel Choir and the King’s Singers. Sion is also a freelance violinist who has played with several orchestras. His all round musical experience and enthusiasm will be a huge benefit to the choir.

Sion plans to increase the membership and combine traditional choral repertoire with new musically varied pieces.



Concert History

September 1998 Roy Wales formed Pro Musica in Rottingdean with about 40 singers

1999- David Fanshaw African Sanctus (Brighton)

Tour to Dieppe 1999

December 1999- Prelude to Christmas evening (Rottingdean)

2000- Mozart Requiem + orchestra (Chichester Cathedral)

Summer 2000 – tour to Dublin

December 2000- Prelude to Christmas (Rottingdean)

Summer 2001 Tour to Bruges and Ghent (Belgium)

December 2001 – Prelude to Christmas (Rottindean)

Spring 2022 Tour to Lille (northern France)

March 2002 – European Sacred Music (Rottingdean) Roger Durston guest conduct.

Roy resigned as Musical Director in June 2002

September 2002 – Schubert Mass in G (Arlington church) R &K guest conductors

Spring 2003 – Palestrina Missa Brevis + anthems (Rottingdean) Roger Durston guest conductor

Ray & Kathryn Maulkin: June 2003- March 2019

Summer 2003 – Rutter Free the Spirit & Haydn Little Organ Mass.

July 4th-6th  2003 – weekend tour to Amiens

November 2003 – Hummell Mass & Tavener Anthems (St George’s church)

March 2004 – Brahms Requiem (Hove)

June 2024 – Rutter Sprig of thyme, Spirituals etc + readings (Saltdean)

July 9th-11th 2024 –  weekend tour to Lille

September 2004 OPEN Rehearsal – Faure Requiem (Rottingdean)

November 2004 – The French Collection, Faure & Durufle (Rottingdean)

March 2005 – Haydn Creation (Hove)

June 2005- The English Collection, excerpts Purcell Dido & Aeneas + G & S

July 2005 – weekend tour to Rouen

November 2005 – Mozart Te Deum

February 2006 – Celebrate Mozart’s 250th birthday (Saltdean)

May 2006- Mozart Requiem

June 2006 – Proms Concert, Vivaldi Gloria, Feel the Spirit, L of H & G, Rule Br & sea songs

July 7th-9th  2006 –  tour to St Omer in France, travelling by coach & singing in the Cathedral

November 2006 – Schubert Mass in Bflat + Britten Missa Brevis & Mozart

February 2007 – Rossini Petite Mess Solonnelle

June 2007 – Mozart, Faure, Haydn (Little Organ Mass) + gospel music & Trad African songs

July 6th-8th 2007 tour to Brussels via Eurostar. Concert in Musical Instrument Museum

November 2007 – Choral Classics

March 2008 – Mendelssohn Elijah (Saltdean)

June 2008 – Swinging Singing

March 2009 – Choral Classics

November 2008 – Handel Four Coronation Anthems

June 2009 – Summer afternoon Proms concert

March 2010 – (Alfriston)

June 2010 – Music for a Summer evening, (Priory Chapel, Lewes)

Autumn 2010 – (Seaford)

June 17th-20th  2010 weekend tour to Norway

Spring 2011 – Chilcott Requiem

December 2011 – Durufle Requiem & Christmas music (Alfriston)

April 2012 – Vivaldi Gloria & Mozart Requiem

March 2013 – Haydn Creation (Alfriston)

June 2013 – English Pastoral

(July 12th -14th tour to Riga in Latvia – postponed because low take up)

April 2014 – Elijah

Summer 2014 – Show Stoppers

December 2014 – Bernstein Chichester Psalms

March 2015 – Bach St Matthew Passion

June  2015 – Cheek to cheek (Alfriston)

March 2016 – Brahms German Requiem

June 2016 – Summertime on Broadway

December 2016 – Mozart Great Mass in C minor (Alfriston)

April 2017 – Rossini Petit Messes Solennelle (Alfriston)

June 2017 – ‘It’s raining cats & dogs’ (Alfriston)

July 1st & 2nd July choir trip to Southend-on-Sea

December 2017 Bach B Minor Mass (Alfriston)

March 2018 – Rutter Feel the Spirit & Jenkins The Armed Man (Alfriston)

June 2018 – Broadway selection (Alfriston)

December 2018 – Vivaldi Gloria + Gorecki & Lauridsen

March 2019 – Ray Maulkin died

Peter Farrant  caretaker conductor

June 2019 – Sound of Music + Rutter folk songs (Alfriston)

Richard Miller: August 2019 – August 2022

December 2019 – Faure Requiem + excerpts Britten C of C (Alfriston)

Covid : online singing only. Richard created video tutorials

December 2021 –A choral Christmas  (Southover church)

April 2022 – Brahms German Requiem (Alfriston)

July 2022 – theme of Queen’s Jubilee incl Handel Coronation Anthems (Alfriston)

Olivia Tait: September 2022 – June 2023

December 2022 – Songs of the Spirit, German & Austrian composers ( St Michael’s, Lewes)

March 2023 – Faure Requiem + other French composers  (Alfriston)

June 2023 – Serenade to music, English composers (St Michael’s)

Gerard Lim: September 23 – December 2023

December 2023 – Britten Ceremony of Carols + music for Advent and Xmas (St Michael’s)

Sion Parry: January 2024

March 2024 – Vivaldi Gloria, Dvorak Mass in D, Mascagni Easter Hymn (St Anne’s)