Hurst Green Singers are seeking a new Music Director from September 2018 to succeed Michael Barlow who has led us for the last 30 years. Our rehearsals are every Tuesday evening between September and May at St John's church in Hurst Green and we normally perform two concerts a year. We also sing from time to time at weddings and other local events.
For further information, please contact our chairman Mark Coulshed email@example.com or telephone 01883 717727. To make an application, please send CV and covering letter to Mark Coulshed at 1, St Mary's Close, Oxted, Surrey RH8 9LJ.
This concert was particularly well attended with around 100 people. The concert started with Puccini's Messa di Gloria and were accompanied by Alec Crowe on the piano. Alex Bevan was the tenor soloist and two choir members, Lesley Todd and Brian Shearing also performed solos during this work.
This work was first performed in Lucca, Italy to great acclaim. However, it subsequently remained unknown until 1951. It is an inspired piece, full of youthful spontaneity, with a strong influence from Italian opera composers, particularly Verdi.
The second half of the concert comprised of operatic choruses and arias including Chorus of the Hebrew Slaves, Anvil Chorus, Chorus of the Wedding Guests and the Triumphal Scene from Aida. Barbara Richards, a choir member sang Voce di donna and the tenor soloist, Alex, sang Alfredo's recitative and aria from La Traviata to great applause. In fact, he was persuaded to do an encore and sung an aria from La Boheme - without the music (as indeed was the case for the pianist as an encore hadn't been planned) and they both amazed us all.
By common consent this was a particularly well-chosen programme enjoyed equally by both choir and audience. Michael Barlow, as ever, conducted.
Unfortunately, our Musical Director, Michael Barlow was indisposed and unable to conduct. However, Gillian Broome (who accompanies during rehearsals) conducted and Alec Crowe accompanied (and conducted some pieces too). The choir were very grateful for their assistance in ensuring the concert went ahead. And thanks are due to Michael for choosing the programme and rehearsing the choir from September.
The concert started with Stanford’s Songs of the Fleet with choir member, Brian Shearing taking the baritone solo. Two spirituals followed which were in complete contrast and the choir sung them unaccompanied. Three Shakespeare songs were next in honour of the 400th anniversary of his death. Choir member, Barbara Richards sung the first two: Take O take those lips away and Blow, blow thou winter wind. The first half concluded with the choir singing Over hill, over dale which is based on words in A Midsummer’s Night Dream.
The second half comprised of carols including two Bach chorales – Break Forth O Beauteous Heavenly Light and O Little One Sweet. This was followed by O men from the fields (Arnold Cooke) and Torches by John Joubert (one of Michael’s tutors when he was studying music at the University of Hull). Ann Rogers from the choir, sang The Holy Child which takes its words from Away in a Manger. The Shepherds’ Cradle Song and a challenging version of Deck the Hall arranged by Willcocks were also part of the programme. The audience participated too with some of the carols and the evening ended with a rousing rendition of Hark the Herald Angels Sing.