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Monday 29 October 2012

Choir Press Officer, Tim O'Hagan reports from the Brangwyn Hall......

On Sunday 28th October 2012, the Bridgend Male Choir were privileged to share in the John Jenkins Memorial Concert in the splendid Brangwyn Hall. The evening was a celebration of the life and work of the late JJ, and the participants exemplified how he had nurtured generations of musicians and singers in South Wales. The soloists and all the members of the chamber orchestra, brass band and mixed choir, as well as the Bridgend Male Choir, had all come under JJ’s considerable influence and benefitted form his energy and love of music.

   The orchestra opened the evening with Borodin’s Second Symphony. The Bridgend choir combined with the brass band to perform Gwahoddiad and CwmRhondda, which they followed with The Rose, accompanied by Rachel Bartel on harp. Baritone soloist, Karl Daymond gave an inspired interpretation of Mozart’s Ein Vogelfänger bin ich, ja. Gordon Backe was magical in his performance of Rachmaninov’s Piano Concerto No 2. Led by Tony Small, the brass band entertained everyone with Boyce-strous Brass arranged by Tony Small with words by JJ in his poetic mode.

   The orchestra provided the backbone to the evening. Their programme included a magnificent rendition of Pines of Rome by Respighi and, in combination with the mixed choir, Mozart’s Zadok the Priest. The orchestra and both choirs also combined for Finlandia, and with the lovely Gail Pearson as soprano soloist, gave a truly rousing Elgar’s Pomp and Circumstance No1 as the evening’s finale.

   The proceeds of the concert will go towards the John Jenkins Memorial Prize for instrumentalists up to 21 years of age.


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