POPPY APPEAL CONCERT REVIEW

Friday 11 November 2016

Bethlehem Church Life Centre, Cefn Cribwr was the venue for a marvellous weekend concert, where proceeds supported the Royal British Legion’s Poppy Appeal.
Bethlehem Church Life Centre, Cefn Cribwr was the venue for a marvellous weekend concert, where proceeds supported the Royal British Legion’s Poppy Appeal. The concert was always going to be of high standard and mixed entertainment as in addition to Bridgend Male Choir, contributing to the musical fayre was the Llynfi Valley’s exceptional mixed choir, Noteworthy. Soloists, were soprano, Sally Ann Kingsbury and cellist, Stewart Roberts. There were also narrations from Jane Mullins & Peter Morgan, with the “Last Post” played on trumpet by Geraint John. It was always going to be a busy evening for Musical Director, Ryan Wood who for the first time was conducting both of his choirs at the same performance and didn’t he do well. He also accompanied both soloists showing what a real talent he is – this in addition to accompanying the renowned Only Men Aloud on their current tour. Ryan’s great piano playing talent was shared by BMC’s accompanist, Stephanie Bailey and by Stewart Roberts in support of the mixed choir , not to mention Scott Williams whose organ accompaniment brings the very best out of many musical offerings.   Bridgend Male Choir showed why they had sung to audiences, all with standing ovations in Dublin & Drogheda last week delivering their content with familiar aplomb. Highlights were from the American Civil War, “Tell My Father” with Dr Peter Morgan’s oratory of the Gettysburg Address; “For the Fallen” and “Mansions of the Lord”. The entire content was most appropriate for the occasion. Noteworthy choir was spot on with diction and tone and musically provided a great contrast. Favourites for the author were Karl Jenkins’, a BMC Patron, “Benedictus” from the Armed Man, with cello & piano accompaniment; the Jeffrey Howard arranged “Gwahoddiad” and the hymn tune “Builth” (same arranger), which BMC is currently learning.   Better known as Musical Director of premier Welsh male choir, Pendyrus, cellist Stewart Roberts is no stranger to Bridgend Male Choir, helping out accompanying from time to time. It was known that he is a musical all-rounder and his instrumental cello portrayal of “Nella Fantasia”was very well received by all present. Like the other musicians on show, Stewart is a multi-talented genius. Wales is so fortunate to have such talent as was on show on the evening & elsewhere, helping to ensure a very strong future for its many choirs. Sally Ann sung the very popular Sherwin/ Maschwitz’ “A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square” with beautiful tune & clarity, thoroughly enjoyed by all present. All the narrators & compere, Gareth J Davies deserve credit for their significant non-musical parts. The remembrance content reminded all why we were there and a few tears were evident. “Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau” saw all present participating, concluding what had been an exhilarating evening. All contributors are grateful to BCLC for making its first class facility available for such worthy charitable causes.