Wednesday, 10 May 2017

Paul Stock Directs Clyst Valley Choral Society "Songs of the Sea" & "Feel the Spirit" St Margaret's Church Topsham Saturday 29 April (Holy Trinity Church Exmouth Sunday 30 April) 2017

Clyst Valley Choral Society
Musical Director: Paul Stock
Mezzosoprano Soloist: Kate Lees

Violins: Rebecca Jackson, Chris Gould, Sally Bull
Viola: Deborah Hamilton Soprano: Nicky Perry

Tenor Soloist: Jonathan Lucas Wood

Jonathan Lucas Wood
Sir Charles Villiers Stanford:
"Songs of the Sea"

April ended with two performances by the Clyst Valley Choral Society, at Topsham and Exmouth. The first half of each was dominated by their impressive new tenor/bass-baritone signing, Jonathan Lucas Wood (currently Musical Director of The Exeter Bach Society). Accompanied by the orchestra and choir he sang Stanford's wonderful "Songs of the Sea", ending with the spectacular "Old Superb" with full choir, Ben Lund-Conlon's bass trombone, and Chris Gould's scintillating trumpet.

Janet Macdonald
Sully Prudholme/Gabriel Fauré:
"Les Berceaux"
Théophile Gautier/Hector Berlioz:
"L'Ile Inconnue"
Along the way there were other solo performances. Soprano Janet Macdonald took Jonathan's place for a cradle song by Fauré, and the starkly contrasting "Ile Inconnue" by Berlioz.

Phil Bonser joined Mark Perry for a clarinet and piano "Intermezzo", also by Stanford.

Rebecca Jackson & Sue Stock
Portsmouth & Plymouth Hornpipes
The Society's second violinist, Rebecca Jackson, was joined by 'cellist Sue Stock for two violin duets - very appropriate hornpipes.

Janet Macdonald & Myriam Prual
Jacques Offenbach: "Barcarolle"
Soprano Myriam Prual made a welcome return to the choir, and joined Janet Macdonald in a delightful boat-song from Offenbach's "Tales; of Hoffman".

Myriam Prual
"Belle Nuit, ô Nuit d'Amour"
Finally, Paul Stock himself gave a solo performance on piano - two of Stanford's "24 Preludes for Piano"

Ben Lund-Conlon
(percussion & bass trombone):
"Swing Low Sweet Chariot"
& "Go Down Moses"
 The second half opened with two more solos. Mezzosoprano Kate Lees introduced herself with William Walker's setting of John Newton's "Amazing Grace" accompanied on the piano by Paul Stock. Ben Lund-Conlon also joined Paul for two sonorous spirituals on his trademark bass trombone.

The scene having been set perfectly, the choir moved onto the stirring spiritual songs of John Rutter's "Feel The Spirit". Kate Lees was soloist with Jonathan Lucas Wood joining the regular tenor section and Janet and Muriel singing with the sopranos. This uninterrupted spectacle of song started appropriately with Ben's mighty trombone, quickly joined by Chris Gould's trumpet.

Kate Lees & Choir:
John Rutter: "Feel the Spirit"
(Flute: Mandy Fishleigh)
The choir really brought Rutter's exciting rhythms to life. Mark Perry's piano playing kept up a thrilling pace throughout the "Battle of Jericho" before switching mood for Kate's "Steal Away" with violin accompaniment and soft crooning by the choir.

Ben Lund-Conlon
A special mention is necessary for the spectacular solo opening to "Motherless Child" and "Deep River" by clarinettist Phil Bonser and mezzosoprano Kate Lees.

For "Feel the Spirit" Ben Lund-Conlon brought back his much-loved 'washboard tie' with its distinctive percussion sound.

This was a most enjoyable emotional journey, terminating with the ever-popular, no-holds-barred, classic "When the Saints Go Marching In". 

Chris Gould (Violin & Trumpet)
John Rutter:
"When the Saints Go Marching In"
"Songs of the Sea" and "Feel the Spirit" at Topsham was a delightful evening of song and instrumental music. The whole performance was repeated the following night, in the even more impressive venue of Holy Trinity Church.

Rehearsals continue every Thursday evening at Clyst St Mary Church. The Committee welcome enquiries from anyone wanting to join the choir or orchestra.

The email addresses are on the Clyst Valley Choral Society Website.

Clyst Valley Choral Society
St Margaret's Church Topsham
Sopranos: Myriam Prual & Janet Macdonald
Trumpet: Chris Gould Leader: Sally Bull

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