Soham Grammarians - MJ Ades BMus (Nottingham) Music 1960-66

Daily Telegraph 7 Sep 2004 (via Stephen Martin)

ADES - MICHAEL, peacefully at the Princess Royal Hospital, Haywards Heath, on 31st August 2004 aged 72 years.

A gentle friend very much missed. Funeral service at Surrey & Sussex Crematorium, Worth on Friday 10th September at 2.15 p.m.

No flowers by request, but donations, if desired, for Shoreham Oratorio Choir (charity no 1042010).

The editor had traced Michael to Hassocks in West Sussex - he was unable to attend the 2003 Dinner as he was attending a function in London.

It had been hoped that Michael would attend the 2004 Dinner where he would have met Gordon Hemmings and Peter Askem with whom he worked on productions at Soham.

It sadly became clear why the phone was never answered.

from the 1965 School photo

Soham Grammarian Spring 1961

We extend our warmest welcome to Mr Ades, Mr Scott and Mr Sherrington who all joined us in September, and to Mr Rennison who took over the History department in January this year. Let us hope that their stay is long and enjoyable.

Soham Grammarian Summer 1966

Mr Ades is to become an Assistant Music Organiser in East Sussex.

Michael Ades: see also
- Musical Director Amahl and the Night Visitors Dec 1961
- Musical direction School and Crossbones 1961
- Music supervision The Winter's Tale 1962
- Trip to Belgium 1963
- Trip to Czechoslovakia, recounted by Dick Bozeat at the 2005 Dinner
- Music, The Memory Be Green 1964
- piano accompaniment Pirates of Penzance 1965
- Music, Dekker's Shoemaker's Holiday 1965

from the Mid Sussex Times 21 October 2004

Concert for Michael

A memorial concert will be held today for conductor Michael Ades from Keymer who died in August.

Shoreham Oratorio Choir will sing a special performance of the 1888 Requiem by Gabriel Fauré in St Mary's Church in Shoreham-By-Sea on October 21 at 7.30pm. It will be a memorial concert for the choir's former conductor Michael Ades, who died on August 31.

Mr Ades was born in Brighton in 1931 and attended Varndean School. He graduated from Nottingham University and took up teaching at Soham Grammar School in Cambridgeshire and in Hong Kong. He then became a full-time music advisor to East Sussex County Council. In 1972 he took over from Sheila Chaplin as conductor of Shoreham Oratorio Choir, an appointment he held for 27 years until ill health forced his resignation in 1999.

He survived a major cancer operation and regularly attended all the choir's later concerts, including June's Adur Festival rendition of Haydn's Creation this year. He died of a sudden heart attack, aged 73.

Mr Ades was a talented organist and a dedicated Freemason. He conducted the choir in a wide range of music, including Messiah, the Verdi Requiem and masses by JS Bach and Schubert. Perhaps his favourite work was the unfinished Requiem by Mozart, which was both his first and last appearance with the choir in 1972 and 1999.

His successor Tony Allen will conduct at the memorial concert and Pie Jesu (Piety to Jesus) will be sung by choir's regular soprano soloist Elaine Hayward.

from the programme for the Shoreham Oratorio Choir Memorial Concert for Michael Ades 1931-2004 on Thursday 21st October at 7.30pm in St Mary de Haura, Shoreham-by-Sea. The concert included some reminiscences by Michael's friends, and two works by Gabriel Fauré, Cantique de Jean Racine Op.11, and his Requiem, Op.48. The concert raised £745 for the Choir.

Michael Ades 1931-2004

Michael Ades, conductor of the Shoreham Oratorio Choir for 28 years, died in hospital on 31 August 2004. Born in Brighton, he attended Varndean Grammar School before his musical training, returning to Sussex to teach via Cambridgeshire. He was an East Sussex County Music Adviser for many years.

He succeeded Sheila Chaplin as conductor of the Choir in 1971, partnering David Bennett, overseeing growth in its numbers and repertoire, and performing most major Good Friday and Christmas choral works by Bach, Handel, Schubert, Brahms and (his greatest love) Mozart, whose immortal Requiem he conducted at his first Shoreham concert on Good Friday 1972 and at his last concert on Good Friday 1999. He invited Tony Allen to sing the bass solo for the first time with the choir for the performance of Mozart's Requiem on Good Friday 1980. As a further memorial to Michael, the choir will perform it again in Lancing College Chapel on Good Friday 2005 instead of the Bach B minor Mass, which will be postponed to another year.

Fauré's Requiem also has a close association with Michael and the choir. He conducted it five times in all with us, including a memorial performance for David Bennett in June 1989.

Michael remained a keen supporter of the choir after retiring, and attended our concerts until last Good Friday.

He was a gentle and meticulous choir trainer who produced some splendid performances out of the choir, finding and staying loyal to a small group of soloist friends to whom he gave the chance to sing some wonderful repertoire over many years. He was also a fine pianist and organist, something we in Shoreham rarely had a chance to appreciate. He was a committed Christian and a committed Freemason (another link with Mozart!), with a wide circle of loyal friends, who were always keen to involve him in their own activities. He was also a man who did good by stealth, and we shall probably never know the true extent of his quiet philanthropy.

We shall all miss him.

from the Shoreham Herald, Thursday October 28, 2004

Chocolate mousse, gin and tonic, and the pianoforte ...

Shoreham Oratorio Choir paid an appropriate musical tribute to its late conductor, Michael Ades, of Keymer, at St Mary's Church, Shoreham, on Thursday.

Mr Ades took over the choir in 1971 and conducted it for most of the next 29 years. He introduced it to two compositions by the French composer Gabriel Fauré - his gentle, peaceful Requiem and the Cantique de Jean Racine - and it was these two works which were sung at the memorial concert.

Mr Ades' successor, Tony Allen, directed, with his son Simon as the baritone soloist. The Pie Jesu was to have been sung by soprano Elaine Hayward, who has often featured in the choir's concerts. Because she was unwell, the part was sung by Penny Jenkins, wife of the Glyndebourne tenor and Oratorio choir president Neil Jenkins. Tim Sagar was at the organ.

Before the concert, there were spoken tributes to Mr Ades, who died on August 31, aged 73. He was unmarried and, as Tony Allen said, it was the choir which, in a sense, became his family.

Jack Slaughter, who was at school with Mr Ades in Brighton, read from the Bible and his wife, Janet, reminisced on their long friendship. "Music was Michael's first love," she said, "and the second was cooking."

Another friend, Sheila Sharp, remembered him for three things: chocolate mousse, gin and tonic, and the piano.

Margaret Baker described how she had temporarily taken over the choir when Mr Ades first became ill and the Rev Stephen Terry spoke of his devotion to the craft of Freemasonry.

Dennis L. Bird

The editor is grateful to Jack and Janet Slaughter of Hassocks for their help.
If you can add memories of Mr Ades or provide other photos of him, please contact the editor.
page last updated 29 Mar 12