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Congleton Choral Society, Congleton, Cheshire, UK

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Making Music Congleton Choral Society is a member of Making Music, The National Federation of Music Societies.

Congleton Choral Society is a Registered Charity
No: 515851

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Spring Concert
The Sprig of Thyme
Congleton Town Hall, 28th April 2012

The Town Hall gallery decorated with silk flowers
The Town Hall Gallery

After months of preparation to get the sheer volume of music ready, the  Choral Society presented its Spring Concert on Saturday April 28th. As the audience took their seats, their first appreciative ‘oohs’ were for the Town Hall balcony, which was beautifully decorated with silk flowers. This set the tone for their warm applause as the concert went on.

The first half of the programme was ‘The Sprig of Thyme’, John Rutter’s arrangement of eleven folk songs from across the British Isles. Nine of these were sung by the choir.  ‘Down by the Sally Gardens’, sung by the tenor and bass sections, was particularly lovely with its piano accompaniment, and one of the most moving songs of the evening.  The ladies singing ‘I know where I‘m going’ was also singled out for the quality of its tone. The unaccompanied Rutter songs were enthusiastically applauded and the tone of the choir was described as ‘warm and lovely’.

Robin Humphreys, well-known to attendees of local Clonter Opera as a superb pianist, accompanied the choir for the first half and boy, did he make that grand piano fizz!  Joined by Martyn Parkes for piano duets for four hands, those of us who could see those hands thought the keyboard might take off under their combined fingering! The audience was mesmerized, with people moving around to see what was going on, and the pianists had such fun it was infectious.  Add in the rich mezzo tones of soloist Sophie Goldrick, and the audience went off for the interval well-pleased.

Choir members rehearsing Brahms' Liebeslieder.
The Town Hall Gallery
The second half was a hard sing, with Brahms’ twenty-nine ‘Liebeslieder’, to be performed in German! Twenty-nine entrances and exits is hard in anybody’s book and we were very relieved to feel we got it almost perfect. One of the audience, a former choir member, commented, ‘I thought the choir sang really well... the tone was lovely. I was able to hear every word, especially in the Rutter. I have to commend the men in particular for the massive improvement in their phrasing and tone. For me the Brahms was a question of taste but no-one could take away how well the choir sang those pieces. I was very impressed’.

Other audience members said they particularly enjoyed the German, despite some misgivings that people might not like it as much as the Rutter. ‘It was glorious to also be able to read the poetry’ said one of the audience, as the words and translations of all the songs were provided.

So, another triumph for Christopher Cromar, and another night to remember with its beautiful sound and terrific piano duettists.  People are saying that the Choir is just getting better and better, which makes all the hard work worthwhile.

Our next concert, ‘Pomp and Pageantry’, is a celebration for the Diamond Jubilee, at St Mary’s Church Astbury, on Saturday July 7th. It should be a great and joyous occasion; do come, judge for yourselves how good we sound, and join with us in raising the roof with the singing of ‘Jerusalem’ and ‘Land of Hope and Glory’! 


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