Monday, 3 October 2011

Val Howels: two stunning soprano performances - 'Last Night of the Proms' at Exmouth Pavilion Wednesday 14 September then at Branscombe: 'Friends of St Winifreds - 140 Years On' Saturday 1 October

Exmouth Pavilion: 'Last Night of the Proms'

Soprano Soloist Val Howels at Exmouth Pavilion

Exmouth Town Band - Brass and Woodwind
Lead Clarinet Barry Parsons, Lead Flute Kate Summers
Conductor Steve Grant
Bawdy Sailors' Songs from the Exmouth Shantymen
The Star of the Show
Val Howels is Britannia!
Branscombe Parish Church: 'Friends of St Winifreds - 140 Years On'

For seventeen years the 'Friends of St Winifreds' have been raising money to restore and refurbish the gorgeous and ancient Parish Church of St Winifred in Branscombe. This year two of the group's members, Mike and Ralph, both celebrated their seventieth birthdays.

With 140 years between them they decided to celebrate in style, and put on a lavish concert in the church, with all proceeds going toward the 'Friends' work.

Sidmouth Town Band, despite being an all brass ensemble, impressed everyone with quite unexpected music. Handel's 'Music for the Royal Fireworks' is not too surprising, but 'Water Music'? How about Mozart's 'Ave Verum Corpus' or 'Eine Kleine Nachtmusik'? Very interesting.

Osterling's ''Bandology, Sousa's 'Semper Fidelis' and Coates' 'Dambusters March' brought us back to the familiar brass sound. ('Dambusters' was particularly appropriate as Ralph is an RAF veteran of the Falklands campaign.)

Edwin Purchase sang traditional Devon songs, accompanied by Geoff Butler, which were very popular, while Val Howels and John and Jacqui Kitchener sang romantic and comic songs from opera with accompaniment by Frances Waters.

The big finale was Val Howels returning once more as Britannia to lead everyone in 'Land of Hope and Glory', 'Jerusalem' and 'Rule Britannia'. Stirring stuff!
Nestling in the Branscombe valley
The thousand year old Parish Church of St Winifred

Welcome the soprano - Val Howels

and surprise guest - actor Rowland Molony - ?

Sidmouth Town Band
Conductor Adrian Harvey

Val Howels is joined by a professional opera duo - John and Jacqui Kitchiner

Don't forget the pianist! - Frances Waters

Stunning: Val Howels sings 'Sakura Sakura' ('Cherry Trees') - in Japanese!

Outrageous: Val Howels sings Rossini's 'Chanson de Bebe' in French (rude!)

Tender: John and Jacqui Kitchiner sing Lerner & Loewe's 'I remember it well,'

Disgraceful: Rowland Molony and Kairen Hooker interrupt the proceedings
for a complicated and hilarious four-way mobile phone conversation
(Rowland and Kairen join John Torrance at Kennaway House in Sidmouth
on Sunday 30th October for Poetry and Sketches with 'Le Jazz' - details)

Sue Gooding: reciting Pam Ayres' 'The Battle of Portaloo'

The triumphant return -  Val Howels in full battle dress
Rule Britannia!

And never forget the pianist - Frances Waters

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