VISIT TO FOLKESTONE RFC

Sunday 05 April 2015

Folkestone RFC is celebrating it's 40th Birthday & having heard BMC along the coast at Hythe last year, invited the Choir to a Concert in a seafront theatre. Organisers, Steve Hughes & Dawn Annandale of the rugby club made arrangements which could only be described as of the very highest order. Steve's article from the FRFC Rugby Club News follows:
In February last year the Choir gave a concert in St. Leonards Church in Hythe which was attended, and enthusiastically received, by a captivated audience. An approach was made to the Choir Secretary seeking a future performance in Folkestone which would be promoted by Folkestone Rugby Club. They promised to try and find a slot in their busy schedule and that contact culminated in their appearance at the Leas Cliff Hall last Saturday (28th March) to help celebrate the 40th Anniversary of the Rugby Club.The audience were treated to a first class performance of song together with an appearance by a young man (Laurence Long), a classical pianist who delighted everyone with his skill, dexterity and professionalism.The Choir arrived on Friday night for a two day visit, staying at the Burlington Hotel and were full of praise for the service, food and accommodation provided.Early on Saturday morning they spent two hours at the Leas Cliff Hall in rehearsal before making their way to the Folkestone Rugby Clubhouse where all 70 of them had been invited to a pre-match lunch. They stayed to help cheer on the First XV to a League win over close rivals Bromley before leaving to prepare for the evenings concert.The Choir have gained a reputation throughout Europe for their professionalism and varied repertoire and it was obvious to see why as the concert progressed.
Led by their Musical Director Rhiannon Williams-Hale, supported by Stephanie Bailey on the piano they showed their versatility by singing a mixture of English, Welsh, French, Italian and German songs including lots of the old favourites. They also premiered a new piece called 'International Glory' compiled by Rhiannon which incorporated songs from all the countries participating in the Six Nations Rugby Championship.Laurence Long is a Kent prodigy, and having won all three of the Medway Young Musician of the Year competitions, gave an accomplished performance which belied his age of 19 years.His contribution included classical pieces, traditional items and songs from the shows and performed a four handed piece with Stephanie which received rapturous applause. Remember the name, for you saw him here first and are likely to hear a lot more of this young man in the future.After the concert the Choir and Club Members retired to the Rugby Club for a Buffet and a post-concert, concert, or 'afterglow' as the Choir refer to it. A relaxed couple of hours where they entertained those who were fortunate to get back to the Clubhouse with a mixture of old favourites, solo's etc., and literally 'sang for their supper' and left for the Burlington well after midnight.On seeing them off on Sunday morning they emphasised how much THEY had enjoyed their week end and were most complimentary about the welcome they had received and the hospitality shown them by the Rugby Club and its Members.They are keen to pay a return visit and have promised to keep in touch and to seek a slot in their busy schedule and once again entertain us and those who were unfortunate enough to miss it this year.