It certainly was a glorious spring evening after a very warm sunny day and The Orphean Singers rounded it off in a relaxed and happy fashion by giving a concert for the Organ fund in the church. The choir was formed in 1952 and sings for pleasure whilst raising money for various good causes. Our church has long term close links with the choir, currently 3 of the Orphean sopranos, one bass and the conductor (Kath Hindley) are all Parish Singers and several of the Orpheans join us for our Autumn Concert each year.
Kath had promised us a concert of well known light music and had planned the programme in groups of pieces to suit particular themes.
'Africa Gloria', 'Deo' and 'The Lion Sleeps tonight' were the first three pieces they sang which certainly seemed to bring warm far away places even closer, they were ably accompanied on a drum by Caedmon. This was followed by the first guest spot - The St Mary & St Giles Handbell ringers who played 'My Grandfather's clock', 'All Glory Laud and Honour', and 'Largo' from the New World Symphony. The choir then sang 'Amen' from the Ultimate Gospel Choir book, 'Clare Benediction' by John Rutter and an unusual arrangement of 'I have a dream' (Abba). Marilyn, who is also a member of our parish singers and has recently joined The Orpheans, sang a solo 'Tell me on a Sunday' by Andrew Lloyd Webber and did very well (it was the first time she had sung a solo in our church). The choir finished the first half with 'Waltzing Matilda', 'Land of my fathers' and 'Land of Hope and Glory'. They repeated the last part of this for the audience to join in!
Once more Shirley and David provided some delicious refreshments during the interval, and some last minute raffle ticket purchases also took place.
The choir started the second half with a medly from 'The King and I', then 'The Ship is sailing - goodbye my lover'. Brenda May played a short solo on the baby grand piano - it was music she had picked up at a car boot sale, so it had no title, no composer, and was labelled 'No. 10'! The choir sang four pieces in their next section: 'Some folks like to ...', 'Rocka my soul', 'Ol Man River' and 'Gonna Build a mountain'. The final soloist of the evening was Caedmon Salter on his drums. When he was very small Kath and Keith gave him a drum, and the parish family have enjoyed his progress as a percusssionist ever since. Now he is completing his Music degree at University, and is putting together a portfolio of his work, so his performance was videod from the gallery. But I sat quietly behind the pulpit and took photos as he played. He said that it wasn't often he was invited to 'go mental' on his drums and treated us to a brilliant rendition of rhythm and colour using every item in the kit. The choir followed his performance with three romantic pieces to complete the evening's entertainment: 'Love changes everything', 'Perhaps Love' and 'Unchained melody'. We gave the choir chocolates and Kath a bottle of wine to say 'thank you' for a lovely concert.
There were 53 people in the audience and 26 performers at this event. Afterwards we counted £227.59 (after expenses were deducted) that had been donated as part of the raffle, refreshments and retiring collection. £73.50 was gift aided, which means the grand total raised was £248.32 for the Organ Fund.
I would like to thank The Orphean Singers, Brenda May and Kath Hindley for such a good contribution towards the refurbishment of the Willis organ and the organ fund committee (most of whom were able to help on the night).