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Choir has Christmas fun!

Choir has Christmas fun!

DECEMBER 13 2016: The Croydon choir celebrated Christmas with two fine concerts in the past three days.    The choir sang to the usual intimate audience at Merstham Village Hall on Thursday, then packed in the crowds for its traditional Croydon Welsh concert at Shirley Methodist Church on Saturday.  There was also a presentation to two retiring choir stalwarts.

Dick and Pauline Diplock receive choir photo from Richard Hoyle

The choir was in especially fine voice on Saturday, and the audience joined in the carol singing with great enthusiasm.  The concert was further distinguished by the superb performance of rising star mezzo-soprano Chloë Treharne, whose two sets of songs won rapturous applause.  Chloë, who was superbly partnered by choir pianist Frances Ringer, is likely to sing again at a future choir concert.

The Saturday concert was also marked by presentations to two long-time choir stalwarts, both of whom were retiring.  Dick Diplock was the choir’s stage manager for almost two decades, and brought both discipline and a sense of fun to his role while managing more than 200 concerts.  Nev Clark was a stand-out baritone, later a bass, for thirty years, and also a distinguished solo performer.  During a ceremony before the concert’s last number both were presented with framed choir photographs by music director Richard Hoyle.

Nev and Sheila Clark presented with their choir photo 

Richard said: “Dick and Neville have been at the heart of the choir community since the mid-80s.  They have both given a huge commitment and energy to our organisation and will be sorely missed.”

Of the concert, Richard said: “There is always a great atmosphere at our annual concert for the Croydon Welsh Society and this year was no exception.”   Richard was “particularly pleased” with the choir’s performance of its newest piece, Guardian Angel.

Due to an arm injury, Richard shared the conducting with assistant music director Darren Wilkins, who performed with aplomb. Sitting and listening to the choir, said Richard, “was an informative and entertaining experience”.

Nev and Dick get it on at choir apres

There was a lively choir apres at the Surprise pub following the concert, with both Dick and Neville performing several of their party pieces to roof-raising applause.

The choir can next be heard during its customary charity Christmas appearance at the Whitgift Centre on Sunday 20 December.


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