Marion Lea playing with Epsom Choral Society

Epsom Pianist scores 50 out of 101


In 2022 Epsom Choral Society celebrated its centenary. For very nearly half that century Marion Lea has accompanied the singers on the piano.

Marion Lea, an acclaimed freelance pianist and accompanist, has performed in recitals and concerts
of the highest calibre, working with the likes of the BBC Symphony Orchestra and the Bolshoi Ballet.
As well, Marion has played an integral part in the local music scene. She has accompanied Operatic
Societies, Choral Societies and any number of other talented musicians. As she approaches her 50th
anniversary with Epsom Choral Society
, they celebrated the immense and invaluable contribution
she has made to the choir with a presentation on Saturday at their annual Christmas concert.

In 1973, Jon Pullinger, the ECS president, suggested to Marion that she should apply to become the new rehearsal pianist for the Epsom Choral Society. On arrival at the audition, Marion fell into conversation with the then Musical Director, Richard Fentiman and Chair, Dr Barbara Mitchell, and happened to mention that, as a student, she had been invited to perform at one of Vaughan Williams’ famous parties. They realised it was testament to her exceptional musicianship and waived the audition!

Since then, Marion has been the ECS rehearsal pianist for innumerable Wednesday nights; has
accompanied the choir in hundreds of concerts; playing continuo on harpsichord and little organ;
and even taken the spotlight on occasion as soloist.

She has supported learning of all styles of music, from the renaissance to the modern. She has played Debussy solos for ECS; played piano duets and, of course, most recently, played the ‘concerto’ piano part in Lambert’s Rio Grande, to great acclaim.

As ECS approach Marion’s Golden Anniversary with them, Isobel Squire, Chair, reflected on how
lucky they are to have had such an accomplished pianist all that time: “On behalf of all our singers, I
want to say how privileged we feel to be able to work with Marion, and how much we value her
wonderful support in our rehearsals, and enjoy her sparkling performances in our concerts.”

Related reports:

Epsom Choral works 100 years

Epsom Choral Society opens its centenary celebration 2022

Expect miracles from Epsom Choral Society

Photo credit: Anne Richardson

© 2021-2022. No content may be copied without the permission of Epsom and Ewell Times Ltd.