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Christmas concert report 2021 Dec 11

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Southern England's most exciting male voice choir!

Registered charity number: 1112732

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Joyful Christmas return at St John's

December 12: The choir staged a spirited Christmas concert on Saturday December 11, winning plaudits and a standing ovation from a packed audience at St John’s, Shirley.

The choir was performing its first concert in Croydon since lockdown, following its appearance In West Wickham in Octoberr.  It ranged through a selection from its current repertoire, including two numbers sung for the first time, Go West and Ashokan Farewell. Its rendition of Handel’s Hallelujah, sung as an encore, brought the audience to its feet.

Choir, Roger conducting,  returns to Croydon 

Another highlight, which delighted the audience,  was I Feel Pretty from West Side Story, with choir bass Mike Sharpling decked out (as Michaela)  in a fetching pink dress, attended as her dresser by choir thespian John Ward Turner.    And choir baritone and Apresmeister Dave Bannister, invited to the conductor’s rostrum by music director Roger Pinsent, won applause for the energetic way he led the choir through When the Saints.


Mike "Michaela" Sharpling attended by dresser John Ward Turner

Baritone Clive Bebee, making a return appearance with CMCV, took the solo spot, eschewing his customary Gilbert and Sullivan offering and singing pieces by Noel Coward, Irving Berlin and Cole Porter, among others.

Banners demonstrating conducting technique in When the Saints

The audience was on form too, joining enthusiastically in four carols, including Hark the Herald Angels Sing and O Come, all Ye Faithful.

The Vicar of St John’s, the Revd Lu Gale, thanked the choir for its wonderful singing.  She also commented how it had been a delight to host the choir for its Thursday evening rehearsals during the Covid period.  “You are welcome back any time,” she added.

Afterwards choir music director Roger Pinsent told the choir: “It was a fine way to finish off a very odd year. And you got a standing ovation! Most satisfying.”

Choir in full voice: wins a stander with Hallelujah (all photos: Leni Gillman)

Many choir members gathered at the nearby Surprise pub for a raucous apres session, led by Dave "Banners" Bannister, before bidding each other a happy Christmas and New Year.

For six choir members, however, the season is not over.  They also sing with the Croydon Philharmonic Choir which is taking part in a Christmas concert, led by the London Mozart Players, at Fairfield Halls on Saturday December 18.  Tickets are on sale at the Fairfield online box office.




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