Concert Reports (by our Patrons Officer)
Annual Concert 2009
(Sunday 6th December 2009)
I swear, I really do, I swear I seen a duck matter of fact it was an eiderdown of ducks with wellies and umbrella's they were walking up the towpath of the Blaenavon canal (in olden times it was the main road past the workmen's hall) and as I entered the workman's hall I was met by a shower of umbrella's that was, not you good people. Stripped down to my best bib and tucker and got ready to meet the foe, umm sorry patrons I mean.
I was then dragged from my soapbox into that den of inequity they call the snooker hall (fond memories of my misspent you-ff. then stomach quivering nerves starting to jangle, warmed the throat up (they shouldn't be allowed to squeeze that hard) then I heard the best version of myffany I have ever heard, shame you weren't there to hear it.
Then up we go onto the stage
We started to sing Myffanny (go look at the program find out how to spell it) yes I was right IT same as always. Didn't think they were going to open the curtains till we were into the second verse, then tore into Rachie then the theme music from the film of the life of Bob Champion the Jockey, called Sometimes one of our new numbers and then the simple but very tricky to do This old Man
Unfortunately our guest artist Natalya Romaniw could not appear due to illness but she was at very short notice replaced with Adele O'Neil who sung at last years concert and also with the choir when we toured Spain. You could tell she had performed in Blaenavon before as she dressed in a short fur coat. NO I did not mention polar bears, fox's mints or any other silliness. She gave a wonderful rendition of several songs (gee, do I not like soprano's)
Then HE! exploded onto the stage that wonderful eccentrific (spell checker tells me there's no such word) but I think it describes him to a tee. Who you ask, well none other than TIMOTHY SUMMERS yes I am shouting.what a fabulous performance and boy could he make that piano sing he started with some Paganini then into excerpts of Rhapsody in Blue. the hall resounded with thunderous applause. we then had to follow that once we waited for the audience to simmer down. We finished the first half with Laudamus, Bound for Jubilee and Amen.
Out for a swift can a quick mingle and sorry I missed you Nevile, then back to business.We started with two of Ossie's arrangements Exodus and let me add here from an e-mail I received today
The choir must be very proud of last nights performance.It was stunning.I thought I was in The Albert Hall. Your interpretation of Leonard Cohen's Hallelujah was beautiful . Your raffle prize of two coveted tickets to your Annual Concert was much appreciated by us all. I am sure the winners were as thrilled with the performance as we were. Nice people say the nicest things
The eccentrific Timothy Summers crashed back onto centre stage and again thoroughly wowed the audience with March from the nutcracker suite, Top hat White tie and Tails dressed in a top hat and with a tail protruding from his backside and Someone to watch over me. this Guy is one to watch believe me. We then sung the brand new medley (to us)of Frank Sinatra songs.
Adele O'Neil then continued and finished her part with O Holy Night with the choir humming n the background I am sorry that my account of Adele's performance is so brief but I didn't have the opportunity to gather the Titles and after re-reading this I haven't given her the praise she so thoroughly deserved
We then gave what I have had described to me as the defining part of our repertoire. Just thought did that mean they were glad we were coming to the end, surely not. We ended with the haunting Tears in Heaven then the final song the American Trilogy.
It would be remiss of me not to mention two major achievements among our choristers firstly congratulations to Andrew Thomas who received his testimonial for twenty five years service to the choir.
The Chorister of the Year Vase was awarded to Mel Rowles whose son Wayne and his grandson Dion has also sung with the choir. Here ends the ramblings of the village idiot
and finally I am glad you enjoyed our concert and if you didn't you must have gone to someone else's
good night/ god bless and a Merry Christmas to you all
Concert at Didcot Civic Centre
(Saturday 10th October 2009)
For your information the choir travelled to Didcot on Saturday and performed to a full capacity hall probably in the region of 150 people I was met by our patrons Eric and Dilys Gower(very nice to put faces to the names) also to meet some of my cousins from Oxford who also attended.
I was reliably informed that the choir sounded very very good (thank you very much) but was a little put out on the comment that we looked "scruffy. A lot of the choir were offended by the remark. As we are in the process of obtaining a new uniform Green Blazers, ties and black trousers perhaps this comment will be put to death.
The concert started with Ratchie followed with Crusaders chorus and on through our repertoire and I have just realised I must take more notice of what we sing to enable me to give you a better picture of the concert.
The Guest artist was Jan Mathews from Abertillery who travelled on the coach with us who sung songs from current musicals again reports were that her backing tape was to loud but she seemed to have taken note of that in her second set I particularly enjoyed her finale of "O Ma Babino Caro".
The choir performed so well with their renditions of Eric Clapton's "Tears from Heaven" and "Take me Home" that the caretaker was around, with his mop and buckets being well used.
We finished with the rousing "American Trilogy" and "Myfanwy" (bugger that's not in my spell checker) as an encore with rapturous applause
The cousins said they thoroughly enjoyed the concert and can't wait to get to the Annual. this was also the opinion voiced by many of the audience who asked when we were doing another Concert in the area Before then we have the Memorial at Park street chapel for Mr and Mrs Cornfield a well known family in Blaenavon, this is an open invitation for anyone who knows the family and starts at 6.00pm.
I know you are all good people and I am preaching to the converted but if you know of anyone who is of Patron material then please pass their names to me and if you know of any Patrons who have not taken up their patronage this year could you please remind them that tickets for the Annual concert will go on general sale after the 31st of October
Concert for Help for Heroes at Llanbedr
(Sat 14th November 2009)
Hello and good evening
Please be assured I have been reliably informed that on Sunday morning the roof of the church had settled down to its original place after it was raised by the choir on Saturday night. The same cannot be said of the Red Lion public house.
We swam into the village on a bus that was more damp inside than out after torrential rain that has lasted since Noah went home I got off the bus and was accosted by a man offering me money I explained that I was not that kind of man but thanked Eric (and Dylis) profusely for paying for their tickets.
Scrabbled into the church (150pts) to stand in utter amazement what a truly beautiful place a real old Welsh borders building amazing.
Placed into the side room hidden from the audience(lucky them)walked into the church proper to rapturous applause well some of them clapped and away we went
Rachie exploded into their midst that taught them to be quiet from then on through our repertoire, they were in the palms of our hands. We sung four of our songs then the guest artist took centre stage.
Katie Salt from Bridgend who apparently appeared on X factor 2004 gave us Ar Hyd y Nos" ("All through the Night") is a Welsh folk song followed with On My Own. The choir followed with four more songs.
After a short visit to the outside Loo we kicked started the second half with Ossie's Hallelujah, then a senior moment where I can't remember what came next followed by Katie's second half of Fields of Gold and Songbird we carried on in fine fettle and again finished with the American Trilogy. I don't now how the audience felt but it surely raised the hairs on the back of my neck.
Next were some of the most memorable speeches I have heard, they were very short and very succinct (what a good word I'll have to remember that)
Mention must be made that the choir waved any fee and donated £100 the bus company (Capitol Coaches) did not charge for the bus and the driver Jayne also donated her wage to the cause I have been told tonight that Help the Heroe's fund is £1400.00+ better off after the concert.
We retired to the local hostelry where we were fed and watered and absolutely forced to drink several if not more pints of the terrible nectar that they called beer and were enticed to sing several more songs by way of retribution
the bus ride home was nothing to write home about so there you are if you have enjoyed this tell someone else if you haven't don't tell me
Regards and best wishes Garth