Visit to Dorset

Sunday 04 May 2008

A magnificent Church venue, school choir, band and warm welcome awaited the Choir at Lyme Regis - David Burt writes.........

Supporting the Organ Appeal at St Michael the Archangel Church, Bridgend Male Choir traveled to Lyme Regis at the May Bank Holiday to give two concerts, both of which were to capacity audiences.   

The first was at the Woodroffe School, where the Choir was delighted to appear alongside the mixed school choir and the school band, both of which performances were first class. The senior choir was delighted that their junior colleagues entertained with the haunting Adiamus and Cantus Iteratus from Songs of Sanctuary composed by one of its hugely respected Patrons, Karl Jenkins, particularly as its own very next item was Pie Iesu from the same composer’s Requiem, which featured Choir tenor soloist, Gwyn Williams. The band included Eli's Cumin, the Theme from Spiderman and a medley from the hit musical Chicago to much applause from the appreciative audience.   

The second concert at the magnificent town located Church featured the Bridgend Male Choir alone and its weekend soloists, Leon Evans, Gwyn Williams and Gethin Williams. The latter entertained with his very popular rendition of the German drinking song, In Cellar Cool and Gwyn included  his first public rendition of Absent, a romantic drawing room ballad of lost love in his contribution. In his selection, Leon treated the audience to Amor ti vieta and Eli Jenkins Prayer as well as the solo verse in the well known hymn, Morte Criste, which the Choir was later requested to sing again!  Both Gareth Davies (Compere) and John Jenkins (Musical Director) entertained with enthusiastically delivered ditties, comments and humour from Wales. John led a worthy tribute to Accompanist, Rhiannon Williams-Hale who her chorister colleagues rate as amongst the very best in the Principality.   

One of the Organ Appeal Patrons and Deputy Lieutenant for the County of Dorset, Minnie Churchill was glowing in her praise of the boys from Bridgend. A descendant of Sir Winston Churchill, whose family’s ancestral home was in Dorset, she commented on the quality and professionalism of the choral contribution. Her comments were endorsed by the Reverend John Harrison of St Michael’s whose very amusing reposte was followed by an invite to the Choir to return for the venue’s first Concert after its goal has been achieved. In wishing the Appeal well with its fundraising, the Choir responded positively to the invite, particularly after the warmth of its welcome from all involved. Following the Concerts the Choir enjoyed the generous hospitality of mine hosts at the Talbot Arms, who had originated from Treherbert. A great weekend was enjoyed by all.