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Coronation concert report

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Southern England's most exciting male voice choir!

Registered charity number: 1112732

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Croydon's Coronation triumph

Dave Bannister writes: CMVC joined the Black British Classical Foundation (BBCF) in a celebration concert at St Mildred’s, Addiscombe on Sunday May 7.  The outcome was a triumphant musical occasion that won praise from all sides.


BBCF is an organisation for “nurturing an interest and participation in the classical arts, for communities of colour within the UK and beyond, in particular, opera.”   Supported for the first time time by the Brixton Chamber Orchestra and the newly formed BBCF Voices choir, four professional opera singers opened the concert with the six movements of Mozart’s Coronation Mass, bringing resounding applause from the audience.  

As everyone streamed into the adjacent hall for interval refreshments, CMVC choristers wondered how they could match the astronomically high standards which had been set. They need not have worried.

CMVC’s programme had been chosen to recognise countries within and beyond the UK, as well as the historical struggle for freedom by black populations everywhere. They opened with Anthem from the musical Chess and followed with Ashokan Farewell, based on a Scottish lament, and Gwahoddiad, the favourite hymn of so many Welsh choirs, with its glorious final amens echoing around the church acoustic.

The spiritual Steal Away allowed CMVC to demonstrate the most controlled and sensitive performance of the evening. The concluding pianissimo phrases had the audience on the edge of their seats, spellbound by how quietly, yet intensely, 50 men can sing.

This contrasted with African Prayer, sung in the Xhosa language and the liberation anthem of so many African countries during the last century. Again the church resounded to both its climactic ending and the response of the enthusiastic audience. CMVC were joined by BBCF soloist Joshua Furtado-Mendes for the haunting Bring Him Home to complete their set.

The whole BBCF company returned for the favourite coronation piece, Zadok the Priest, trumpets, timpani and all. The concert ended with Elgar’s Coronation Ode where the audience and CMVC were invited to join in the last chorus of Land of Hope and Glory.

CMVC Chairman Kim Ormond was thrilled by the praise offered by so many as he left the church, both from the audience and fellow performers: “The best I’ve heard you sing”, “Your control was spine-tingling”, “What a surprising evening’s entertainment,” “I would love to come and hear you in a full concert.”  True to type, CMVC repaired to a local hostelry to sing nigh unto closing time.




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