We began our 2023 concerts programme with two early spring concerts both with well-established choirs, namely Radcliffe on Trent Male Voice Choir for the first concert in Nottingham and the at the second concert in Swanwick, Derbyshire our friends Sonara, the talented ladies choir from South Normanton.
The Church of the Good Shepherd, Arnold, Nottingham
The first concert was arranged as a fund raiser for The Church of the Good Shepherd in Arnold, Nottingham which is the church attended by our accompanist Margaret Ball. The 1960s designed building is constructed in concrete and has wonderful stained-glass windows, the effects of which were unfortunately not visible as we remain in British wintertime. Radcliffe on Trent MVC have a long and respected history and we were pleased to share a stage with them to support the building improvement programme for the church.
The singing by both choirs was enjoyed by a large audience and of note were the four joint items performed by the choirs, “The Rose” and “An American Trilogy” conducted by Deborah Davies from Radcliffe in the 1st half and then “My Lord What a Morning”, and “Morte Criste” conducted by Mansfield’s Ian Grice to close the concert. These are male voice choir classics and were delivered with skill, variation in dynamics and pleasure. It never ceases to amaze me that whenever we sing such standards with another male voice choir the songs, after just one rehearsal, are delivered with such accuracy and sympathy for the music whilst accommodating the distinct differences between each choir; this is due to the skills of the conductors who interpret the piece in their own way and blend the choirs into a seamless performance.
Here is a link to two of the joint songs and although the visuals are hazy as it was taken using a mobile phone you can get a sense of the sound quality.
St. Andrews Church, Swanwick, Derbyshire.
The ladies of Sonara invited us to sing with them following a concert we previously did together in Mansfield which raised £1,500 for a local charity. The event was extremely well organised with the ladies having provided wonderful baked goods and refreshments at half time. Sonara’s music, led by conductor Nicola Hunt was just perfect with vivid contrasts between items such as “Here Comes the Sun” and “Dona Nobis Pacem”. The female voice brings a lightness and such colour to the music which haunts you send you home with such pleasant warm feeling.
Interspersed with the choral presentations were several comedic poems read by two ladies from the choir which added interest and cheer to the whole event.
Our choir brought the power and also subtlety to that only a male voice choir can when singing such varied pieces as “Due Salutis” (Llef) sung in Welsh, popular tunes like “The Wonder of You” and a pop classic “Shine” which has been specifically arranged for our choir. The audience cheered!
The evening was closed by both choirs being conducted by a very enthusiastic Nicola as we performed “You Raise Me Up.” There is no doubt that we shall share the stage again at future date because the contributions of both choirs made for an uplifting evening. That is what it’s all about isn’t it?