Saturday, 2 July 2016

Amadeus Chamber Choir Charity Concert in Blundellsands for Ebola orphans

Despite the attractions of the Wales v Belgium Euro '16 match I chose to accept an invitation to a concert. The Amadeus Chamber Choir was performing at St Joseph's Church in Blundellsands. This was a real treat for me and all held in a good cause-children orphaned because of Ebola in Sierra Leone.

click hear to hear a sample of their music
I was seated at the front of the church when, from the back of the church, the music began with Handel's Zadok the Priest. There was a moment when I wondered whether this was a recording from The Sixteen, or someone like that, it sounded so professional. The choir then worked its way through a very varied programme Palestrina, Buxtehude and Mendelssohn  until we came to a selection of modern numbers including Lennon and McCartney, Bob Chilcott and Herb Brown's Singing in the Rain. In between Waterloo's own mezzo soprano Danielle Thomas (well known to many for singing Abide with me at the Justice for the 96 Hillsborough vigil)  gave us Mozart.

I have been warned that when I write this posting I must not spend longer praising the food than I do writing about the concert. Suffice to say that I would come again just to eat the home made interval sweets and savouries.

The second half followed the pattern of the first-classical works giving way to lighter  pieces with Danielle Thomas performing in the middle. I was particularly stuck by the Crucifixus  by Lotti. If I shut my eyes the music sounded effortless, but with them open (and sitting in the front row) I was aware how carefully the choir was concentrating, all eyes were on the conductor David Holroyd. I don't think I've ever seen choristers follow their musical director so completely. I don't know how many parts the choir were divided into-at least eight by my reckoning-but they all came together impressively.

Chatting to some of the audience at the interval it was obvious how well the concert was going down. Several people said how much they enjoyed the varied programme. The choir sang the light and the classical equally well. Their website has on it a selection of numbers to which you can listen. I have picked out Blue Moon as an example available here.

The Amadeus folk are a very friendly group and they invited me back to their after show party with promises of food and wine. Now bearing in mind what I have said about the quality of the food I thought I might be in for a treat but the spread that the choir members had produced exceeded my expectations. The roast beetroot was amazing and the range of salads, meats, pates etc were every bit as good as the music had been and that is before we even looked at the desserts.

During the party two bits of good news filtered through; firstly that the concert had raised in excess of £1550 and secondly that the welsh team had pulled of an historic victory. All the commentators were discussing how the welsh team's great strength was their close bond  and how that had allowed them to achieve great things. I could not help but reflect that the Amadeus choir was similarly sustained by their friendship, their obvious pleasure in each others company  and their mutual joy in music making. I certainly intend to put their Christmas concert in my diary.

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