What a great audience we had at our winter collection concert which took the theme of adventure and travel with a touch of Shakespeare in this anniversary year. I do think that having such a warm and appreciative audience spurs us on to sing our very best. On this occasion we surprised ourselves by singing a couple of pieces even better than we had done in rehearsal.
Many people commented on the diverse choice of music and how well it worked together. It was a largely new repertoire for us this year so that has been exciting. Gloria, our Music Director, can take the credit for steering us towards works we have not done before and that stretch us as a choir. She then expertly takes us through them to get to the stage where we can perform them in public.
The Shakespeare songs set to music were just beautiful but I have to say my favourite was the lovely modern arrangement of Shall I compare thee to a Summer’s Day. I declare my bias though; as an alto, we got a rare opportunity to take the lead with the tune and we loved it!
Talk about flexibility though! In the two Gilbert and Sullivan pieces the choir had to change quickly from being “sober men and true” in We Sail the Ocean Blue to being “hardy little lasses …skipping rivulet and fountain” in Climbing over Rocky Mountain.
Our guest artists followed our theme for the evening with our wonderful accompanist Annabelle and choir member Gail playing En Bateau for Piano 4 hands. Soprano Alexandra Mathew delighted us all with more Shakespeare, a song of wandering and the beautiful folk song O Waly, Waly.
And for the first time we had 2 guest accompanists who are offspring of choir members. Emily on cello joined us for Over the Sea to Skye and is the daughter of mezzo Diana. Stuart played guitar with us on Mull of Kintyre and is the son of soprano Cathie. They were both terrific and added that extra special dimension to our performance. Thanks to all our guests!!
If you didn’t get to see us this time round don’t miss us next time! We already have the date for our next concert, Summer Collection 2016, so put Saturday 3 December in your diary now.
JS, Choir member