Classical music lovers helped raise £2500 towards the new Discovery Centre at Rye Harbour Nature Reserve on Saturday (16 June) with a spectacular Gala Concert by the Hastings Philharmonic Orchestra and Chamber Choir.
The concert was the first ever performance in Rye by the Hastings Philharmonic, the South East’s newest fully-professional orchestra. Led by conductor and artistic director Marcio da Silva, it thrilled an audience of over 200 with performances of classical favourites by Puccini, Verdi and Mozart.
The Gala Concert also heralded two more ‘first’s’ for Rye. Organised through the kind support of both the Fairlight Arts Trust and Martello Developments, the concert was the first ever public performance held at the former Bourne Auction House in Rock Channel which had been specially transformed into a high-quality concert venue with a stunning gallery reception area full of contemporary art.
It also marked the first in a year-long programme of fundraising events for the new Discovery Centre being planned for Rye Harbour, a joint project led by both Sussex Wildlife Trust and the Friends of Rye Harbour Nature Reserve. Future events will include jazz and comedy nights, audiences with celebrities and guest speakers, and a pop-up outdoor cinema screening on the Reserve planned for Sunday 16 September.
Host for the Gala Concert and Chairman of the Appeal Alastair Fairley said: ‘The Discovery Centre will be a great asset for the region, but why wait until it’s built? The Gala Concert showed you can create amazing cultural events and raise money for a good cause at the same time. We really hope the whole community will be inspired to start thinking about what they might do to help raise funds for the project, too.’
Launched officially only last month, the Discovery Centre campaign hopes the public will help it raise £500,000 towards the project’s overall £4m price tag. ‘It’s a people’s project,’ said Alastair. ‘We’ve made huge inroads to our target already, but we can’t do this without the public’s help.’
Donations to the campaign can be made online by visiting our website. The campaign organisers will also be holding a specific event for people wanting to run their own fundraising event on Monday 24 September at the Kino Cinema in Rye. Anyone interested in attending that event should contact the team at [email protected]