Christmas in the Village
Perhaps it is just a reflection of the weather we have experienced in recent times, but yet again our audience had to brave a cold, wet and windy evening to join us, on this occasion in the Parish Church of St Neot for our annual Christmas Concert. We are pretty convinced that they will all have thought the effort was worthwhile though, because it was a really great evening! This was our first Christmas Concert with our MD Marcus Alleyne; he was determined to make it a different experience for us all, and so he did!
Our special guests for the evening were our great friends Maggie Holden and Rosemary Turner, who entertained us wonderfully as always with both solo's and duets, including the beautiful 'Flower Duet' by Lakme.
Our principal Accompanist Suzanne Brodie, was unable to be with us for this concert, so we are incredibly grateful to Chris Howarth who stepped in at extremely short notice to play for us, having seen the music for the Dan Forrest arrangements only two days before. (A big big relieved thanks Chris!) We wish Suzanne well and hope she will be back with us again very soon.
The evening was a perfect opportunity to perform a special presentation.
Our Concert Secretary, Frank Evans, had skillfully hand crafted a beautifully carved Oak plaque in preparation for this concert, to present to our Deputy MD Colin Arthur, to formally thank him for his unstinting dedication in keeping Loveny together during a difficult period, standing in as MD for 16 months despite all the other claims on his time as a busy working farmer. It was of course a complete surprise to Colin, who gratefully received it with his customary modesty. Thank you too Frank for all your efforts making such a unique item.
Though not scheduled, Marcus and Colin added to the evenings varied programme by singing a lovely duet version of 'O Holy Night' , and as Marcus had developed some changes to the arrangement of 'Silent Night' at last Tuesday's practice that would have been difficult to convey at such short notice, he played the piano too! We count ourselves fortunate to have such a talented musical team.
The pulpit served our dear friend Roger James well, elevating him somewhat to deliver two classic rib tickling recitations from the Cornish Poet David Prowse, 'The man behind the cloak' and 'Birds of a feather'
Among the traditional and possibly not so well known Christmas Carols, we sang the very popular new edition to our repertoire, 'And Can it Be', introduced by Marcus, and arranged by Dan Forrest, an American composer.
A new addition to our Christmas repertoire this year introduced by Marcus, and coincidentally also arranged by Dan Forrest, is the wonderful 'The First Noel'. This was our first public performance of this arrangement, and sadly is probably the only opportunity we will have to sing it until next year!
Not the greatest recording, but you can hear it on You Tube by clicking on the link to the right.
After our very well received rendition of 'The First Noel', the final set of the evening concluded with 'The 12 Days of Christmas', with Marcus tickling the ivory's and, it would be fair to say, unprecedented audience participation.... and what a great audience! Our traditional finishing song 'scheewaltzer' concluded the fun on a high note, as it always does, and we wished everyone 'A Happy Christmas'.
We retired to the institute to enjoy refreshments, a wonderful buffet laid out for us by the church community, thank you all!
Many thanks also to Our MD Marcus and Deputy MD Colin, to Rosemary and Maggie, to Chris, our ebulient MC John Ead, and Roger who in addition to amusing us, also brought in the trailer with the staging.
Finally on behalf of Loveny, May I wish all of our readers a very Merry Christmas, and a happy and healthy new year. We hope you will join us at our concerts starting in late March 2018, when we will bring you a number of new songs that we will be working hard to perfect during the winter months.