Former director of Worthing Philharmonic Choir for 40 years and a church organist for over 55 years, Donovan Brown is not taking it easy in his retirement, nor letting his musical abilities go to waste.

Recently diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, he put on two free concerts to raise funds for further research. Both concerts, advertised in the last HEART, were very well attended and Donovan was delighted when the concert at St Michael’s, Durrington, raised £650. I attended the lunchtime concert at Christchurch, Worthing, which was surprisingly full.

Donovan introduced two guest artistes: his niece, soprano Ashley Barrington and keyboard player Miles Young. Ashley has performed for opera companies throughout the UK, France and Japan before returning to Storrington, and Miles has been an international keyboard competition finalist who has played at St George’s Church, Worthing, for the past 18 years.

A beautifully balanced programme included devotional and lighter-hearted secular songs. Donovan played, “I was glad when they said unto me, we will go into the house of the Lord”, Rachmaninov’s “Rhapsody on a theme of Paganini”, followed by Boellmann’s Toccata.

Miles showed his experience as a cruise entertainer with two modern classics and Ashley sang, beautifully, two of Handel’s arias.

All three concluded the concert with Stephen Adams’ “The holy city”.

Val Symonds