Sunday 20 November 2011
Maggie Hughes, Choir VP and retired Director of Fund-Raising at Cancer Research Wales writes...........
Once again Bridgend Male Choir was performing to support another very important charity, Parkinson’s UK. The choir achieved their total of £1million raised for charity in the run up to their 50th anniversary and have now started on their second million!
The Parkinson’s UK Carol Concert was held on Saturday 19th at All Hallows RC Church, Miskin. Bridgend Male Choir opened the concert with a firm favourite “Rachie” and the combination of wonderful voices and exceptional acoustics made the hairs on the back of your neck stand on end and left everyone in the very appreciative audience in no doubt that they were in for a very memorable afternoon.
The Choir offered a very varied programme featuring many favourites from their extensive repertoire ranging from Welsh hymns to spirituals and songs from the shows, plus exceptional solos from Gethin Williams (In Cellar Cool); Paul Carter (Anthem from Chess and Mary’s Boy Child); Leon Evans (Morte Criste); Gareth Reese (Still, Still, Still) and a duet from father and son Wayne and Bill Hodge (Winter Wonderland). The Choir was accompanied on piano by the very accomplished Stephanie Bailey together with Scott Williams on organ. Scott also performed two superb solos, Liberty Bell and the Pastoral Symphony from Handel’s Messiah proving yet again his versatility on the organ.
During the second half we were all reminded that Christmas was just around the corner and everyone in the congregation enthusiastically joined with the Choir in singing four very popular Christmas carols.
Musical Director John Jenkins was unfortunately unable to attend and lead the choir due to ill health but David Hutchings, another member of the Choir’s music team, stepped in at the last moment and proved himself to be an extremely professional and enthusiastic conductor – we believe John Jenkins would be justifiably proud of his deputy. The concert was another gem in the Choir’s crown and left everyone with a warm glow and looking forward to Christmas.
Phillippa Davies, who had organised the Concert on behalf of Parkinson’s UK spoke passionately of the achievements of their volunteers during the year, not least the recruitment of two additional specialist nurses and another two shortly. Over £60K has been raised in Wales in 2011 from its 28 active groups. Totally self funded, Parkinson’s, like all charities find fund-raising difficult in times of recession and donations of any amount will be put to very good use.