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WW concert Oct 9 2021

Welcome to the website of Croydon Male Voice Choir

Southern England's most exciting male voice choir!

Registered charity number: 1112732

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We're back!

OCTOBER 12:  Dave Bannister writes: "We're back!" These were Music Director Roger Pinsent's first words to a packed and expectant audience at the church of St Francis of Assisi in West Wickham on Saturday. Twenty months had passed since our last concert performance and choir members were in a state of nervous anticipation. 

Choir delights packed audience (photos Paul Binge)

The choir had not been idle over this time, learning new songs over the restricted  medium of Zoom. It had inducted new members, four of whom were singing their first concert, and recruited a new accompanist, David Terry, also making his debut appearance.

The concert started with African Prayer, taking advantage of the church's wonderful acoustic, with its mix of subtlety and power in Xhosa and English, winning sustained applause from the audience who had been deprived of live choral music for so long. The set ended with a revival of Bridge of Troubled Water, last sung by the choir some ten years ago.

The choir welcomed Victoria Whittaker, Principal Soprano of Grim's Dyke Opera, whose talented musical family have been friends and supporters of the choir for many years. Sensitively accompanied on the piano by David Terry, she delighted the audience with a variety of songs over two sets, all related to the theme of love.

The wonderful St Francis acoustic boosts stirring rendition of African Prayer

The choir’s second set began with the newly-learnt Nessun Dorma, showing off the choir's Italian language skills and invoking memories of the Three Tenors and Italia 1990. The set finished with Joshua Fought the Battle of Jericho, in an exciting new arrangement by Roger Pinsent. Starting with the rich tones of bass soloist Ralph Osborne, it gave way to an insistent and rhythmic ostinato passed amongst choir sections alongside the familar tune.  

After the interval, the audience were thrilled by a pacey rendition of Handel's Hallelujah Chorus, restored to the choir's repertoire following a gap of ten years. Although sung by many choirs, ours demonstrates its skill by tackling this complex piece without music. The formal programme ended with Carly Simon's lively and dramatic Let the River Run.   

Vicar Hazel O'Sullivan thanked the choir for such an enjoyable return to St Francis and recalled their equally inspiring visit during the Festival of Peace in 2018 to commemorate the end of the First World War. She tempted the choir to sing one more song. 

Debut pianist David Terry plays his stuff

For an encore, the choir had prepared Battle Hymn of the Republic. It was joined by Victoria Whittaker, whose glorious soprano soared way above the choir, while accompanist David Terry showing his versatility as an accomplished organist.

The choir was not finished after leaving the church and its appreciative audience. Thirsts needed to be slaked and congratulations offered for the outstanding performances from the new members and accompanist. MD Roger Pinsent commented how much he had enjoyed the evening and how pleased he was that the choir hadn't lost its ability to concentrate and follow his direction over the long period of Zoom and lockdown. Staff at the local pub The Railway were delighted as the choir arrived. They remembered the choir's previous visit in 2018 and implored them to sing again. The choir did not disappoint.

Railway Inn West Wickham - delighted to see us again



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